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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If so, post a photo! Caution - if you have an interesting light scheme, I may plagiarize it for next year!

Here is how Patience was decorated for the recent "Trees in the Rigging" parade in Essex, CT. I've been using the same basic "two trees" design the past few years and adding something new to it each year. This time it was cascading snow effect LED lights. I've never been one to put a lot of lights up on the house, but I can see now how some folks get caught up in the "arms race" to add more lights every year. My challenge going forward will be to add generator / inverter capacity to support all of these lights!

 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Incredible.

I was about to scream "over my dead body" ..... then I saw your pic. That is actually quite impressive. Well done.


Which reminds me nonetheless to adopt my Grinch personna for the next few weeks.
 
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Bravo!
we are mere pikers - We always put a wreath on the pulpit and occasionally run up a set of lights up the head and backstays so we're a bit too embarrassed to join any lighted yacht parade.

You need to part with a couple of your secrets. Are you currently running off of shore power? How do you do all the draping? Are you running multiple power cords? Man, I wish I could do half of what you got going on!
 

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I had solar christmas tree lights in the rigging all year. Not as bright as in the photo. Just enough to be homely... And guide me home. They died and cant find cheap replacements.

For Christmas I just kidnap the supermarket santa and wind him up the mast by his feet. I let him keep his bell. Its makes a lovely setting in the anchorage, and is a great diet for the actor.

:)
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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I had solar christmas tree lights in the rigging all year. Not as bright as in the photo. Just enough to be homely... And guide me home. They died and cant find cheap replacements.

For Christmas I just kidnap the supermarket santa and wind him up the mast by his feet. I let him keep his bell. Its makes a lovely setting in the anchorage, and is a great diet for the actor.

:)
Now that has real possibilities. Santa dangling, Elves strung on the stays, Rudolph on the spit roast and an Angel on the VHF aerial.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You need to part with a couple of your secrets. Are you currently running off of shore power? How do you do all the draping? Are you running multiple power cords? Man, I wish I could do half of what you got going on!
No secrets among fellow sailnetters! I'll answer your questions in the same order as presented:

Patience doesn't have a shore power system. That picture was taken just after we got back to the dock and the engine is still running to power a 1000W inverter (for the mizzen lights) and a small Yamaha 1000W generator is running on the bow for the lights on the main mast. The lights in the picture consume most of my total output of 2000 watts. The inverter is the weak link in the system. It draws more amps than my engine mounted generator can supply to the battery, so it slowly draws the battery down. This year the #1 battery died during the parade and I had to switch to the #2. More / larger generators or more batteries next year!

By draping I assume you're asking how do I make the "tree shape". All you need are tent stakes, lots of 3mm line (buy cheap stuff that stretches), zip ties and spinnaker/whisker/PVC poles. Oh yeah... and lights, lots of lights. How many lights? That's based on the the "P" and "J" dimensions of your rig. The tree branches should fit inside those dimensions (see diagram below):



You'll have to make up four sets of "tree branches" for each tree (mast). Find a big flat piece of ground. Put three tent stakes in the ground in a right triangle pattern based on the P and J dimensions. Stretch the string between the stakes as tight as you can. Now attach the lights to the string using the zip ties in a zig zig pattern using your best second grade tree drawing skills, starting at the upper vertex of the triangle. Make sure the lights end with the male plug end near the adjacent side of the triangle (adjacent, opposite, hypotenuse... remember geometry?)

Now go down to the boat. Rig spinnaker / whisker poles port and starboard. If you don't have actual poles, PVC poles of roughly the same dimensions work just fine. Haul your "tree branches" up on the main and genoa halyards. I put three (forward, port and starboard) on the genoa halyard and the aft branch on the main halyard. On each tree branch, tie off the "adjacent" string tight at the base of the mast and stretch the end of the "hypotenuse" string away from the mast towards the bow / pole end / boom end to form the tree shape.

With respect to power cords, between the "tree" lights, "snow" lights and stars, I've got extension cords running all over the boat. I took all of the cords out of my house and I still ended up making a run to the hardware store for more! I also use plug strips to consolidate the cords where possible.

Here are a couple of videos that show the "snow" LED lights.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bz_Z1ClPPn1RRlNaWW9aUE5HQzQ&usp=sharing

Merry Christmas to All (even the grinches in this thread!)
 

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This is great...thanks for the detailed instructions! I'm not saying I intend to steal your idea but it certainly does give one "food for thought" on how to go about getting a great display on the mast...
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Here is how Patience was decorated for the recent "Trees in the Rigging" parade in Essex, CT.
I think your design is very elegant. Nicely done.

Not sure how to add to what you have done without getting kitschy.

Do you have a triatic stay? Maybe something there to extend the snowfall?
 

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What are "holiday" lights? Thanksgiving, veterans day etc....or do you mean Christmas lights? Is everyone here afraid not to be politically correct? It is what it is, don't be afraid.
Jerry
This is a nice thread. Please don't muck it up. If you want to rant, take it to PRWG.
 

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We did a candle for the flotilla here one year.

 
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