A new take on the old anchor light.

Joined:Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:51 am
A new take on the old anchor light.

Post by patentnick » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:27 pm

Call it a “megayacht syndrome” but I’ve always marvelled at the lit masts of large sailboats at anchor. It wasn’t that I was in a rush to have Moments of Clarity join the big leagues but, truth be told, when you’re approaching an anchorage past midnight it’s the “Christmas tree masts” you notice first rather than the ones who sport a puny anchor light. And whether large or small, making one’s boat as visible as possible is always a good idea, particulaly on moonless nights and/or with city lights in the background competing for your attention.

So, after temporarily attaching a powerful handheld torch on the face of the mast and rowing away in the dinghy to admire the effect, I decided to go ahead with the project. Luckily, half of the work had already been done for me, courtesy of the large ring on the spinnaker pole track car (which would serve as an attachment point) and the hole left from the removal of the ancient boom-furling handle when I switched to a modern Sparcraft boom with slab reefing. The rest was relatively easy: after passing a suitable length of 2X1,5mm wire through the mast hole (which exited through another old hole just above the mast step) I epoxied a waterproof female 12V plug to the opening. Having already sourced a suitable waterproof LED spotlight, the only thing I had to do was to add a stainless steel clip with a butterfly nut to the housing of the light and a male plug at the end of the cable.

I’ve also kept my original anchor light; in fact, both lights run off the same circuit but I’ve installed two separate fuses for extra safety. Power consumption is negligible: 0.1 amps for the original LED anchor light and 0.7 amps for the new spotlight. Interestingly, since the new spotlight points upwards, it doesn’t disturb anyone sleeping below—or even in the cockpit, for that matter.

"Moments of Clarity"
The epoxied female plug.
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The cable from the plug runs through a rubber grommet at the base of the mast...
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...and terminates at another female socket. The top one is for the new spotlight, while the lower services the original anchor light, the steaming light and the deck spotlight.
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I also had to add an extension to the new anchor spotlight's cable.
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The light may not seem powerful when there's still a bit of daylight...
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...but really shines (no pun intended) as darkness falls. This is the back side of the mast.
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And this is the front side of the mast.
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Nicholas Koligiannis
Moments of Clarity
Hull No. 334

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