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Old 10-11-2016, 08:36 AM
Gerry Zagorski's Avatar
Gerry Zagorski Gerry Zagorski is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Edison, NJ
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Default Navigation Lights

Getting dark a lot sooner this time of year and many of our after work trips we're coming home at night. Last time out I noticed our white stern running light was out as was our forward facing white mast light so I shot down the boat yesterday to trouble shoot them. Turns out we had some corrosion on the stern light bulb contacts and a wiring issue on the forward facing white mast light so an easy fix.

It's very important to make sure all your navigation lights are in working order and preferably before you leave the dock. If people can't see and or judge the direction you're traveling, it can cause confusion or worse yet, a collision.

The older style incandescent bulbs are prone to corrosion and sometimes all it takes is a little cleaning up of the contacts to bring them back to life. Other times they fail completely which is why it's always good to have spares on board.

A lot people are now switching over to LED navigation lights. There are a lot of benefits to them. They are sealed so the contacts are not prone to corrosion, consume a lot less power so you won't wear down your battery and they are a lot brighter then incandescents.

Our masthead light was shot so we replaced it with LED last year and will probably do the same with the others for peace of mind. If you are replacing them make sure to use water proof heat shrink connectors for the wire splices.

For those of you not familiar with how navigation lights should be configured, here is a helpful graph I found on the west marine site.
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