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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Coming from Green Turtle Cay to St Augustine my wife woke me up in the middle of the night to say that the forward running light had gone out. It had a LED bulb in it, but not a problem as I had two incandescent spares. Safety harness on, hanging over the pulpit rail, and getting a bit wet, I swapped bulbs. No Joy. Back on the bow again with a test light touching the contacts in the corroded base, I confirmed no juice. Third trip up in the dark, I cut the wires below the lamp and tested them. No juice there either. Nose in the anchor locker, I cut the wires and the test lamp lit. Somewhere between the anchor locker and the lamp the wire was bad. In my box of junk wire I found enough to run from the red/green light, along the pulpit, and down though the starboard anchor line hawse pipe to meet the wires with 12v in the anchor locker. Another trip to the bow and then into the anchor locker to crimp in the new wire. The red/green light lit. My wife went back to dodging ships, and I went back to sleep.

When we got to St Augustine I got a better look at the problem. The original wires had chafed through where the wires come out of the hole in the bow pulpit. It looked like the metal edge had cut through the insulation and then the sharp stainless steel edge and salt water corrosion had together done a number on the copper. While my current repair will get me home, I need to replace the wire.

I have pulled as hard as I dare on the wire and cannot make it budge. Has anyone here replaced the wiring that is inside the bow or stern pulpits? How did you do it?

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It’s done. The new wire (10 ft, 14 ga, 2 strand) is in the bow pulpit. Everything is finished.

You all were right. There was a big blob of caulking where the old wire left the forward starboard foot of the bow pulpit. That is why I could not get the wire to move. I had to free both forward feet and bend the pulpit up a little to get to the blob. (The bow pulpit itself was full of water. It seems that the only drain is a bad spot in the weld of the aft starboard foot where a streak of rust runs down my deck.) I crimped the two original wires at the lamp together and tied a piece of 1/8” line to them. After squirting a bunch of wire pulling lubricant into the hole at the lamp, I pulled the old wire out and the 1/8” line in. With still more lub, I pulled the new wire through the pulpit. I replaced the caulking blob, caulked the two forward feet, bolted them back to the deck, and added another blob of caulking where the wire comes out of the hole in front of the pulpit. Maybe that blob will keep the water out and also keep the wire from rubbing on the edge of the hole.

It was a whole day job. Both anchor rodes had to come out, and the extension to the anchor locker divider had to be removed so I could wiggle my way up to the bolts for the front feet of the pulpit. Thankfully, I could get under the windlass motor. But there is a plus here; the anchor locker is now clean and spotless. All the sand and turtle grass bits are gone.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 
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