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Bow light out

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Bow light out

Postby wcole » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:45 pm

The bow light on my 2000 26X does not light. The stern light works fine. I cut the wire at the bow and there is no power when the power is on (stern light lit). Pulling off the switch panel, I see that the wire going forward is white lamp cord (MacGregor standard wiring) however the wire emerging at the bow is a red/black pair. Does anyone know how the wire is directed from the switch panel to the bow light? There must be a splice somewhere, does anyone know where and is it accessible?

I don't see how I can route a replacement wire. If I go through the bilge, how do I get to the existing switch panel? I guess I could just use a separate switch on the back of the galley. Just snaking a wire from the bow to the bilge doesn't look easy.

I have an anchor roller on the boat. The bow light is on a bracket on this roller. However, I damaged it several times with the ground tackle. This seems like a good time to move the light up on the pulpit. However, how do I run the wire? The best way I can see is run a wire out through the anchor locker to the pulpit support and then along the pulpit with plastic ties to hold the wire. This doesn't seem very permanent and liable to abuse. Any other suggestions?

I'm leaning toward putting a plug on the bow light and just using a temporary wire I plug in when its dark out. Any problems with this?

Thanks for your help,

Bill
2000 26X
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Re: Bow light out

Postby ualpow » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:36 pm

My 2000 :macx: had an issue with the nav lights. When they were on the cabin lights would dim intermittently and current draw would go to 14amps! After troubleshooting it to wiring forward of the panel I traced the wires. I pulled the two access plugs for the port chainplate I found this.
ImageImageImage
The wires were run under the chainplate and smashed almost flat. They would short out when the chainplate had any tension on it.
To answer your question, the wires are run just above the seam in the port sidewall. It wouldn't be difficult to attach some wire to the existing wire at the bow light and pull it through. Forward of the chainplate area I was able to separate the liner enough to reach in a little ways when the wire got stuck. As divecoz said in another post, pull some strong string along with the wire for future projects.
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Re: Bow light out

Postby Wind Chime » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:35 am

I've been putting off installing a bow roller for the same reason, because of having to move my bow lights from the deck up to the pullpit .

The best way to do it, is to run the wires from above the port side of the V-berth through the inside of the 1" tube, then out a new hole at the top of the pullpit. The way the "M"'s are done.

The problem on our 2000X is getting access inside to drill a hole through the deck into the center of the tube because there in no accesss panel to the underside of the anchor locker like there was on previous years of the "X". Yes, I have thought of cutting an access panel but was hoping there was another way.

I keep going back to the boat and hoping magic elf's have done it for me over night, but no luck so far :)

Hope someone else has done this mod, and can give us some tips and photos of how to squeeze your hand beside the inside of the anchor locker and the hull to drill the hole.
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Re: Bow light out

Postby ualpow » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:09 am

I don't remember what the v-berth access was like. When I install a bow roller I am thinking about side mounted bow lights. I don't know if they would be in a position to be easily damaged but it might be easier than trying to get a wire into the pulpit tube.
Wcole, If you check continuity from the wires at the bow to the wires at the panel you can see if your ground or hot side is an open circuit. Did you check for voltage by going to a known ground or just by checking the wire ends. (I don't know the extent of your electrical knowledge so I'm sorry if I offend you).
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Re: Bow light out

Postby Captain Steve » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:35 am

Mount the nav lights on the cabin sides, btwn the windows. you will find the wire running to the bow under the galley (on a X) route it up and over to the sides, thru the existing channel, and mount lights. Out of the way and more visible. Mod courtesy of D Dunn.
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Re: Bow light out

Postby Tomfoolery » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:27 am

Captain Steve wrote:Mount the nav lights on the cabin sides, btwn the windows. you will find the wire running to the bow under the galley (on a X) route it up and over to the sides, thru the existing channel, and mount lights. Out of the way and more visible. Mod courtesy of D Dunn.

That's what I'd do if I ever had to move or change the present crappy little bow light. Just be sure to mount the lights on tapered wedges so that they're on a vertical plane, which is also parallel to the centerline of the boat. Those lights are designed to dim then go dark within a very narrow range (just a couple of degrees) when transitioning to the stern light, or port to starboard (or vice-versa), along with the masthead light. There is no requirement, of course, that nav lights be on the bow - they're actually called sidelights, for a reason.
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Re: Bow light out

Postby Captain Steve » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:48 pm

Good point! make sure that you get the vertical mount version too!
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Re: Bow light out

Postby wcole » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:52 pm

Thank you all for your ideas. I went out to the boat this afternoon and did some more investigating.

I removed the two access covers over the port chainplate bolts. There were three pairs of wires there, and all were free. I guess my 26X did not have the special customization that ualpow's did. I do have to spend some more time tracking the wire pairs. One was lamp cord and two were red/black pairs. Looking at the switch panel, one of the red/black pairs is the power feed to the panel. However, at the switch panel two lamp cord twin leads are fed into the channel. How did one of them end up a red/black twin lead? Where does the second one go? I either didn't trace the wires correctly (visibility is poor and I didn't want to pull too hard on the wires) or there is a splice between the switch panel and the chain plate area. More investigation is required. If I can find the right pair, maybe the section to the bow is still OK and I just need to splice in a new section from the switch panel.

I also checked the continuity of the wires (thanks for the suggestion). Besides using an ohmmeter, I also brought out a "live wire." The light works fine on the temporary wire. However, It will not work using either the positive or ground wire on the permanent twin lead. Neither one is good which suggests to me that the wire is split somewhere or the splice has come undone. For the last couple of years the bow light was intermittent, sometimes working, sometimes not. Again hinting a bad splice or broken wire. I still haven't figured out how to run a new wire or use the existing wire to pull a new one through. I am probably just thinking too hard - it might be easier to do than to figure out. Is there any regulation that says the bow light needs to be permanently wired? Can I just use a temporary wire when i want to light it?

Steve, I like the idea of moving the lights to the side of the cabin. I had seen this mod posted by D. Dunn. I was concerned that the lights had to be at the bow. Thanks for clearing that up tkanzler. The other concern I had was how to wire them. It isn't obvious to me how to run the wires without cutting through the inner liner. There just doesn't seem to be any access. Is there any more detailed description available? The idea using wedges behind the lights also makes since. Any ideas on where to get wedges? I have wedges under my cam cleats - they are probably about the right angle but are too narrow to use with the lights.

thanks again for you help,

Bill
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Re: Bow light out

Postby RobertB » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:01 pm

I had to do a similar trace when I was doing my rewiring. I started as far forward as I could access the wiring and carefully cut the insulation away from the conductor (made a flap) so I could check the voltage. I worked my way back to the fuse panel in this fashion. After I found the problem ( a wire had been left off the new terminal block I put in :P ) I went back and securely wrapped each inspection point with electrical tape. If you have the right equipment, you can also probe the wires with a sharp probe without cutting (maybe use a straight pin?).
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Re: Bow light out

Postby Captain Steve » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:29 pm

I found the wire tucked up under the upper liner behind the galley. I removed the plugs from the channel that goes up to the cabin light. Ran a string down to the port side with a washer tied to it pulled by a magnet on the outside of the channel. I maneuvered the Hella lights to almost vertical by moving them around the hull between the windows. Final adjustment was done with a small piece of a wedge of wood that was panted over with 4200 adhesive. The shims are found at HD or Lowes. used for installing door frames, windows etc
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Re: Bow light out

Postby Tomfoolery » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:10 pm

Captain Steve wrote:Mount the nav lights on the cabin sides, btwn the windows.

Actually, I was thinking the white area, below the black stripe and ports, just forward of the chainplates. It's closer to vertical, and not too angled from the centerline. White light housings would blend in visually, and that's sort of dead space in there anyway. Above the rubrail, and nothing you can really do with that space, so they shouldn't interfere with anything. Shouldn't even be much of a catch point for lines. Maybe.
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Re: Bow light out

Postby RussMT » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:33 pm

I have an M and don't know how wires were run on the X. I agree, the "splice" from lamp cord to red/black pairs is where I'd look. Probably a cheap crimp connector pulled apart.
The M has the forward V compartment filled with foam and "sealed". That's where I'd look for a splice on my boat. Mounting it in the pulpit seems like a good idea. Personally, I like having it up there unobstructed by deck stuffs.
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Re: Bow light out

Postby wcole » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:14 pm

Thanks for you suggestions on my bow light problem. I guess I am dense - I still don't see how to run the wire from a side mounted nav light. My problem is fishing it through the deck (side). If I drill a hole, say 1/4" and push the wire through from the outside, the end will be between the deck and the inner liner. How (where) can I "grab" it to run it over to the switch panel? Once I have it, I understand Steve's "trick" using the string, magnet, and washer.

I am concerned about mounting the lights between the windows. This would be aft of the chainplates and considerably aft in the length of the boat. Is this a concern? I like the idea of mounting the lights forward of the windows, either in the black area directly in front of the windows or in the white area just below the front of the front window? This would be 2 1/2 feet further forward. I could "double shim" the light for vertical and along the centerline of the boat alignment. Does anyone have a concern with this location? Again, how can I fish the wire through the hull and "grab" it between the hull and the liner?

Until I make a permanent installation, I will run a temporary wire from an outlet in the cabin to the existing bow light whenever I need it, and remove the wire when not being used. Is there a problem with doing this?

Thanks again for your help,

Bill
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Re: Bow light out

Postby Catigale » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:19 pm

I don't think COLREGS say where your lights have to be physically mounted, they dictate how they have to be visible to another boat. Likewise they do not have to be permanently wired, you just have to show them during proscribed hours.

There are still those who use kerosene lit sidelights to this day, which are legal

Bill....I think you can solve the liner issue with a fish tape tool.....a stiff spring steel extrusion that lets you squeeze things between liner and hull....found in the electrical section of the orange or blue store in the US.
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Re: Bow light out

Postby roussel789 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:47 am

ualpow wrote:My 2000 :macx: had an issue with the nav lights. When they were on the cabin lights would dim intermittently and current draw would go to 14amps! After troubleshooting it to wiring forward of the panel I traced the wires. I pulled the two access plugs for the port chainplate I found this.
ImageImageImage
The wires were run under the chainplate and smashed almost flat. They would short out when the chainplate had any tension on it.
To answer your question, the wires are run just above the seam in the port sidewall. It wouldn't be difficult to attach some wire to the existing wire at the bow light and pull it through. Forward of the chainplate area I was able to separate the liner enough to reach in a little ways when the wire got stuck. As divecoz said in another post, pull some strong string along with the wire for future projects.


The same thing happened to me once.And i had done the same way to rectify it.
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