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post #1 of 8 Old 10-23-2007 Thread Starter
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Question Wiring Nav Lights

I'm compiling the list of winter projects and will be doing some rewiring and was counting circuits for the replacement panel. A thought came to me: why are there typically three separate switches to turn on and off the running, steaming and anchor lights? Each is mutually exclusive when in use. My car doesn't have separate parking, low beam, high beam switches. Wouldn't a 4-position rotary switch do the trick? Off-Running-Steaming (with Running)-Anchor

There must be a reason, because I haven't found such a switch panel at the major chandleries.

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post #2 of 8 Old 10-23-2007
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Mazzy-

The steaming light isn't mutally exclusive to the running lights. You need both the bow bi-color and stern lights in addition to the steaming light if you're motoring. Think about it... Also, the anchor light is not necessarily mutually exclusive to running lights, cause on smaller boats, you can replace the stern light and steaming light with a single all-around white light. This is what I do, since I currently, don't have a separate steaming light installed ATM.

Using individual switches is the simplest way to do it with little or no confusion—which is why you don't see fancy switches to do what you're suggesting.

Also, if any individual function on a complex switch breaks, you have to replace the whole expensive switch...kind of like the turn signal/windshield wiper/high beam control stalk in your car... rather than replacing relatively cheap individual switches.

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sailingdog,
I'm envisioning the "steaming" position to be the running lights plus the forward facing steaming light. I agree with the simplicity of the separate switches, but was thinking of inexperienced crew and the like switching on/off the wrong combo of switches. I found an interesting link at Blue Sea which suggests a single switch for running/steaming/off and a separate one for anchoring. Saves one spot in the panel, and one point less confusion for the crew.

http bluesea dot com/viewresource/104
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I have a six-switch panel for my running/navigation light setup. The top two switches are for the masttop light, the middle two are for the masthead lights, and the bottom two are for deck level lights.

Tricolor light
Anchor light
Spreader light
Steaming light
Stern Light
Bow Bi-color light

The switches are marked, and they're setup so that the colored lights are the top-most and bottom-most switches. The lowest three switches are for the boat in motion...as is the top-most... depending on whether we're inshore or offshore.

The mast-top fixture is an LED Tricolor/Anchor/Strobe light, and if you flip the two top switches, the strobe activates.

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post #5 of 8 Old 10-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The mast-top fixture is an LED Tricolor/Anchor/Strobe light, and if you flip the two top switches, the strobe activates.
May I ask the make of this light? Between the prices dropping and the Canadian dollar, they are finally making sense as a purchase (the Lopo light cost $700 Canadian here two years ago...although it's a beautifully finished hockey puck!)
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I've got a switch marked as Tricolor but no tricolor on the boat. I haven't a clue what does run off this switch, if anything yet.
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I have the Orca Green Marine Tricolor/Anchor/Strobe light.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
May I ask the make of this light? Between the prices dropping and the Canadian dollar, they are finally making sense as a purchase (the Lopo light cost $700 Canadian here two years ago...although it's a beautifully finished hockey puck!)

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Found what I was thinking of. Aqua Signal makes the Nav-Switch. A little pricy at $100 (pyacht.com) . Separate switches will be a lot cheaper, but it is a slick solution. Here's a pdf with a good description: go to www dot aquasignal dot info. click on "catalog" then Accessories".
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