Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ah Sanding! It's Good For The Soul! Also, A Short Nav Light Discussion

Well I wish I had more to report on, but the last coat of epoxy on the hull was not as smooth as I had hoped. I elected to smooth sand the entire hull again, and then apply another coat of epoxy. The sanding took approximately 10 hours spread over 5 days and wore me out. But the hull was very smooth afterwards, and the new coat of epoxy looks good so far.

This should be the last coat before making and installing the spray rails. Speaking of these, I did purchase the oak to make them. They are a finished size of 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch by the length of the boat. However, getting them to conform to the curve of the hull would have been difficult at full thickness, so I bought 1/2 inch  by 1 1/2 inch stock and will laminate them to get the full 1 inch thickness. I'll cover that process in more detail when I get to it. The oak was not long enough so I am going to have to scarf join the pieces together to get the full length.

The only other thing I have been doing is researching bow navigation lights. This seems like such a simple hing, but the regulations regarding bow nav lights are very specific on brightness and viewing angle.

I had initially planned on going full LED for all lighting on the boat as an electric conservation approach. However, styling also plays a part in my decision making process. The selection of LED bow lights is fairly extensive, however, they all appear to be styled for modern boat designs, and except for a few possible candidates, would not be suitable for my boat.

There is one classically styled light from Perko and others that might look okay (not ideal but, okay), but these are all incandescent bulb types. Furthermore, the classically styled light is certified for replacement only which I suspect doesn't apply to my boat even though it is a 1956 design.

I looked into replacing the Perko light bulb with an equivalent LED lamp as there are numerous examples of replacement LED lights on the market. But there are problems with these as well.

From what I've been able to find out, voltage fluctuations tend to drastically shorten the life of these LED bulbs when used in this manner unless the owner goes to extensive lengths to prevent such fluctuations. Furthermore, changing the incandescent bulb for an LED will also nullify any certification of the light. The viewing angle can also change in some cases because the LED light may be at a different height than a bulb filament. LED lights require different structures to accommodate heat and glare issues.

After finding all of this out, I began to rethink the bow light and how it would be used. My plan is to use this boat normally during the day, with occasional overnight trips. But seldom, if ever, will I be moving the boat after it's dark.

Since the bow light only needs to be on while the boat is moving, and generally only after dark (fog being the exception), the amp advantage of LED bulbs over incandescent is mute. LED bulbs are brighter, but again, I don't anticipate using my boat at night very often.

Given the additional cost of LED lights (and bulbs), the lack of suitable styles, the possible short life  as well as certification issues replacing incandescent with LED, and the lack of any amp advantage, I have decided, that for the bow light, I am going to use incandescent bulbs.

However when it comes to the other navigation lights, I will most likely still go with LED lights. The anchor light will be mounted on a custom mast that I plan on making. Anchor lights do have to be on all night and if I am camping overnight, one would be needed. There is a definite advantage in electricity consumption with the LED in this scenario. Styling is not as much of a problem here as I have seen several lights which will look fine atop the mast. The stern light, I am not sure of yet as I have not researched these at all.

So that's it for now. I didn't take any additional pictures this time around as they would simply look like the ones posted last time. Hopefully I will have spray rail work to report on the next time I post.

Take care.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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