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Old 07-10-2016, 10:19 PM   #1
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Spotlight on Mast

Early planning stage for a new mast. I want to install a spotlight up there, along with the other electronics.

The previous sea ray we had one on the bow. I would use it periodically for docking at night and to look at things in the water.

This new spotlight will be above the boat on the mast. I know this is common but I am curious to get input as to how the spotlight will aluminate from an elevated position by others who have one up there.

Also, I am potentially looking at installing wireless light such as shown below.

if anyone has any good spot lights they can recommend, wireless or hardwired I would appreciate the input . I want to spend the money to get a solid system that will last for at least 7 to 10 years in the elements
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:32 PM   #2
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Make sure that if it is behind your steering stations it has a good shadow guard below it so it can't illuminate your foredeck area.

Most control by wire spotlights I find pretty useless except to leave in a fixed position to run the ICW fast at night to pick out dayboards...and that is in an area where I know to expect the next one.

I prefer manual spots and a good handheld one.

Cant really recommend as many just dissapoint, but go-lights are inexpensive and seem to perform as well as high priced ones, ACR used to have a twin beam that was very bright...but I would have to research to see if any LED spots have taken over.
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:40 PM   #3
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The spotlight would be on the mast about the hard top above the helm station. I have never seen a shadow guard before. Can you be more specific? Or do you have a picture you can refer me to?

Regarding the wireless that is good to know. I am still suspect of using wireless for anything on a boat but I was curious if others were using this type of application
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Make sure that if it is behind your steering stations it has a good shadow guard below it so it can't illuminate your foredeck area.
Vey important, if the light reflects of your foredeck, your night vision will be affected. It can be a simple flat piece of metal sheet, between the light and whatever the base is you mount the light to, extending forward enough to shield the beam from illuminating the deck.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:04 PM   #5
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ACR has come out with an LED version of the light Psneeld recommended.
https://www.acrartex.com/products/ca....1qfQ3OF0.dpbs
They have been making the mechanical part of this light for many years so it's pretty reliable. I don't know the price but I'm sure it isn't as cheap as the Marinco in your post.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:13 PM   #6
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Good point on the night vision, and that was one of my concerns with having the light mounted above the hard top, as opposed to the bow.


I would like to avoid a sheet metal, block. I mainly use the light for night docking, to see the finger of the slip.


With these new, narrow band, high intensity fancy LED's as shown, I am thinking the lights beam can be focused on a target in front of the boat, without too much interference to the fore deck and affecting night vision? Wishful thinking?
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:31 PM   #7
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The flat key pads ACR used to have were OK but if screwed to an uneven surface, the circuit board in them would crack and drive everyone nuts.

The basic light was nice....but like many spotlights pre-LED, the bulbs never lasted long.
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fletcher500 View Post
With these new, narrow band, high intensity fancy LED's as shown, I am thinking the lights beam can be focused on a target in front of the boat, without too much interference to the fore deck and affecting night vision? Wishful thinking?
Fletch, you might be able to, depending on the beam definition and degree of scatter. I found it difficult to get those kind of details on most lights.

A friend of mine who worked with the California Dept of Transportation (CalTrans) in signage and lighting has great experience with state-of-the-art tech LED lighting, lenses and power supplies. He put together a custom built flashlight for me that is dangerously bright and focused. He cautioned me never to point it at anyone's face. It's a 2 D cell Maglight with new convex lens, reflector, power supply, LED, battery pack and recharging jack. I've never seen a flashlight that can hold a candle to it. (pun intended) I can use it out my stbd door of from the FB without illuminating the foredeck.

There are many new flashlights out there that might provide better focused lighting than the "flood lights". My aft facing spreader lights are LED floods that have a very significant amount of scattered light by design. I'd never want to point them forward for docking, though.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I would prefer to mount the light above, as opposed to a handheld because I sometimes run the boat solo at night.

But I will continue to look into the various options
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:35 PM   #10
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Fletch, you might be able to, depending on the beam definition and degree of scatter. I found it difficult to get those kind of details on most lights.

A friend of mine who worked with the California Dept of Transportation (CalTrans) in signage and lighting has great experience with state-of-the-art tech LED lighting, lenses and power supplies. He put together a custom built flashlight for me that is dangerously bright and focused. He cautioned me never to point it at anyone's face. It's a 2 D cell Maglight with new convex lens, reflector, power supply, LED, battery pack and recharging jack. I've never seen a flashlight that can hold a candle to it. (pun intended) I can use it out my stbd door of from the FB without illuminating the foredeck.

There are many new flashlights out there that might provide better focused lighting than the "flood lights". My aft facing spreader lights are LED floods that have a very significant amount of scattered light by design. I'd never want to point them forward for docking, though.
These are fantastic. So is the smaller version. I'd suggest the OP contact this company for advice on his original request. I'd also beg him not use a spotlight when there are other boats around, they are a safety hazard.

https://store.marinebeam.com/marineb...t-illuminator/
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:54 PM   #11
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Here's what I see happening with that mounted on the mast. You're coming into a dock at night. You're going slow and the boat is constantly moving as you get near the dock/mooring/etc.


Because the boat is moving you're constantly having to switch your attention and your hands between the wheel and the spotlight controls. Just about the time you get the spotlight focused and aimed at the dock you run into the dock because you were paying attention to the damn spotlight.


I've have 2 spotlights on my current boat and on my prior two boats. I thought they were the biggest waste of money ever on a boat. For about $25 you can buy a million candlepower, hand held spotlight that is rechargeable. The beauty of those is when you pick it up it's just a natural movement to point it where you want it to go. No fumbling for the controls, no worry about where it's aimed, you just point and pull the trigger.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:30 PM   #12
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I don't intend to be running down the fairway with this light in full blast.

The previous boat I had had a bow light. I would literally turned it on 40 feet from the dock just to illuminate the finger edge on a dark night. It never quired any manipulation.

This new mast will get a new radar, Flir, And other gadgets. So I like the idea of having a light up there for emergency use as well on the open ocean.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:37 PM   #13
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It is all what you get used to...

Fixing a light in a particular position can be incredibly useful for several reasons. Thus my affinity for a manual over auto (in case a precise, guick adjustment is required).

And that applies to docking or running sometimes.

Yes you have to watch for traffic...I needed it for a 20 knot cruise on the familiar areas of the ICW...but I could live with a handheld for my 6 knot trawler in new places.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:44 PM   #14
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Old 07-16-2016, 04:19 PM   #15
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This light looks solid, thanks for the tip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
ACR has come out with an LED version of the light Psneeld recommended.
https://www.acrartex.com/products/ca....1qfQ3OF0.dpbs
They have been making the mechanical part of this light for many years so it's pretty reliable. I don't know the price but I'm sure it isn't as cheap as the Marinco in your post.
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:56 PM   #16
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If you want a bright flashlight for any purpose... talk to Tod at Illumination Gear.com

illuminationGear | illumination Gear

Here is an LED light that has a belt mounted power pack and puts out 5200 lumens from a hand held spotlight.

http://www.illuminationgear.com/Spor...0L9BATPACK.htm

Be very cautious of most manufacturer's / vendors claims of Lumen output. Lots of things change with LEDS. Some straight out lie about their output, others use the LED output specs. The front glass drops the output. Some better lights have better glass and higher outputs.

I have never been disappointed with an Eagletac light. All my flashlights use 18650 batteries since they have 3.6 amps of power and have quick recharge, with a thousand or so recharge cycles. If you want to make it float, get a pool noodle from Walmart (with a hole in the middle) and cut off a section as long as the flashlight. Push the flashlight into the noodle hole and it will keep it from getting lost overboard.

Stu

PS: not connected or related to Tod. Just another one of his happy customers.
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