Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: skintsailor@yahoo.co.uk or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Monday, 8 September 2014

Light Work

Yesterday I put Sprite II on the beach so I could do some work on her. I tend to get more work done that way as I can just walk to the car if I forget anything.

First job on the agenda was fitting protectors on the shrouds:
And yes they are PVC water pipe at £2.49 each. One of the cheapest mods I've done.

The next thing was fitting cabin lights which is something that took all day.

First I got a strip of wooden moulding and stained it to match the other wood in the interior. Then I fitted it to the cabin roof.

I then stuck the self-adhesive waterproof LED strips I bought off eBay for a tenner. White on one side and Red on the other, so I now have Red lights for night time cruising as well as White lights.

During the day they look just like they been there for ages. The wooden strip blends in well.

I put White on the port side over the cooker and Red on the Starboard side over the instruments and also where the multi-purpose table sits when its being a chart table. Those seemed the most logical options.

And they work rather well. Here's the white lights:

The strip is really bright and shines like a fluorescent strip with a fraction of the power drain and space.

The Red lights work equally well:
I think the camera had a hard time focusing with the lack of contrast, hence the slightly blurry picture.

.Of course I didn't just fit the lights to make them work, I also had to fit the wiring, then mini truncking to tidy it away into and then a switch to switch the light on and off and also to switch from white to red. I chose to use a domestic household light switch to do that job as it was the cheapest option. Its fitted just under the step into the cabin, so its easily reached from the cockpit.

 I'm debating whether to put strips in the forward cabin as well. I do have plenty spare and I've also got a second switch. I wanted them independent of each other because it would be handy when cruising that someone could sleep in the forward cabin with the lights off and the curtain divider drawn, but still have the aft part of the cabin lit.

Whilst wiring the lights into the fuse panel, I noticed a wire had come adrift. It was the wire for the masthead light, which means the bulb wasn't blown and I don't have to go up the mast. Bonus! I rewired it and checked it out once it had started to go dark. It worked!

I didn't float off the beach until nine, by which time it was pitch black. Luckily there was a decent moon and no cloud, which helped getting back on the mooring.


The evening was only spoiled when I was rowing back from the boat and some idiot from Eastney Cruising Association in a dinghy with an outboard came rushing through the moorings right for me. Luckily I had my head torch on to light up the dinghy so at least he could see me. I couldn't see him and with the noise of the outboard there was no way he'd hear any shouting. As soon as he saw me he slowed down, but really someone from a club should know better than to come through moorings at full pelt anyway, let alone at night and without some form of light on their boat.


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