Saturday, 12 March 2011

Lights, camera, action...

We are really picking up the pace now - but look at that countdown clock ticking away!

So over the last couple of days, but mostly today, the mast lights have all been cleaned, checked, and put back together.. so that's job # 10 done. Being a perfectionist I also checked all the deck lights... just as well I did....

So Papillon has the following lights:
  • A forward combined port and starboard light - see top left - this is pop riveted to a metal plate attached to the pulpit - not working. When we opened it up this was in a hideous state inside, corroded, never going to work. I decided to cut my losses and save the time rewiring the light unit and just buy a new unit... I went for a bog standard one and got it for just over a tenner. We needed a new mounting plate (new one was bigger) but more irritatingly the wiring for this light was very brittle/fragile. The wire is protected/tidied by feeding it up the inside of the pulpit, through the deck underneath one of the supports - suffice to say this wire was stuck solid (looked like sikaflex sealant used to seal the bolts when the pulpit as was attached had also stuck the wire). So I had to take out the two bolts, lift the foot, free the wire, feed through 6", test the voltage (OK), and today we wired up the new light and replaced the two bolts and a seal of fresh sikaflex. Now working but what a faff..
  • Rear white deck level nav light - working.
  • Combined deck light and steaming light halfway up the mast...
    1. Deck light - working
    2. Steaming light - not working, Looks like I'd rewired the plug wrong, a quick adjust got that going again.
  • Mast head combined tricolour and anchor light.. like this..
    Neither of them was working, and originally I thought it was the bulbs as I checked them but couldn't get a glimmer from them using the car battery. Took them into SeaTeach (my local chandler) this morning to get some new ones, but the owner talked himself out of a sale by cleaning the bulb contacts which had become corroded, testing them with a voltmeter, and sending me on my way - what a great bunch they are, always been helpful to me - recommended! So, holder cleaned, plug re-wired, bulbs put back in - all working again.

    Bizarre bulbs by the way - they have an offset pin - they're also 24v bulbs - no idea why! They light up - but they're not exactly the brightest! By the way, those bulbs are a tenner each to buy new!!!!!!!
So out of 6 lights - only two were working... and I still have absolutely no idea why the previous owners fitted so many...

In the UK we have regulations that if you sail at night, then depending on whether your under power (the trusty o/b in my case) or sail, you use different combinations of lights so that another ship will always know what you're doing - the following helps explain my confusion...

So call them columns A, B, C & D going left to right....
  1. Column A doesn't apply as my deck level lights are front and rear, and in the case of the front, combined...
  2. For the same reason the power option in C doesn't apply...
  3. Column D doesn't apply - my deck level nav lights are wired together - when I flick a single switch both come on so I can ignore that one...
  4. Column B is my preferred option - just flick the deck level nav lights on, and add the steaming light if I'm under power - easy - but why also install the mast head tricolour?!
  5. Well you could use it for the sail option in C, but why when you have the alternative option in B?
So she's got too many lights to maintain.... and here's the kicker, Papillon is 19' feet long, that's less than 7 metres, and those regulations above are for boats of less than 12 metres - boats of 7 metres or less doesn't require any navigation lights at all other than a torch!!

"Sailing vessels less than 7 meters may carry an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light to be displayed in sufficient time to prevent collision. If practicable, the lights prescribed for sailing vessels less than 20 meters should be displayed."

Ah well... someone define "practicable" to me.. dog products

While doing that I also finished off the windows... another one bites the dust.

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