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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-23-2010 04:16 PM
sailortjk1 Welsh,
I use the deck lights only while sitting still: anchored or at the dock.
I too would think they would be a hinderance while underway.
They can be nice tools for seeing a bit better on the deck.
I have also used it at anchor for a few hours to help make us more visible in a strange anchorage but only in addition to our anchor light. Heavy on the amps, but I felt safer.
As far as spotlights, we stick with the $30 hand-held. Easier to use and a lot less expensive when you consider all you would have to do to run power etc. Plus, my wife loves her duty as spot-light navigator. She takes it very seriously.
02-23-2010 12:45 PM
flyingwelshman I've seen many boats with spreader-mounted deck lights. I always wondered how often they get used.
Would they not seriously impair night-vision?
When would you use them.
I anchor out a lot and go up on deck for a cigar (or a whiz) and haven't found that I'm missing anything by not having them.
Are these something that experienced sailors recommend? And if so, why?
I haven't done any night sailing yet - I intend to cross that bridge this summer - so I don't know anything about that aspect of sailing.
As my mast is down and will require some re-wiring before the season, now would be a good time to install these lights if necessary.
02-23-2010 08:39 AM
Mechsmith I use a 5" headlight clipped to the mast when I need it. The only time I use it is when going into the canal or near anchorages when its very dark and I'm motoring.
02-22-2010 07:46 PM
Waltthesalt It appears that nowadays there's a lot of hand held spotlights with lotsa' power. Having one in a convenient cockpit locker seems more practical that having to go to an operating panel for a remote light. A lot more convenient to service as well. The only time I think a remote light would have been handy was going thru the Dismal Swamp at night on the ICW. Instead of spreader lights I use deck level lights in te cockpit and foredeck that are aimed down. This doesn't interfere too much with the helmsman's vision. If I could put in red bulbs that might be even better.
02-12-2010 02:36 PM
XTR 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.
02-10-2010 10:37 AM
Boasun 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.
02-10-2010 08:18 AM
paulk 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.
02-10-2010 06:08 AM
SimonV 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.
02-10-2010 04:14 AM
sigmasailor Good idea, the more technical stuff you ad to the boat the more fun you will have fixing them when they break down.
02-10-2010 02:56 AM
Omatako 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.
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