Port side Front Navigation Light unreliable


Michael & Robyn
 

Greetings!
Our port side navigation light has been unreliable since years. We switched to LED two month ago. It worked fine while in port. It soon failed underway and after arrival in Antigua it still doesn't work.
In the port side bow locker I see two cables going in the bottom of the stanchion. Only one cable comes out to the navigation light.
Did AMEL splice the cable together in a Y shape in the stanchion such that the second cable would feed the starboard navigation light?
I assume the one cable comes in from the 24 V panel switch. One cable goes over to starboard and the splice feeds the port side light? Has anyone reworked this setup already?
I still have to climb into the starboard locker to follow the second cable.
--
Michael & Robyn

SY RIPPLE SM2K # 417
currently in Jolly Harbour Antigua


sherman.gifford
 

Greetings - both my bow lights were powered through the stbd side - had to replace the port fixture since it had not been properly sealed at some point - so I would not be surprised they are in series like that and may have corroded.  The new LED fixture works great.  Good luck!  
Sherman 
BREVIS SM291



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Michael & Robyn <SY_RIPPLE@...>
Date: 12/19/20 10:22 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Port side Front Navigation Light unreliable

Greetings!
Our port side navigation light has been unreliable since years. We switched to LED two month ago. It worked fine while in port. It soon failed underway and after arrival in Antigua it still doesn't work.
In the port side bow locker I see two cables going in the bottom of the stanchion. Only one cable comes out to the navigation light.
Did AMEL splice the cable together in a Y shape in the stanchion such that the second cable would feed the starboard navigation light?
I assume the one cable comes in from the 24 V panel switch. One cable goes over to starboard and the splice feeds the port side light? Has anyone reworked this setup already?
I still have to climb into the starboard locker to follow the second cable.
--
Michael & Robyn

SY RIPPLE SM2K # 417
currently in Jolly Harbour Antigua


Gary Wells
 

I had to run a new wire through the stanchions and all the way round the pulpit to reach the StarBoard side.  
It was just a bit challenging, but slowly pulling the old wire out with a strong messenger line behind it and then feeding the new wire back through proved to solve the issue completely.
There were two wires entering the port; stanchion separate legs for each light. If you've only one wire going in then it's likely been branched in the stanchion and I can see that might be a potential problem.  Moisture does get in there. 

I did replace Adagio's nav lights with Weems and Plath LED.  It was a very some.swap and they are so much better than the old ones.

Cheers
Gary W., former owner SM 209.


 

This is what Ben Driver wrote when he did this job:
It is absolutely critical you attach very well a strong pull string to the old cable. It must be spliced well and no kinks. Then you go into the port locker and begin pulling. In the beginning, you will need some back and forth motion; that is, you pull a few inches into the locker and then pull back out at the starboard fixture. Once it begins to move freely you can pull all the way through. You will need to pull very hard. Hence the need for a good connection to the old cable. I made it all the way to the opening in the port locker before the wire separated from the old cable. The worse part was over. Since the old cable was now in the rail above the port locker I was able to use a coat hanger with a hook to pull it all the way through." ~ Ben Driver

This is what I recommend:
I recommend using a smaller cable than Amel originally used, especially if you are going to use LED lights. I really like Belden 8760 18 AWG 1 Twisted Pair Shielded Cable and use this for many electrical connections and all electronic connections. I would not use it for a high amperage connection.
Also, make sure the cable you pull is lubricated. Use liquid soap if you do not have Cable Pulling Lubricant. Before you start search YouTube for "Preparing to pull wire" This will give you some hints on how to secure a cable to the pull string. Here is a snippet from my book:
image.png

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 6:54 AM Gary Wells <gary@...> wrote:
I had to run a new wire through the stanchions and all the way round the pulpit to reach the StarBoard side.  
It was just a bit challenging, but slowly pulling the old wire out with a strong messenger line behind it and then feeding the new wire back through proved to solve the issue completely.
There were two wires entering the port; stanchion separate legs for each light. If you've only one wire going in then it's likely been branched in the stanchion and I can see that might be a potential problem.  Moisture does get in there. 

I did replace Adagio's nav lights with Weems and Plath LED.  It was a very some.swap and they are so much better than the old ones.

Cheers
Gary W., former owner SM 209.


Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...>
 

I also had a problem with the Bow Navigation Lights.  I replaced the bulb several times, and then bit the bullet and replaced the wire and installed the 2NM Hella LED set.  All mistakes.
There is a link to the 2NM LED set from Hella, and the 3NM Port light below.

Don't waist your time trying to keep the old bulbs on the bow, they don't last.  

Don't waist your time replacing the bow lights with ANY LIGHT which will have a splice near the front of the bow.  I replaced the 2NM Hella LED set twice now.

So, what to do:
Purchase the Hella Marine 3NM lights with a 3M cable.  Route the cables through the pulpit and splice inside the Port bow lazaretto to the boat cables.  If you have a SM any cable in the front of the boat is now worthless.  If you splice the cable where the sun and salt water can contact the area of the splice it will work GREAT... for about 9 months if you do a really good job.  Then you're back fixing it again.  



Don't buy these:
https://boatsupply.com/hella-marine-naviled-port-starboard-pair-2nm-colored-lens-white-housing/

Do buy these with 3M cable attached and splice in the Port Locker.
https://boatsupply.com/hella-marine-naviled-pro-port-navigation-lamp-3nm-red-lens-white-housing/

I already have the lights aboard Aquarius, just waiting for the second set of 2NM Hella lights to go bad, and then I will change to the 3NM with the 3M attached cables.

Aquarius
SM2K#262
Currently in Thailand on the hard.


Michael & Robyn
 

On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 09:36 AM, CW Bill Rouse wrote:
Preparing to pull wire
Thank y'all for the explanation and the tricks of the trade. I will see whether I can source the Belden cable here in Antigua. Ill report back how it went once I get to the project.
 
--
Michael & Robyn

SY RIPPLE SM2K # 417


 

FYI,

The Belden Cable I recommend is round and is .222" or 5.6mm in diameter. Available on Amazon in 50 foot and 500 foot rolls. I think I bought a 500 foot roll and ran out.
image.png
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 4:47 PM Michael & Robyn <SY_RIPPLE@...> wrote:
On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 09:36 AM, CW Bill Rouse wrote:
Preparing to pull wire
Thank y'all for the explanation and the tricks of the trade. I will see whether I can source the Belden cable here in Antigua. Ill report back how it went once I get to the project.
 
--
Michael & Robyn

SY RIPPLE SM2K # 417


Dan Carlson
 

Hello a few more tips,

I did this job last year.

The backing plate on SM#387 was iron and very corroded from moisture that had run down inside the stanchion.  I had to break and grind enough of the corroded iron first. I still couldn't budge the wire. Went home for Christmas, came back a couple of weeks later and I was able too work the wires out. I took the port side wire out first and then tackled the longer starboard side wire.

Second tip: if you have not replaced your bow locker floors yet, then put a supportive board in there to hold your weight. Or you might be adding that to your list of improvements (I picked up that tip from another SM owner who replaced their wires).

Third tip: if you do run into a frustrating situation then I suggest you to a search in this Amel forum and you will find lots of supportive posts on the project.

Good luck, Daniel Carlson on sv BeBe, SN#387, currently near Great Bird Island, Antigua



On Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 6:47 PM Michael & Robyn <SY_RIPPLE@...> wrote:
On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 09:36 AM, CW Bill Rouse wrote:
Preparing to pull wire
Thank y'all for the explanation and the tricks of the trade. I will see whether I can source the Belden cable here in Antigua. Ill report back how it went once I get to the project.
 
--
Michael & Robyn

SY RIPPLE SM2K # 417


Craig Briggs
 

Hi Dan,
Just a word of caution about the iron backing plate. If you can't remove it completely, you may want to passivate what's left with phosphoric acid to prevent it from swelling up and distorting or even cracking the surrounding fiberglass structure.  I recall that when Bill Rouse owned Bebe he had the backing plates on the engine room supports swell up and damage the grp there. I've had the same issue at one of my aft stanchions where the original GPS antenna cable went through allowing water ingress.  The embedded and rusting backing plate actually cracked the grp gunnel open. At the time, Joel though I must have hit a dock, but, no, it was the backing plate swelling up. Huge force! I also had the same bow light issue as you describe and got just a minor bit of gunnel swelling before I dug it out and passivated what was left. Fingers crossed it doesn't progress, although the grp repair is pretty straightforward.

Best regards, Craig - SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


david bruce
 

Hi all, 

Regarding running lights, our early SN actually has no deck level running lights, mast tricolor only.  I have ordered the lights recommended by Ken, the 3nm LED, and I appreciate the recommendation,( but to anyone interested I would look at Apex Lighting, substantially less $$ that the link Ken provided.) 

My question is if one were doing this job de novo, i.e. no prior lights or wiring, are there any recommendations regarding routing/install, given the problems that it seems many have had with moisture.  I would like the wire in the stanchion and am inclined to simply run two separate leads to the lights, pig tailing somewhere well inside the boat.  I will install the breaker over the door to the forward compartment. 

Are there any other considerations? 

Thank you and happy holidays to all. 

Dave
Liesse
SN006







On Dec 24, 2020, at 7:44 AM, Craig Briggs via groups.io <sangaris@...> wrote:

Hi Dan,
Just a word of caution about the iron backing plate. If you can't remove it completely, you may want to passivate what's left with phosphoric acid to prevent it from swelling up and distorting or even cracking the surrounding fiberglass structure.  I recall that when Bill Rouse owned Bebe he had the backing plates on the engine room supports swell up and damage the grp there. I've had the same issue at one of my aft stanchions where the original GPS antenna cable went through allowing water ingress.  The embedded and rusting backing plate actually cracked the grp gunnel open. At the time, Joel though I must have hit a dock, but, no, it was the backing plate swelling up. Huge force! I also had the same bow light issue as you describe and got just a minor bit of gunnel swelling before I dug it out and passivated what was left. Fingers crossed it doesn't progress, although the grp repair is pretty straightforward.

Best regards, Craig - SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Craig Briggs
 

Hi Dave on Liesse,
Frankly, your mast head lights seem an excellent (original AMEL) choice all by themselves, but if you want deck level lights too the wires of our AMEL installed lights (SN68) were run up inside each side's bow pulpit tubes (not around the bow, as on the SM's) with a branch wire from the port side over to the starboard side on the underside of the deck lockers.

There is a hole in the gunnel under the aft-most bow pulpit stanchion on each side that goes through the carbon steel backing plate that is embedded in the grp gunnel.  That's the plate that can corrode, expand and distort/crack the grp if any moisture gets in down the wire.

The wire then exits through a hole in the bow pulpit tube just below the lower cross member and goes to the bow light fixture that is mounted on a thin stainless steel plate welded to the pulpit tubes (port and starboard, of course). Slather the holes with silicone to keep any water from running down the wire. I can send a picture if you wish - just ask.

Perhaps the advantage of the SM version discussed in this thread is there is only one hole through the port side bow pulpit base, with the crossover wire to the port side being fished through the tubing (with some difficulty). The SN installation with the wires crossing over inside the bow lockers is easier but does have two holes in the (port and starboard) stanchion bases.

Merry Christmas, Craig - SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Ian Park
 

Criag, Dave,
My Santorin (96) did not have deck lights or a steaming light fitted when it was built. So I have a single port/starboard unit clamped on the front of the pulpit. The  wires are cable tied to the pulpit and to through the deck. I would like to change to two separate lights as the single one right on the front interferes a little with the use of the ballooner with the potential of causing a rip!
I retrofitted a deck/steaming light. Talking to Amel they said that when built (1994) only masthead lights were required. I'd be interested if there was a date when this changed, and did it apply to the SM or did their extra size warrant deck lights at an earlier date?I

Ian
Ocean Hobo SN96  Happy Christmas


Craig Briggs
 

Hi Ian,
Interesting. We're 1992 built Hull 68 - I've assumed it was an Amel installation as the holes in the bottom of the stanchion bases and the holes where the wire exits the tubing are identical to that in the aft stanchion where they ran the wire for the GPS. And all the bedding compound looked original. There is no hole through the deck other than directly under the stanchion bases.

Merry Christmas,--
SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL