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Old 05-30-2017, 10:09 PM   #1
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Masthead Spreader Lights Replacement

Hi all,

I am looking to replace my masthead spreader lights with LED lights on a 2005 Mainship 430 aft Cabin trawler with a folding mast. I purchased the LED spreader lights from Defender.com and am pleased with the amount of light. The mounting bracket up correctly, but I have a question with the wiring.

My mast is a folding mast and when I fold it I see various conduits or raceways for the various cables and power. The replacement LEDs have a 20í (or so) lead protected by a durable shroud.

Iím guessing the original lead from the mast head lights goes directly to the power distribution locker in the salon, starboard side aft wall. There does not appear to be any way to access the wire or to replace the wires easily. Iím thinking a splice will have to be sufficient.

Has anyone replaced their masthead lights and where do you make the connection (for sure) with the existing power leads.

Any information is appreciated.

Jim
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:47 PM   #2
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I don't know about a Mainship, but if you splice into the existing wiring and use heat shrink adhesive butt connectors, you should be good. The LEDs will use much less current so the existing wiring should be fine if it is in good condition.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:56 PM   #3
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The wiring for my 430 spreader lights goes down inside the mast to the base and then back up under the flybridge seats to the instrument panel. There is a 12 volt buss under the panel that supplies power to the spreader light switch. If you need to gain access to the base of the mast you need to remove the vertical pole beside the stairs in the cabin. (I'm using "cabin" to avoid the "salon" vs "saloon" controversy)
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:25 AM   #4
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When I replaced my spreader lights, I replaced them with these Chinese LED fog lights.
Work great and at $15 for the pair, can't beat that.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:40 AM   #5
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That looks like a great source, Richard! I noticed last week that my current fishing spreaders are getting some corrosion damage. Those look like great replacements.
Excellent prices. Thanks much!
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:56 PM   #6
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About 6 years ago I replaced mine with LED Optronics "docking lights", my wiring came up inside the mast from the main panel I clipped the wire at the existing lights, which were discarded, and wired on the new ones. The crimped splice connection was pushed inside the hollow spreader arm. They have worked well, giving lots of light with low amp draw.
About $80.00 for the pair at Academy.
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Old 05-31-2017, 09:07 PM   #7
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That looks like a great source, Richard! I noticed last week that my current fishing spreaders are getting some corrosion damage. Those look like great replacements.
Excellent prices. Thanks much!
Your Welcome

Also I added a pair under the bow pulpit pointing down and a bit back. They illuminate the anchor chain quite nicely, so I no longer have to hold a flashlight in one hand.

Since they consume so little, I will also turn them on if I am anchored in a less sheltered place than normal.
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Old 05-31-2017, 09:15 PM   #8
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I've replaced my spreader lights a couple times, the usual failure mode being the wind blowing off the lenses during the winter. The wiring runs through the radar arch and Is protected. Anyway, not liking the prices of the next replacements and their short lifespan, I found some LED light bars made by Senslips that are typically used on offroad vehicles. I've installed one of these and will see how it does this season. I've mounted this light bar to be easily removable for the winter, which will also help.
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Old 05-31-2017, 09:49 PM   #9
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Here's what I installed. https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...ight-15w/3113/
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
I don't know about a Mainship, but if you splice into the existing wiring and use heat shrink adhesive butt connectors, you should be good. The LEDs will use much less current so the existing wiring should be fine if it is in good condition.
agree....a whole lot less work too...
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:32 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. This next weekend, I'll try to trace the speeder lights wires. There are several wires and cables snaking up the inside of the mast. I want to ensure I grab the correct ones! My preference is to replace the wire directly to the bus bar. We'll see how that goes.

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Old 07-24-2017, 09:23 PM   #12
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Lights installed and what a difference they make!

This was not as difficult as I expected. We lowered the mast and took off the radar component. Once we got that out of the way, it was a simple job to splice the wires and get everything operational.

Sometimes, once you get into a project, the solution presents itself to you. You just have to keep an open mind!

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Old 07-24-2017, 10:21 PM   #13
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Good to hear, Jim. When my spreaders are on, I get just the right amount of light scatter on the cockpit below. Not too bright to ruin my night vision and enough light to do simple tasks...like open an IPA.

I'll be interested in what model you installed and what you think about the light scatter on the decks.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:22 PM   #14
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Al,

These are the LED spreader lights I purchased from Defender. Easy to install and the amount of light is really great. I can change the orientation of the light easily and the amount of light has no effect on the visibility of the flybridge or looking forward. Looking aft, you may need sun glasses.

Look at the current draw, however they do attract an immediate and large amount of insects.

Scandvik LED Spreader Light

Jim
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Old 07-25-2017, 11:09 PM   #15
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Holy smokes! I don't need a tanning bed!

I'm used to 400 lumens.
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