Join Date: Apr 2006
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Bob, I had a similar problem once. After we'd done a gut rewiring of almost the entire boat...it turned out some idiot PO had run the binnacle lighting by extending the wires with HOUSEHOLD ZIP CORD TWISTED AND TAPED in the space above the fuel tank. All the other work had disturbed the, ah, highly secure twisted wires and rotted tape and the wires simply came apart.
So if I may suggest, before you even look for burned-out bulbs in there, trace the wiring out from the binnacle back to a power switch and source.
As to bulbs burning out...if you do replace any, try to order "instrumentation" bulbs from an electronics house. They cost more than Radio Shack, they aren't as bright as ordinary bulbs, but they are built with extra-robust filaments and designed to run for many many years without burning out. Very different from the "flashlight" grade you find in stores, and the cheap stuff found in many auto chains.