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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Spreader lights: One or two?
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Thread: Spreader lights: One or two? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-25-2007 09:07 AM
foxglove
Forget it

I'v had spreader lights on my 323 Pearson and for 25 years, the only time i used them, they destroyed my night vision. A flashlight is all I need unless I find myself on a ball in a hurricane.
05-25-2007 12:07 AM
pirateofcapeann Quite a few years back, we were in Plum Island Sound, doing a few days of exploring and birding in the estuary and taking a brake from the offshore stuff. We picked up a mooring (with permission) close to the west shore of the island, in sort of a little cove. I heard a weather report that foretold of a front that was going to pass through with high winds and rain expected to last for around 24-36 hours. I thought nothing of it as I felt we were safe inside the estuary, totally land-locked. We’d just hang out and do what we did below.
fficeffice" />>>
When it hit, it came from the north. I’ve never been in anything like that before! We had no options, no place to run! 50 knot winds kicked up 5 and 6 foot seas even in there! As the tide ebbed, we found that we were inside the breaker line and when the current turned to flood, we were pulled stern-too the oncoming seas! She’d pull up, beam-too with the current, getting washed in the breakers, then she’d straighten out and catch the next wave and surf down it until she SLAMMED into the mooring line! Then she’d whip around and start that horrible ride over again and again and again.
>>
Something was going to give. It was only a matter of time. I was keeping a radio vigil with the Coast Guard, reporting every half hour. A rescue couldn’t be affected until morning but if she parted off we’d be on the beach in a hurry and if it happened in the dark, I doubt we would have made it. I weighed my options. Not knowing the remaining strength of the mooring I couldn’t rely on it to hold much longer. I’d have to get my storm anchor out and set it as far to windward as possible. That meant deploying it off the stern when she was at the apex of her travel in the current. In the same fashion, I’d deploy the #1 anchor after she snapped around against the mooring. With any luck, I could keep her from dancing around.
>>
It was blowing hard from the north and pouring rain in sheets but at least it was relatively warm. I’d do this operation in the buff so I wouldn’t be encumbered with getting clothing snagged on anything and I opted to not use a harness ( I know, I know ) as I was going to be messing around with a lot of cordage and didn’t want to toss another into the mix to fowl up. She was dancing like a bucking-bronco but I’d have to rely on my “sea legs” to keep me aboard. It was around 2 AM.
>>
I hit the switch for the spreader lights and right away the port side light blew out! Bink! As I made the deck, the rain and spray and the roar of the wind and seas assaulted me! The waves, unseen broke over her, and me. I looked down at my wife and thought this may be the last time I ever see her, and closed the hatch. I have never been so scared in my entire life, before nor since! My entire world consisted of nothing more then a 28 foot wooden deck eerily lit by that single spreader light, surrounded by the blackest black void there ever was! Action is the best cure for fear and so I set out and followed my plan to the letter, praying that the starboard spreader light would stay lit!
>>
Fortunately my plan was a success. It took better then an hour but I was able to set both hooks and keep her from riding up and surfing back. At daybreak the tide was high and the breakers had receded closer to the beach and when the tide started to ebb, coming on the bow and keeping us a bit more stable, a rescue boat was able to reach us and get us off. With the winds and sea state still high, moving her in those tight quarters was out of the question, so she’d have to hold herself for one more night, alone, which I’m happy to say, she did.
>>
The moral of the story: Yea, TWO spreader lights!
05-24-2007 11:59 PM
essman Nobody uses matches anymore???????
05-24-2007 06:49 PM
tenuki
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel73
We decided to go with the steaming/deck combo light which mounts on the center of the mast.

A friend of mine has one of those, really lights up the deck nice. However... I prefer just working in the dark instead of losing my night vision. My rigging knife has a small red map light on it for close work.

05-24-2007 06:44 PM
tenuki I use a portable model of light, that way the dual lights point exactly at what I'm working on:



Get yours at satan.com
05-24-2007 05:44 PM
Cruisingdad Just a comment: It would seem logical that you have to have two: one for forward and one to light up the center/aft/cockpit. However, there are times when you turn on the deck light you do not want it shinning on you. An example would be when weighing anchor at night (to keep your night vision) or when offshore and checking the rigging (so anyone down below can sleep).

When offshore (hell, forget offshore... an mile off the coast), your eyes are so accusted to the cave-like darkness that just a forward facing deck light will see like the sun came out.

I prefer a forward facing deck light with a seperate (red preferably, both red and white if you can) lights in the cockpit (IN the cocpit).

Just my thoughts.

- CD

PS Giu told you that product is junk, so take it back. You do not want to start drilling holes twice and you SURE don't want to go up that stick twice. Take it back and buy the good stuff.
05-24-2007 03:32 PM
TrueBlue Here's a cropped photo of the mizzen decklight, with a sealed lamp -



Both mainmast and mizzen decklights are in horizontal alignment, replacing spreader lights.


05-24-2007 03:30 PM
Joel73
combo light

We decided to go with the steaming/deck combo light which mounts on the center of the mast. I've never had a deck light and hope that this will be ok. One thing's for sure... it will be more light than the flashlight i was using before!

This one:
05-24-2007 02:58 PM
Giulietta
Quote:
Originally Posted by groundhog
I'm afraid I have purchased the swivel lights. I guess I will take some precautions and goop up the swivel holes once I position them. I purchased the LED versions.

groundhog
Are they the same as i mentioned?? If they are, go back, and return them, if you can. Mine were filled with sikaflex and still water got in. The metal expands with heat from the light. Get the non swivel ones, the hole is on the side and if you loop the wire forming a U before it enters the light water will not get in.

I forgot to tell you I also have a another light forward in the mast, pointing down in to foredeck.
05-24-2007 02:50 PM
groundhog Hmmmm...
dancing girls... are these naked or clothed dancing girls?
....now back to my ugly reality.

I'm afraid I have purchased the swivel lights. I guess I will take some precautions and goop up the swivel holes once I position them. I purchased the LED versions.

groundhog
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