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Discussion Starter #1
So it all started when my bow light stopped working. Not getting 12 at the bulb and even more mysterious the power and ground wire are shorted to each other. The breaker doesn't trip so something is really screwed up.

I started at the bow and worked to the aft. Found a splice in the anchor locker had disintegrated and fixed that. Still no 12v to the bulb. When I repaired the splice I noticed that the wire in the anchor locker is Black and Red. According to the manual, I should have a green wire and a black wire. I checked at the switch and sure enough the hot wire is green.

I traced the wiring harness from the distribution panel into the bilge along the starboard side until it gets to compression post, then the wires appear to go up the post.

I cannot find where a splice was made to the green hot wire for the bow light and the existing wire that leads to the bulb.

Has anyone else traced this wiring nightmare and found where the unicorn and the splice are made????? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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The bow light is at the bow? Weird.

I'm willing to be corrected on this, but I believe the "bow light" is the "masthead" light, not the red/green "side light" that might be mounted at the bow. "Bow light" seems to be an unofficial term. Perhaps one of our Chapman's aficionados can set me straight. My switch panel has a "bow light" switch that illuminates the "masthead" light.

But for the OP: It is always confusion and corrosion with boat electrics. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Aloof, Thanks for absolutely nothing. My side lights are mounted at the bow and the distribution panel calls them "Bow Light."

p.s. The masthead light isn't the bow light on my boat, it is the "Masthead/Steaming" Light....take care.
 

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I traced the wiring harness from the distribution panel into the bilge along the starboard side until it gets to compression post, then the wires appear to go up the post.
I was trying to help. The "Bow Light" wires should go up the mast. I would not look in the "Anchor Locker" for "Bow Light" wires. Like I wrote before: Beware confusion and corrosion.
 

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On our 1988 PSC 34 the nav light breakers are labeled "Running Lights" and "Bowlight". "Running Light" gets the red/green lamp at the bow pulpit, the white lamp at the stern pushpit (a red wire for both), and the compass light (a purple wire). "Bowlight" has a green wire that runs into the mast, passes thru a connector there, and goes on as a green wire to the steaming light.


We had ours fail coming off the Matanilla Shoal in the Bahamas headed for the Gulf Stream and the U.S. in 2014. It is in my wife's blog entry for June 27, 2014.
Irish Eyes to the Bahamas
"While Bill was still sleeping, I noticed the red and green sidelights were not working. Not too good. I was keeping track of several ships by eye and radar. They were miles away, but we still needed our lights shining so they could see us. I hated to do it, but I woke Bill. He is not only the Captain but also the fix-it man. Hanging over the bow in the dark and getting a little wet, he found that the wires to the lamp had corroded away. He rigged up some temporary wiring and got the lights working again."
By the way, I got soaked.

The repair story is in this thread on this group.
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/pacific-seacraft/146354-red-green-running-light-wiring.html

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mr. Murdoch thanks for your reply. I think that will help me tremendously. Mr. Aloof. I owe you an apology. After some research today, I realize that you were actually trying to help. Like a couple of responses have indicated, I acted the ass....no excuse, just have to own it. Thank you for your input....perhaps next time I might take some time to consider what is written before I respond. Hope you have a better day....lesson learned on this end. Take care and following winds.
 

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You can also try a tone generator/tracker these goodies put a tone on a wire that you can hear with the tracker. The tracker will tell you about where the line is broken. The cost $25 and up -- get one with alligator clips. you can find them at Amazon, I got mine at Home Depot for ~$50 IIRC.
 

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Absolutely no worries Hush34. I assumed you misread my meaning. Your question reminded me that I have always thought it weird that the Bow Light was not at the bow. Maybe it was found there back in the day of whale oil lamps, long before corrosion of electrical connections was invented.
 

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I much prefer the term "steaming light".
Ya. Steaming light...heh...better but...

"Honey, could you please give a few more shovels of coal to the boiler? The wind seems to be dying."

None of the names are any good. It's not at the masthead. The sidelights are rarely on the sides anymore, however they do indicate a side I suppose.
 

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Sorry to inform you, aloof, but they white light showing towards the bow IS located on masthead, which is officially (according to several dictionaries) the forward part of the mast. The highest point on the mast is the "truck." But I'll agree that a "motoring" or "steaming" light is a whole lot more descriptive. The nav light manufacturers usually call it a masthead light.
 

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My masthead light is the 360 deg white anchor light. My steaming light is on the front of the mast, about half way up. :)

When you get this all sorted out, run new wires, without splices. Pretty sure splices violate some sort of code.
 

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The names of the lights are defined in the Colregs...

—INTERNATIONAL—
Lights and Shapes
Rule 21 Definitions
(a) Masthead light means a white light placed over the fore and aft centerline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225° and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5° abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.
(b) Sidelights means a green light on the starboard side and a red light on the port side each showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 112.5° and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5° abaft the beam on its respective side. In a vessel of less than 20 m in length the sidelights may be combined in one lantern carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel.
(c) Sternlight means a white light placed as nearly as practicable at the stern showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 135° and so fixed as to show the light 67.5° from right aft on each side of the vessel.
(d) Towing light means a yellow light having the same characteristics as the sternlight defined in paragraph (c) of this Rule.
(e) All-round light means a light showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360°.

On My PSC 34 the breaker labeled "Running Lights" gets both the sidelights and sternlight (and compass light), "Bow Light" gets the masthead light, and "Anchor Light" gets the all-round light. I don't have a good picture of my panel, but mine looks pretty much like this one from Yachtworld.



Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 

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My boat has a 12 volt bus near the base of the mast for running lights. All the positive comes from the switches to the bus and get disconnected when the mast comes down. Good place for something to do wrong.
 

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The proper terms, according to COLREGS, are Side Lights, Stern Light, Masthead Light, and Anchor Light.
I've never seen a pleasure boat with its original panel that had them all labeled correctly. Some get them all wrong.
Most commercial vessels have them right, but then most Captains wouldn't stand for having them labeled wrong.
On a pleasure boat it doesn't really matter what they're called as long as the skipper knows which is which and when to use them.

As to the wiring, who knows what some previous owner has done to it. You just have to get in there and sort it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well I got to the bottom of the mystery. I pulled the bow pulpit because the wire running through the forward starboard leg was pretty much destroyed by corrosion. In 1989 PSC did not run tin coated copper strand. Anyway, I ran the new wire and bedded the pulpit stanchions with butyl tape. During the reinstatement, my wife in the anchor locker and me topside we managed to crush the new wire and create a nice short circuit.

In addition to that the flange of the stanchion deformed and cracked as it was corroded too. PSC did such a good job sealing the wire run and bolts that water, thru condensation or that managed to push past the wire where the light is installed is trapped.

Pulled the pulpit again and took it to a welding shop in Edgewater Florida. The guy quoted me $120 for the two corroded and cracked flanges to be removed and replaced...turns out it is going to cost me $200. Anyway, lesson learned about the light labels and official terminology, thanks to Aloof :) and that when tackling a boat project always plan that it will not be a straightforward as you might believe. Still love Hush, our boat, and look forward to many challenging projects.
 
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