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How To Illuminate Mast and Spreaders At Anchor?

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I've seen some really nice, high-end yachts at anchor that have their mast and spars illuminated. It looks majestic, and can make finding your boat from the dinghy after an evening ashore much easier!

Does anyone know how this is done on the "big boats?" If I do it I would like to do so in a neat and workmanship-like way, "yachty," more than "RV-like," if you get my meaning. I might consider something that would have to be deployed when at anchor, but a "fixed" installation is preferable. Naturally, a fixed installation should be rugged, and water and corrosion proof, and not detract from the aesthetics of the yacht.

Thanks,

jv
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,020
Hunter 26 Charleston
I don't see these on too many boats from the 90's or newer but it seems that in the 70's it was really popular to have "deck" lights mounted to the spreaders. I've always thought those were a good idea and wondered why they stopped installing them. I guess they drew too much current and were a pain to replace when they burned out. I had a Balboa 26 with was was essentially auto headlights mounted on the spreader. These were not meant to light up the mast but the deck (and they LIT IT UP).

With modern LED lights that can be tightly focused, -- draw low current -- come in many different colors--- I'm thinking that installing them on your spreaders and aiming them at the mast would accomplish what you are hoping to accomplish. I did a google image search on LED exterior lighting and found some that look attractive...to my eye.

Maybe something like one of these...
1594739756881.png
1594739819983.png
1594739866921.png


With a more rigorous search, I'd think you could find what you are looking for.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,020
Hunter 26 Charleston
BTW: When at anchor, I hang an LED camping lantern from my boom. It has three settings, the lowest of which is a nice warm orange-ish color. I like the way it lights up the cockpit. But I could imagine some LED tracks on my spreaders that would light up the boat at anchor.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I don't see these on too many boats from the 90's or newer but it seems that in the 70's it was really popular to have "deck" lights mounted to the spreaders. I've always thought those were a good idea and wondered why they stopped installing them. I guess they drew too much current and were a pain to replace when they burned out. I had a Balboa 26 with was was essentially auto headlights mounted on the spreader. These were not meant to light up the mast but the deck (and they LIT IT UP).

With modern LED lights that can be tightly focused, -- draw low current -- come in many different colors--- I'm thinking that installing them on your spreaders and aiming them at the mast would accomplish what you are hoping to accomplish. I did a google image search on LED exterior lighting and found some that look attractive...to my eye.

Maybe something like one of these...
View attachment 182356 View attachment 182357 View attachment 182358

With a more rigorous search, I'd think you could find what you are looking for.
Thanks. Yes, I had the sealed-beam spreader lights on my C36, which drew a ton of current, but really did light up the deck at night. My Tartan has a combination steaming and foredeck light; the foredeck light lights up the deck, but not quite as the sealed beams did.

What I'm looking for now are called "up lights," I think. I have seen only one marketed as such, and it's for big yachts, and are about $300 each. They feature a 16° beam angle. They recommend mounting them on top of the spreaders, but don't say anything about the lights that would illuminate the lowest spreaders and mast below that. I imagine one would install a flush mount light in the coach roof.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Common factory option now; blue LEDs seem less 'bug friendly', so you often see white and blue both installed, one for work, one for show. Some solid after market players as well; this outfit in the UK, but you get the idea.


Grand-Soleil-56-Spreader-Lights-Ocean-LED.jpg

Grand-Soleil-56-Underwater-and-Spreader-Lights-Ocean-LED.jpg
 
Last edited:

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
4,309
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
I see them all the time and think they're pretty cool, but I don't know what fixture they use. Defender has these;
Scandvik LED Spreader Light Item #: 701594.
I've seen running lights on the lower spreaders of more and more boats lately (pre C-19) and if I add anything aloft it would probably be those, for motoring.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,020
Hunter 26 Charleston
Common factory option now; blue LEDs seem less 'bug friendly', so you often see white and blue both installed, one for work, one for show. Some solid after market players as well; this outfit in the UK, but you get the idea.


View attachment 182365
View attachment 182366
I've actually been thinking about the blue LED rope lights. On the H26 the hull to deck joint creates a lip with a recess that goes all the way around the boat. You could tuck the rope up in there and it would be completely hidden but it would light up the side of your boat well and should (in theory) make it easier for someone to avoid hitting you at anchor. I know, still have to have the legal anchor light lit but ... it would be cool
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Next off season:
As @rgranger notes, I'm a fan of MarineBeam stuff. And I like the basic functionality of these. But compared to install on the Grand Soleil I posted above, these light look way too aftermarket, and the bulky bracket look tailor-made to snag a halyard. The flush-fit is much nicer; not just ascetically, but functionally.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I think I've found what I want, which are flush mount, waterproof livewell lights, like these:



They are inexpensive and totally waterproof. I would toy with the idea of finding a tap for that thread, and drilling and tapping the spreaders for them. The only thing is I don't think I could bring myself to drill holes in the coach roof or deck!
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I think I've found what I want, which are flush mount, waterproof livewell lights, like these:






They are inexpensive and totally waterproof. I would toy with the idea of finding a tap for that thread, and drilling and tapping the spreaders for them. The only thing is I don't think I could bring myself to drill holes in the coach roof or deck!
Thats a HUGE hole for just a wire. I'd keep looking for a semi-flush mount unit that only runs wire thru the hole, and not the whole body.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,020
Hunter 26 Charleston
Thats a HUGE hole for just a wire. I'd keep looking for a semi-flush mount unit that only runs wire thru the hole, and not the whole body.
I agree. Spreaders endure a lot of compression forces and I would not want to take that much metal out of the column.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Thats a HUGE hole for just a wire. I'd keep looking for a semi-flush mount unit that only runs wire thru the hole, and not the whole body.
Yes, it's a 3/4" hole for most of these.
 
Jan 19, 2010
10,020
Hunter 26 Charleston
Your live-well idea gave me another search term...

Here are some from WM


and some more from a place called Wholesale Marine


... and here is one that is Red-Green-Blue & White

 
Apr 12, 2007
133
Hunter 420 Herrington Harbor South
Anyone else find these "lights" annoying when at the dock? We have them everywhere at all times of the night. Mostly power boaters lighting up decks, hulls, water. Some settle and pleasant others...……………..you can read a book three docks over. Harbor Master gets to the bright ones most of the time. Had a friend/dockmate that had one of these "lights" next to him and all night long blue light in his boat. After several hints to the owner we all got together and confronted him. No more lights on his boat, well at least he didn't turn them on. Sometimes we have to help people be courteous or considerate
 
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