Trouble mounting new bow light..... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2008
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Trouble mounting new bow light.....

I just bought a new bow light for my boat, I bought a rail mount to mount it to the bow rail.

The previous bow light, I believe, was broken off because the P/O ran it into the dock at a low tide. The old bracket which was welded to the rail broke off and the light and bracket are nowhere to be found.


My problem is this:

I cannot get to the wire that is ran up through the bow rail. I dont think it is very far from the hole where it used to come out at. I am thinking that I can just pull it back out somehow and use it again. Doing so would be easier than running a whole new wire.

The wire comes up through the hull and through the hollow tubing that makes up the railing.

Any tricks or tips on how to reach the wire? It is not visible through the small hole but I dont think it could be far.

Thank yall.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2008
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About the most you could expect to do, is push it back through from the other end, which is unlikely. I think it would be easier to run new wire from the bow, out through the end of the tubing and then splice it to the old wire.

Even if you could get the old wire back through the hole, it probably won't have enough play to reattach it to the new fixture.
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Old 03-19-2008
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Well, I tried both running a new wire and pushing it up through bottom this past weekend.

The problem with running a new wire is that it has to a 90* turn in order to go down th ebow rail, and I couldnt get it to do that. Then, I took the one base of the railing up a little and attempted to push the wire but couldnt get good leverage on it. I would have to take the railing completely off probably to do that.

Someone suggested to me to try an electrition's fish?
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Old 03-19-2008
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Try this. If it works, great. If not, them you're no worse off than you are now.

1. Pull the old wire through the bottom of the pulpit. You already have the pulpit unbolted, so it should be easy. Pulling is far easier than pushing!

2. Pull the ground wire from a length of stiff house wire (single strand 10 or 12 gauge). It's uncovered, so you won't have to strip off the plastic coating.

3. Push it through the hole where the bow light wire should be toward the base of the pulpit. It's stiff enough to push past the elbow.

4. When it exits the bottom of the pulpit, put a small hook on the end with a pair of needle nose pliers.

5. Clip the old wire, but leave enough to attach a new length of wire to it. That is, don't clip it flush with the deck!! Don't do this step until you complete step 3, or you could be screwed.

6. Attach the new wire to the old one using proper splicing methods.

7. Strip off about an inch of insulation from the other end of the positive and negative strands of the new wire and join them making a sort of loop. Hook the loop over the hook in the stiff wire and neatly wrap the joint with duct tape for strength

7. Pull through from the bow light end.

Oughta work......
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Old 03-19-2008
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The problem is if the wire is actually making a 90˚ turn, most things, including house wire, electrical fish tapes, and such, won't be able to make the turn successfully.
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Old 03-19-2008
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I think a long but flexible wire that you can use to fish the new wire down below is what is needed. Clutch control cables interior wire works well for this and most boat yards have some old one lying around from engine repairs. Failing that you are faced with either a complete removal of the pulpit OR making a new deck exit for the wire with a hole and cable clam and running the wire up the pulpit from there. No fun unless you get lucky with the "fish" wire!
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You need to contact sailhog, who has a very close colonoscopy doctor friend who is always willing to stick his scope into tight places.

I understand these devices have a light and video camera at the end, along with a remote tool with various attachments, such as forceps and unmentionables. No problem snagging that elusive wire with this guy.

PM sailhog for details on how to reach him.

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As a last resort you could try the cotton ball and dental floss trick; that's where you tie the end of a piece of floss to the cotton, stuff the ball into the hole and blow hard. Maybe air pressure will work for you......I said it was a last resort.
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my surveyor told me this so i haven't tried it yet. remove the old wire, from one end insert a piece of thread, something heavier than clothing thread. on the other end attach a wet/dry vac. it should pull the thread through into the wet/dry vac. loop the end of the wire over. tie on the thread, cover with elec tape and pull through.
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The combination of shop vac and cotton / floss might actually have something going for it....I might even make that my 1st resort.
Howard Keiper
Berkeley
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