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Old 08-23-2015, 01:47 PM   #1
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Jabsco 146SL searchlights and water intrusion question

My boat came with Jabsco 255SL remote controlled lights, which the previous owners wash and polish crew managed to crack the plastic cases of... not minor cracks, but "case almost falling apart" cracks.

They were supposed to be replaced from the get go but it never happened so I end up stuck with them as they are. Seeing as they cost around $1,100 each I decided to go with two of the smaller 146SL models I found on eBay NOS in box dirt cheap ($175 each !) Exact same mount base, same controls... slightly less candle power (175,000 vs 200,000) is the only difference.

Except it's not the only difference as it turns out. The 255SL has a "lens" that seals the light enclosure from the elements, but the 146SL does not..... allows water in.... but they have a small hole at the lowest point of the case to allow for drainage.

The drainage hole is surprisingly small...maybe 1/8" diameter.

The question is, is this arrangement ok ? Anyone else have the 146SL searchlights and been in hard rain during a cruise ? And what about corrosion of the little motors in there...how long do the motion aspects of these lights last letting water in like that ?
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Old 08-23-2015, 02:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladan View Post
I decided to go with two of the smaller 146SL models I found on eBay NOS in box dirt cheap ($175 each !) Exact same mount base, same controls... slightly less candle power (175,000 vs 200,000) is the only difference.

Except it's not the only difference as it turns out. The 255SL has a "lens" that seals the light enclosure from the elements, but the 146SL does not..... allows water in.... but they have a small hole at the lowest point of the case to allow for drainage.

The drainage hole is surprisingly small...maybe 1/8" diameter.

The question is, is this arrangement ok ? Anyone else have the 146SL searchlights and been in hard rain during a cruise ? And what about corrosion of the little motors in there...how long do the motion aspects of these lights last letting water in like that ?
The Jabsco specs for the 146SL says they are water resistant. Did you get a warranty with them? Perhaps you have bought defective units and they are not really Jabsco. Did they come from China? West Marine has the 146SL but they are almost $500 each.
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Donsan View Post
The Jabsco specs for the 146SL says they are water resistant. Did you get a warranty with them? Perhaps you have bought defective units and they are not really Jabsco. Did they come from China? West Marine has the 146SL but they are almost $500 each.
This is the correct design of that model light. The parts drawing clearly shows there is no lens on the 146 version, whereas it is equally clear there is a lens* for the original lights in its part drawing.

Re the made in China aspect, these arrived in original but old dusty looking boxes so they are probably less likely to be made in China than brand new from WM.

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*FWIW, the "lens" is just a sheet of thin lexan...in theory one could cut out one on a bandsaw and glue to the 146, but the light projects just a bit beyond where it would mount. Not to mention it would need to be removed if a light ever needed to be replaced.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:01 PM   #4
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Have you tried ordering replacement housings for the 255SL?
The upper housing is part number 60016-1000.
The lower housing is part number 60017-1000.
Any Jabsco dealer should be willing to order them for you.

The 146SL was designed without a front lens. I wouldn't add one. Halogen bulbs get pretty hot which may be why it is open in the front.
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