Thursday, August 11, 2011

Installing a new bow light...

Well last summer dad and I took a nice overnight trip to Annapolis. There was a nautical flea market I wanted to visit. It turned out to be a bust, but it was a nice visit and we got to eat at our favorite Eastport eatery, Davis' Pub.

As we were leaving Sunday morning, we stopped for fuel. Last summer, Dad couldn't much leave the cockpit. So he was steering and I was guiding him to the fuel dock.

This worked quite well. Until it came time to leave the dock and we scraped the bow pulpit on the pilings at the dock and, we discovered later, knocked the bow light off.

Yes. That's a very embarrassing story I just told the blog world. But, readers, you needed to know the pain.

Anyway, dad ordered a new light and I taped the wires left from the old light and we forgot about it until the next summer, when I put my foot down. I wanted to sail at night and I needed lights to do it!

Enter my computer nerd boyfriend Greg and my trusty Dad.

Now, please keep in mind that this fix, while completely workable, would get you dinged on a survey because instead of completely re-running the wires, we spliced the new light onto the old wires.

We're rebels like that.

Here's Greg splicing.

I should maybe mention that it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit that day. I hid in the shade under the ramp and held the boat when necessary. I am largely useless when it comes to matters electrical.

The new light was not identical to the old one. It hangs from the forwardmost rail of the pulpit. The old one was mounted to a plate hanging from the aftmost rail if the pulpit (there is a double rail at the top of it). The old plate was welded on. We despaired for a moment of getting it off.

Then I had my sole brilliant moment of that hot, hot day: Why not just hang it and leave the old plate? It looks stupid, but how would we get it off without making the rail look REALLY bad? So we bent it down and the wires from the old light were in position to be spliced to the new light. Dad needed to drill the holes in the new light to make them larger so the wires would fit through.

And then Greg held the lamp to the rail and screwed it in place and spliced together the wires hanging from the light to the wires hanging from the plate.

Yes. There is an exposed splice.

Yes. This is bad for a survey. Weren't you keeping up? I said that already.


Night sailing? Yes please!

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