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Completely restoring those old cabin lights with switch, socket, and bulb

Discussion in 'Smaller Boats' started by Hunter A, May 12, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Hunter A

    Hunter A

    Joined May 12, 2017
    5 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 25
    US Madison, MS Jackson Yacht Club
    So I've had my 1987 Catalina 25 for about 8 months now and have done a few small clean up projects and tried buying replacement LED cabin lights from a certain online dealer for our boats but found the mounting holes didn't line up and I was nearly blinded with the super bright white LED's that they used. After some online digging, I've managed to locate the exact switch that the cabin lights housed on ebay, a bayonet single contact bulb socket from memotronics that can replace the current socket size with one small dremel cut, and some soft white LED bulbs sized ba15s which matches #93 replacement bulb size indicated on the sticker of the cabin light. In the next few days, I'll have received everything I need to replace the guts of each cabin light for roughly $15-20 per light and about 30 minutes worth of labor for each light. I'll be providing before, during, and after pictures and links in the coming days if anyone is interested in keeping their factory look like I was since all of my cabin lights' plastic containers were in good shape but the sockets and bulbs had rusted out or broken.

    Thanks!
     


    Larry -- DH likes this.
  2. njlarry

    njlarry

    Joined Sep 23, 2009
    1,112 posts, 65 likes
    O'Day 34-At Last
    US Rock Hall, Md
    I look forward to seeing your pics. The fixtures are likely similar.
    There is something nice about keeping most everything on these good old boats original and in Bristol condition.
     


  3. Hunter A

    Hunter A

    Joined May 12, 2017
    5 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 25
    US Madison, MS Jackson Yacht Club
    njlarry, agree with you completely on the original look! Attaching pictures now. I have everything I need except those switches and the correct sized clamp on terminals for the switch. The first few photos are the original socket with the original incandescent bulb that had corroded and rusted inside of the socket. Unusable really. We want to remove the whole socket so it looks like the third picture to begin.
     

    Attached Files:



  4. Hunter A

    Hunter A

    Joined May 12, 2017
    5 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 25
    US Madison, MS Jackson Yacht Club
    Remove the switch by pulling on the white outer plastic toggle portion of the switch and the switch can then be removed. The socket to be ordered is from memotronics website or found on amazon or ebay. The title on memotronics is "
    Bayonet Bulb Socket BA15s, bracket, thick gauge metal, Flosser 6446, for 1156" $4 part. You'll notice it starts out with three small holes in the base of the bracket. This will need to be slightly modified with a dremel. My method was to hold the original up to the base of the new one using vise grips so the bases lined up with each other on the side closest to the switch, that way you will be trimming off a few millimeters from the opposite side so that it matches the width of the plastic insert in the base of the light.
     

    Attached Files:



  5. Hunter A

    Hunter A

    Joined May 12, 2017
    5 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 25
    US Madison, MS Jackson Yacht Club
    Once you have the base of the new socket to where it will fit in snugly into the plastic base, grab a 6-32 x 3/8 stainless steel machined screw to insert through the largest middle hole of the socket base. This almost perfectly matches up with the hole in the plastic base but may take some maneuvering and the use of a small philips screwdriver. Once the screw is through the hole, flip the light over and add a ring terminal sized 16-14 gauge since our wire is 14 gauge I believe. Top it off with a 6-32 nut. I used a nylon insert lock nut but feel free to use a regular nut if you want. Added the LED bulb to the socket to show how it will sit in the fixture. More pictures to come as soon as I get the new switches in from ebay so I can finish the conversion. Stay tuned!
     

    Attached Files:



  6. Hunter A

    Hunter A

    Joined May 12, 2017
    5 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 25
    US Madison, MS Jackson Yacht Club
    Found these switches on ebay. Believe them to be an exact match!
     

    Attached Files:



  7. njlarry

    njlarry

    Joined Sep 23, 2009
    1,112 posts, 65 likes
    O'Day 34-At Last
    US Rock Hall, Md
    Thanks for the great info. Great step by step guide. I think those leds with the bases would work well with our ceiling fixtures.
     


  8. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    282 posts, 36 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    Thanks for the great step-by-step, Hunter. This sort of stuff is what I come here for. BTW, I love finding stuff on eBay, but you might try Marinebeam or Dr. Led for your bulbs for a better quality product.
     



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