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akin_alan 02-09-2010 09:36 AM

Remote Spotlight on the masthead.
How hard do you think it would be to mount a remote controled spotlight on the masthead? Might come in handy for working on deck at night. What about, somehow, programing it to rotate 360 degrees pointed at the horizon every five minutes. Would work pretty good for anticollision ehh?

johnshasteen 02-09-2010 09:47 AM

Sounds too complicated. Why don't you just get a down light for your mast from any of the marine stores?, The down light floods the deck with light for working at night.

Siamese 02-09-2010 09:52 AM

Be a good idea to mount a remote controlled, gimballed video cam up there next to it. Feed it to a 50" plasma flat screen mounted under the dodger. No more struggling to see past the genoa.

sailingdog 02-09-2010 09:55 AM

Spreader lights serve the same purpose for working on deck, and are far less expensive and less weight aloft.

As for a rotating white light... most spotlights won't revolve more than once without running into serious problems with the internal wiring. A masthead strobe would be a better idea...and lighter and less expensive.

Omatako 02-10-2010 02:56 AM

I've been thinking about both a rotating spotlight as well as a video camera on the lower spreaders. We're getting a little old for climbing the mast to check bommies/coral heads when we go up to the islands. I reckon an installation up there would be pretty useful.

The rotating lights I've looked at only rotate through 350 degrees so there is no chance of complications with the wiring. It would be a dumb design that just goes round and round.

sigmasailor 02-10-2010 04:14 AM

Good idea, the more technical stuff you ad to the boat the more fun you will have fixing them when they break down.

SimonV 02-10-2010 06:08 AM

Very Very Bad idea, the nav lights on your boat identify its type and size to other vessels in the vicinity. I could only imagine the thoughts going through the other skippers mind as he sees your rotating white light and starts doubting his charts/gps/and compass looking for the headland with the light house on the horizon. If you want to be seen and safe, keep a good watch, have good quality nav lights not some low wattage faded plastic crap. I would recommend ORC Green Tech LEDs best I have ever owned.

paulk 02-10-2010 08:18 AM

Attracting planes and helicopters to land near you with a rotating aero beacon sounds wonderful. If you just mount a spotlight, (so you can shine it on buoys or other boats?) you will need a joystick to adjust the direction, because every time the boat hits a 6" wave, the mast will be moving about three feet, moving the arc of the light about 500'. How many crew do you plan to have aboard? Keeping it shining on the selected target will keep one crew fully occupied. Complaining that they need to aim better will divert another person, full-time. Keeping someone below so their night vision isn't ruined by bright lights, plus having someone at the helm, all adds up to needing at least four people on duty whenever you use the thing. If you only plan to shine it at your own deck, the shadows created with your sails up will create problems (see: complaining about aim). As others have mentioned, it adds weight and complications aloft, where you don't want them. Sails down, it will inevitably shine into the helmsman's eyes. Bright lights on your deck enable you to see your lines and fittings, but make it harder to see into the dark, where you might want to avoid a bulkhead 20' dead ahead. If you must light the midships deck, fixed spreader lights or a fixed spot somewhere on the backstay where it won't chafe the leech would work better. We sail considerably at night and find that no lights, flashlights, or individual headlamps work quite effectively. Our experience indicates that bright deck lights are more of a problem than a solution.

Boasun 02-10-2010 10:37 AM

In "Good Old Boat" magazine, There was an article about mounting a remote light on the bow pulpit forward of the stay. The owner had shaped a piece of marine plywood to fit the bow pulpit with clips and mounted the light on it.
The clips allowed the light to be removed for open waters and remounted when they are in the calmer waters of a harbor. It was a well done article.

XTR 02-12-2010 02:36 PM

One night on a mooring in Sopers Hole some really big loud motor-sailor yacht anchored behind us and was shining a remote on the boats in the anchorage.

First I was sad that I couldn't have firearms in BVI, it would have been an easy shot with a .22 and nobody would have noticed.

Second, I was considering diving their anchor and seeing how well it was attached.

I chose Option 3 and had another couple of Pain Killers and figured fak it, it's only one night.

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