Sunday, April 8, 2007

See The Light (Part 2)

Stern light, 4/8/2007

In the fall, I installed a new combination masthead / all-round light, so that I could illuminate only the forward-facing portion (the masthead) while piloting at night. This setup requires a separate stern light, which I finally installed just before spring launch.

I ran the wiring for the stern light back in December while working on the cockpit courtesy lights, so most of this project was already done. I picked up an Aqua-signal Series 20 stern light (which matches the currently installed sidelights), and installed it on the transom. The transom is solid fiberglass, not cored, so simple screws weren't going to work very well. I had to drill through the transom to run the wires anyway, so I thru-bolted the light with 2.5" #6 stainless machine screws. On the inside, the nuts are under the gunwale anyway, so they don't affect the interior appearance. For a change, I managed to drill the holes without any serious fiberglass chipping. I put painter's tape over both sides (inside and outside), and drilled through from the outside. I scored the holes with the drill in reverse first, and then ran it forward to finish the holes. The inside chipped slightly when the drill went through, but nothing serious.

To finish the navigation lights project, I inspected the sidelights which needed a little maintenance. Both lenses needed cleaning, and the teak fairing block on the port side was cracked, so I repaired it with epoxy. I also picked up a spare bulb and added it to my emergency kit.

Now I can hardly wait for an opportunity to be out on the bay after dark. It's a completely different experience, and one that I loved in Seattle, so I'm looking forward to the bay at night!

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