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i'm thinking of replacing my mast steaming light with one of these allied signal steaming/foredeck lights. looking online, the documents say it takes 2/3 wires. would that mean one load wire for the steaming, one load for the foredeck and a common neutral and they would be controlled by different breakers? or is it on one breaker and the whole thing comes on all at once. i currently i only have 2 wires up the mast.
 

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i'm thinking of replacing my mast steaming light with one of these allied signal steaming/foredeck lights. looking online, the documents say it takes 2/3 wires. would that mean one load wire for the steaming, one load for the foredeck and a common neutral and they would be controlled by different breakers? or is it on one breaker and the whole thing comes on all at once. i currently i only have 2 wires up the mast.
Except that this is DC, so there is no "neutral", as you suggest these fixtures use two positive, separately switched wires (one per bulb) and use a common negative ground.

It seems you will need to pull in a new cable or add a wire.
 

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W...

I have that light too.

The one common is the negative, then I have one switch for the deck light and another one for the forward light.

But in my previous boat, I had only 2 wires, and both lights were on all times.
 

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Using the mast as your ground you could use the two existing wires as your positive leads.
 

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If your two current wires are for your anchor lite then you will have to pull at least 2 more wires and use a common ground, four wires in all.
 

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How long is your boat??
 

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That particular light fixture can be wired so as to require only two wires to work either light.
Howard Keiper
Berkeley
 

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Using the mast as your ground you could use the two existing wires as your positive leads.
No No No!!! Never use your mast as a ground except maybe for a lightening protection system)

Run new wire. 3 conductor is fine. Common ground and 1 pos for each light switched separately somewhere. You don't want them both coming on at the same time, But you also don't need a separate breaker. Just two toggle switches.

Here is what the most basic schematic should look like for a fixture like that (fuse or breaker should be sized based on the instructions for the fixture):



If space is a limiting factor (like on my panel, didn't feel like re-engineering the whole thing) when I needed more switches I ended up putting things like the tricolor and bow lights, and anchor and steaming light on the same double position (SPDT) toggle switch, center being off, since you would never have the anchor & steaming light, or the bow & tricolor on at the same time. However the deck light is not a navigation light, therefore you should be able to operate it completely independent of any other lights on the mast.
 

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I'd agree that you shouldn't be using your mast as a ground. It can cause some serious problems with current induced galvanic erosion on underwater parts.

I have that same fixture installed on my boat, and it should be fine for yours.
 

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You can make either light work with only two wires, some diodes and a double pole double throw switch
True, but as Sailboy21 says, "However the deck light is not a navigation light, therefore you should be able to operate it completely independent of any other lights on the mast."

So the diodes with 2 exesting wires will do if he doesn't want to do any re-wiring. Running some 3 conductor wire would be better to allow use of the deck light while steaming. (Or to allow use of the decklight while sailing, if he uses a 1-diode method for a choice of "steaming" or "both".)
 

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is there any problem for those of us who can't really run new wiring due to logistics/time, etc., to run it so that the deck & steaming light are both on at all times when it's switched on?

Obviously when sailing you can't then properly use the deck light ...

But is there a regulatory or safety problem/issue with having both on when underway under power?

Thanks,
Jon
 

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On a really dark night the foredeck light would not help your night vision in my opinion.
 
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