Fixing a leaky Illumadeck light. Or cooking with heat shrink. - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2010
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Fixing a leaky Illumadeck light. Or cooking with heat shrink.

I bought an IllumaDeck spreader light this past winter. I mounted it on the boat a couple weeks ago, replacing my "tractor light" style spreader light that was mounted on our transom. (It was tough to find a replacement bulb since the foreign-made one that I bought had a thick "girdle" and didn't fit in the fixture.)

Here's a shot of the old light with the burnt-out bulb.


The IllumaDeck promised a low current draw for a significant amount of light. The box said 1/8 of an amp. I measured it to be 0.106 amps, IIRC. Copared to 2.5 amps for the previous light, this is a great improvement. 1/23rd the power drain. At this small draw, we could leave the light on when we go somewhere and come back to a fully lit transom.

A few days after installing the IllumaDeck, I went back to the boat and it was partly filled with water. Yikes! After examining the seal on the light, I noticed that the rubber gasket they used was not thick enough to provide a proper seal against the clear lens. So I removed the screws on one side and lifted up the lens a bit to let most of the water out.

Here's shot with the puddle of water on the seat and most of the water out.


I took the gasket out with the help of a broken spring held at the end of a vice grip. The end of the spring had a perfect "J" shape to it that went easily under the gasket without breaking it.


I grabbed some rubber-cement type glue (to put under the gasket to lift it up) but then thought better of using it, and instead started putting strips of heat shrink tubing under where the gasket goes. This lifted the gasket up against the lens to provide a better seal.

Here's a shot of my cutting the heat shrink tube in half the long way. For some reason, this reminded me of cooking with chives.


Another shot.


Here's the heat shrink tubing under the gasket, cut in half, You can see that I can barely get the gasket compressed at all, certainly not enough to fit under the raised ridge on the underside of the lens.


Turns out, that the 1/2 section of tubing was too think, so I cut them in half again (the long way) and that did the trick perfectly.

Here I'm putting the 1/4 pieces of heat shrink tubing in place. I made sure there were no gaps, and cut the last piece for a perfect fit.


Here's the gasket going over the heat shrink tubing.



And here's the gasket back in place over the heat shrink tubing. It's ready for the lens to go back on.


I overtightened one of the corner screws and craked the lens a small bit (seen at head of the screw driver). I'm not worried about it since it's well outside of the gasket and it seems strong enough to stay in place.


Here's the finished project.


Note also the COB strobe tied to my horse-shoe buoy. Mounting the SM2 strobe was another project that I asked for advice on. I hadn't posted the completed picture before. It turned out pretty good, right?

As I left the boat at the end of the day, I could see fogging on the inside of the lens. The humidity was not getting out. There was no fogging before, so I think that's evidence that I got a good seal. Of course now I have to go back and take the lens off and do a proper drying of the inside of the device. But until then at least it isn't filling up with water.

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 04-07-2010 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 04-07-2010
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Why didn't you use butyl tape for that?? I just sealed up a warped autopilot control head for a boat we were sailing with during a delivery in December using butyl tape. That boat's on its way to the Bahamas at the moment, and last I spoke to them, the autopilot was going strong.
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Old 04-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Why didn't you use butyl tape for that?? I just sealed up a warped autopilot control head for a boat we were sailing with during a delivery in December using butyl tape. That boat's on its way to the Bahamas at the moment, and last I spoke to them, the autopilot was going strong.
I just ordered the butyl tape this week. This was done before I read the "butyl tape" thread on anything-sailing.com and fully understood it. I'm planning some deck sealing with the roll I ordered -- looking forward to that.

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 04-07-2010 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 04-07-2010
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I figured as much, but had to bust your chops about it... I always have a roll aboard...it's really damn useful stuff.

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Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
I just ordered the butyl tape this week. This was done before I read the "butyl tape" thread on anything-sailing.com and fully understood it. I'm planning some desk sealing with the roll I ordered -- looking forward to that.

Regards,
Brad
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-07-2010
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I ordered a roll of grey. It should be here soon. I need to re-bed a couple winches and a rope clutch. Of course I ought to try what Maine Sail suggests and tighted the bolts first, just in case it was bedded with butyl tape originally. (I think Beneteau uses silacone above the waterline though.)

Edit above: "deck" sealing, not "desk" sealing. (I need to get back out there.)

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 04-07-2010 at 12:41 AM.
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