Navigation Lights Complete

Well, that is except for the transom light.  I couldn’t find a great place for a transom light, so I’m going to resort to using an LED flashlight velcro’d to the handle on the motor cover.  I don’t plan on motoring after dark very often, so I think this low tech solution will work just fine.  I’d rather attached the flashlight when needed than screw up the look of the transom by installing a light in an awkward location.

Take a look:

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These are LED bow navigation lights.  All the wiring is concealed and out of the way.

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I ran positive and negative back to the battery, through a toggle switch for easy on/off.  The wires running straight up go to the battery charger.  The black devise against the bulkhead is a 12V receptacle for charging mobile devices.  The charge cords will run under the bunk, up to the night stands and then plug into the electronic devices.  

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I mounted the navigation light toggle switch in the cabin isle way.  

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I purchased a Marinco battery charger from West Marine to keep my AGM battery topped off.  You can also see the quick disconnect for easy attachment.   

Summary:

I had a lot of fun soldering wires and learning a little bit about electricity during this project.  I’ve never done any of this type of work before.  It felt good to successfully wire up the lights and 12V receptacle even thought it’s such a simple job.  

Up next…the mounting of bow and stern cleats and chocks.  

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Wiring Navigation Lights

I seem to be waiting a lot lately for different reasons.  First, West Marine sent me the wrong hinges for my boarding ladder, so I re-ordered.  New hinges arrived…they’re also wrong (I got sent the exact same pair as the first order, both of which are wrong).   Then I changed the design of the motor cover, this too required different hinges…still waiting for these.   Then, I decided to add another transom Navigation light…still waiting for this light as well.

But, I did get out in the shop to solder the bow lights together today.  This was especially fun soldering is totally new to me.  In the past, I’ve never been very successful trying to solder, but I’ve never had the right tools to do the job.  After watching a few Youtube videos, I decided to buy the needed tools and try my hand, again.  It went very well and exactly how I had hoped.  You know it’s a good connection when you can’t break it apart by pulling.  And, it was a ton of fun.

Check it out:

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I had previously drilled holes through the stem for Nav lights.  Now, these predrilled holes made my life a lot easier.  The wiring, once connected, runs down the middle of the stem, under the bow floor, then back under the bunks to the battery.  

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I used a small alligator stand with clips to hold the wires.  I soldered the wires and then sliped heat tubing over the joint to seal it.  

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The Sea Dog LED lights look great mounted to the stem.  They’re actually green and red LED lights as opposed to colored lenses.  I ordered them from DuckWorks.  

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I ran the wiring under the Port bunk by drilling holes through the bunk supports.  This keeps the wire up high and out of the way.

Summary:

Once I receive the additional stern light, I can finish up the wiring and connect all to the battery.  I plan to run the positive side through a toggle switch for easy on and off.  

Battery Cable Hookup

After building a boat by hand, you’re not about to let someone else hook up you steering and battery cables, at least I wasn’t.

Here’s what I came up with:

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The battery is located per plans, under the port aft storage bunk.  I sized the battery to start the motor only as I’m not planning on using a CB radio or connecting interior lights.   I taped off the exposed portion of the terminal ends and used zip ties to keep things neat.  The battery is secured using 1″ webbing to stainless pad eyes.  I turned the battery aft so the cables wouldn’t get hung up in other gear.  They exit the bunk compartment through a 7/8″ hole.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove, you see the battery cables running aft under the leg support…

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Under the cockpit seating, then secured up out of the way using 3/8″ clips screwed into cleating.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used zip ties to keep things neat.

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Electrical wires from both the throttle controller and battery come up into the motor well through one hole.  This hole also accomodates the gas line from the 6 gallon tank below.  Unlike the other cables, electrical cabling can be run out of sight.  This keeps the boat looking tidy.

You might wonder if the hole through the motor well increases the chance for water intrusion.  Say for example, a wave were to come over the transom.  If this becomes an issue, I’ll seal the hole with silicon.  But remember, the floor to the motor well slopes aft (towards the drain hole), so I really don’t think it’s a big deal.  I also plan to have a motor cover over this area to keep out rain water.

Now I need to install my navigation lights and connect to the battery.