Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Replacement Navigation Light Lenses

--Blog post written by Bob

All boats must have navigation lights.  They vary in arrangement depending on the size and type of vessel.  Like most other vessels, Rainy Days has a white light on the stern and a red light on the port bow and a green light on the starboard bow.  Each lens has a shield that provides the required color and angular visibility to other vessels at night.  (There is also a white steaming light on the mast but this light was not addressed at this time.)

Old port bow lens on left and new lens on right

Since Rainy Days is now 30 years old, the plastic lenses on the navigation lights are all severely crazed and I decided to replace them as part of the refit I am doing.  I gathered the label information off the existing lenses and contacted Aqua Signal about replacements.  Much to my surprise, replacements are still available after 30 years!  In the process of ordering, I found out that my stern light was wrong all along—it did not have the correct angular visibility for a stern light and it was actually a steaming light but used on the stern. 

While I am changing the lenses, I am also changing the bulbs from regular filament-type bulbs to LEDs.  The two different bulbs are shown in the photograph below.  The old filament-type bulb costs about $10 and the new LED bulb costs $45.

Old filament-type bulb on left and new LED on right

This was one of the easiest boat projects I have encountered lately—nothing went wrong that created another project!

New port bow light in evening

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