Installing a bow floodlight - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 22 Old 03-17-2013 Thread Starter
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Installing a bow floodlight

hello/hola

any suggestions or tips on installing a bow exterior floodlight
I have a waterproof circular light approx 6" with one small bolt bracket

I had the idea to install it about a foot up the mast shining forward
however there is the obvious concerns of it being in the way of things!
mainly the 150% Genoa, though I tested the clearance and the sail blows back and forth about a foot off the deck

also, a possible location could be just forward of the forward hatch- thru bolded from below via the deck
this brings concerns of having something sticking up... and/or having to drill thru the deck to mount it

scrap the whole idea?

thanks ahead
-JD
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-17-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

Some time ago I saw an article about a guy that mounted a remote control spotlight on a piece of starboard. He mounted two clamps with wingnuts to the bottom of the starboard, which he clamped to the bow pulpit. When needed, he would quickly mount the starboard to the pulpit, and plug in the spotlight to a 12V outlet in the V berth. When not needed, he stored below.
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post #3 of 22 Old 03-17-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

I think that a powerful light mounted to the mast is going to illuminate/reflect the foredeck too much and make if difficult to see past.
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

If it is not remote control, I would imagine the beam would never really be where you need it. I would just go with a bazzilion candle power flashlight.

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post #5 of 22 Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

A foot up the mast will get you major reflection on the bow pulpit as well as aplace for the sail to catch and a wiring issue.

If its a neccessity for you I like ehrlilys scenario. Why to you want to do this by the way?

dave


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post #6 of 22 Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

Ironically, a big bright white light will ruin your night vision. There is certainly a place for needing one, but if you can manage without it by moon or ambient shore light, you're better off.
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

I agree with eherlily, something removeable off the bow pulpit. A sailboat takes too much water over the bow for anything permanently mounted versus the typical motor vessel that generally has it pretty high off the foredeck.

I would look into premanently mounting a piece of thick starboard (or teak... depends on what look you want) which can also be a great little seat. We have been wanting to do this for a while, just has not made it out of the bucket list yet. The have the light mounted under the board which can be removeable. You will know ahead of time when you will need it and can prepare appropriately.

If you have a windlass, you can pull power off of that. I doubt you will want to run a long cord to it because of the large wiring and potential voltage loss you will incur. Maybe pull something out of the forward cabin if you can still close the hatch?? You will need a convenient way to turn it on/off so you don't blind approaching boaters. I would still just keep it simple though. I guess if you want to make it a bit more complicated, you could always rig a relay with switch in the cockpit??? So you know, I recently saw a 1 mil candlepower LED spot light which was a low draw (compared to incadescents/halogens).

As a long term resident of Fort Myers Beach (I even owned a house right off Cattle Point in the Cape on the water), I completely understand where you are coming from. THe waterways are very narrow from cabbage key to Fort Myers, including the dreaded miserable mile which is totally unforgiving. THe use of a spot light inevitably kills your night vision if it hits any rigging... which was mentioned earlier in this thread. I agree with the other posters that I would not put it anywhere it could hit rigging.

Brian

PS I am in the mooring field in FMB right now. Are you in FMB or Fort Myers?

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post #8 of 22 Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

I see quite a few sailboats with permanently mounted spot lights on the bow, seems like practically every boat from Alaska has one (or more). Most are mounted on the pulpit in a variety of ways, the most popular seems to be the teak or starboard platform mentioned above. Makes a lot of sense here in the northern latitudes if you do a lot of boating during the dark months. I would use a remote controlled light that you can pan from side to side and up and down as needed, that is what we have on our power boat and it's invaluable on a dark rainy night. Installation is pretty straightforward, doesn't require a lot of power and the control is waterproof so you can mount it in the cockpit. There are some low profile designs and I think I would make a cage over it to prevent lines from snagging it.

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post #9 of 22 Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Some time ago I saw an article about a guy that mounted a remote control spotlight on a piece of starboard. He mounted two clamps with wingnuts to the bottom of the starboard, which he clamped to the bow pulpit. When needed, he would quickly mount the starboard to the pulpit, and plug in the spotlight to a 12V outlet in the V berth. When not needed, he stored below.
I have a similar set up and it works just fine. My son gave me a remote controlled light one Christmas. I mounted a 12v socket in the anchor locker. I found a ss mount at a truck stop that is designed for mounting an antenna on the side mirror. It clamps to my bow rail with two bolts. I mounted it on a fg panel and when I want to "light things up" it is great. It is stowed when not in use. A hand held remote allows me to aim it from the helm and it is out front where no reflections from the boat are created. It sure makes spotting lobster pots easier when motoring home in the dark. It is great for letting another boat know you are there, too.

Down
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Last edited by downeast450; 03-19-2013 at 04:46 PM.
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post #10 of 22 Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Installing a bow floodlight

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Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
.....It sure makes spotting lobster pots easier when motoring home in the dark....
That is my number one concern in the dark. I'm sure I can miss other boats and hard things, but those pots can sometime get past you at noon.


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