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Are you blinded by the light?

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Are you blinded by the light?
Blinded by the stern light of your own boat? Or is it mostly hidden by your blind, brush, grass and basically useless as your required 2 mile navigational light?
A bright white "at anchor" light, also is a great bug attractor. (not a good thing unless you like eating bugs)

I got tired of dealing with these issues years ago and made a change for the better. Just recently I needed to make a new one, so I thought I would share the process.
I have had nothing but positive comments from DNR enforcement when they see what I have done. One officer, (they were checking all the hunters coming in that evening), said " You were the only boat with clearly, visible and working navigations lights.

Anyway, here is what I have done.





Now this is where you have to take your brand new 40.00 dollar LED stern light, and destroy it. huh? huh?

Cutting it apart, removing a portion of it, extending the wires and putting it all back together again.













Hope this has been of some interest to someone.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Great idea. I clip on red/green AA battery bowlight on my powered boats and gave up on a stern light long ago. Have never had my lights checkedby any of the US FWS, Fish and Game, or Marine Resources wardens who have checked me while hunting and fishing.

The worst blindings I have gotten came from other boats with those massive bars of headlights. I hunt a spot that's tucked in behind a river island and can only be approached from downstream. Last year I rounded the bar below the island and turned back up river to see the light-of-10,000-suns staring downstream at me from a spot at the end of the island about 1/2 mile below where I wanted to end up. A group had beached their boat stern first and turned the lights on to light up the area where they wanted to set their decoys--as well as about 10 acres of downstream river and marsh. Death by halogen!

I literally could not look upstream to try to run the channel past them, and had to make the run entirely by GPS on my phone with my hat brim pulled down over my eyes.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Nice work, I have to admit that I own a stern light that is appropriately tall as yours is, but I haven't used it in 15 years. Shocked I do use my bow lights at times though.
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Shortage of puppy pics, btw.
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Lights?, we don need no stinken lights!...Lol

As long as everyone else has there's on, we're good!...Sly
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Good morning, Dave~


Neat job!


Can you tell us more about the swaging process? Do you force the PVC tubing over a "mandrel" of some kind? 3/4-inch copper or 1/2-inch iron?


Any shrink back upon cooling?


Thanks!


SJS


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Steve Sanford wrote:
Good morning, Dave~


Neat job!


Can you tell us more about the swaging process? Do you force the PVC tubing over a "mandrel" of some kind? 3/4-inch copper or 1/2-inch iron?


Any shrink back upon cooling?


Thanks!
SJS







Yes one needs something as a mandrel for any swaging procedure. The shaft of the navigation light is .750 in diameter so that will also be the desired mandrel size. The item used as a mandrel should have a smooth rounded or tapered end as it enters the . 610 inside diameter of the PVC pipe. A blunt edge will not work.


Typically I will use a tubing cutter to cut the hollow shaft of the navigation light. Doing so leaves a nicely rounded end. Thus the shaft itself can be used as the swaging mandrel. Although something with a bit more taper, will work better.


I use a combination of tools to develop the swage to size.


First tool is a long tapered steel punch. I heat about 3/4 inch of the pvc, just up to a temperature where the PVC begins to change color, ( think lightly roasted marshmallow) rotating the PVC to keep an even temperate all the way around. Holding the PVC in one hand and the tapered punch in the other, I quickly jam the punch in as far as I can. This opens the very end to around .800 diameter. The PVC cools real quick at this point because the solid steel punch acts as a major heat sink.


After removing the punch, I follow this with a reheat of the PVC, again just near the end that has been opened up in the first stage. I then insert the rounded end of the hollow shaft (from the light, minus any electric wires) into the heated PVC. The heated soft portion of the PVC may collapse if heated too far ahead of the inserted metal tubing.
It is a "step at a time" semi-continuous procedure.
Heat the PVC where the metal tubing is already inserted.
While fanning that area with heat, heat the PVC slightly ahead of the tool (metal tubing).
Apply force to move the tool (metal tubing) deeper into the heated PVC.
All the time, rotating as needed to keep even heat all around which also helps keep the swage centered.
Repeat, until one reaches the desired depth. I am happy with 1 3/8 to 1 5/8 of swage length.


One has plenty of excess PVC to practice on, out of the original 10 foot piece.


Yes there is some shrinkage. The amount of shrinkage seems to vary for PVC batch to batch. The shrinkage results in a light press fit to the metal tubing of the light. I've never had any joint be too loose, but one may need, to apply some re-heat to the swage area, during final assembly. This last one I did for the demo, turned out to be a nice snug fit that could be final assembled without any heat. Yet should not come apart during service.



Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Looks good Dave. I bought the telescopic one but I like your project.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Ed L. wrote:
Looks good Dave. I bought the telescopic one but I like your project.


I have the same one. Gets the light above my head and doesn't bother me I do doubt that it, or others of the LED variety, will show that light to the front if the boats bow is high before getting on plane.

Mark
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Mark W wrote:
Ed L. wrote:
Looks good Dave. I bought the telescopic one but I like your project.



I have the same one. Gets the light above my head and doesn't bother me I do doubt that it, or others of the LED variety, will show that light to the front if the boats bow is high before getting on plane.

Mark



I understand what you are saying but I find the LEDS used have a wide beam angle. Also, typically the bulb or leds only shine onto the interior of the globe. The light one sees is the light up globe.
Just for reference, I looked at the light this morning while the boat was on the trailer and I was down at ground level by the hitch, well below the bow.
The globe was just as bright from that angle as any other angle.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging

Last edited by:

Huntindave McCann: Oct 4, 2021, 3:47 AM
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
I was working on the boat and because of this thread I checked my all round light AND the thread that holds the bezel on the top is broken making the pole inoperable. My hero, I would have never checked it were it not for you!
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
tod osier wrote:
I was working on the boat and because of this thread I checked my all round light AND the thread that holds the bezel on the top is broken making the pole inoperable. My hero, I would have never checked it were it not for you!



Duck tape? epoxy? baling wire?

I could hand deliver a custom extended light but the delivery charges would kill you.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging

Last edited by:

Huntindave McCann: Oct 4, 2021, 2:38 PM
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Epoxy. Duh. I felt like I had to glue the threaded part of the bezel portion to the base to get the strength I needed. I drilled a hole in the top to access the bulb if needed.



Huntindave McCann wrote:
tod osier wrote:
I was working on the boat and because of this thread I checked my all round light AND the thread that holds the bezel on the top is broken making the pole inoperable. My hero, I would have never checked it were it not for you!



Duck tape? epoxy? baling wire?

I could hand deliver a custom extended light but the delivery charges would kill you.

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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Huntindave McCann wrote:
Mark W wrote:
Ed L. wrote:
Looks good Dave. I bought the telescopic one but I like your project.



I have the same one. Gets the light above my head and doesn't bother me I do doubt that it, or others of the LED variety, will show that light to the front if the boats bow is high before getting on plane.

Mark



I understand what you are saying but I find the LEDS used have a wide beam angle. Also, typically the bulb or leds only shine onto the interior of the globe. The light one sees is the light up globe.
Just for reference, I looked at the light this morning while the boat was on the trailer and I was down at ground level by the hitch, well below the bow.
The globe was just as bright from that angle as any other angle.


Depends on the LED light and how it was designed. The name of the game in LED lighting is the management of the light rays/particles. The LED stern light I have sends out a very narrow beam width of light. This does a couple of things. It then directs all that light where it should go, it can therefore use less energy as less light is needed as none is wasted, and it directs the light away from the operator.

Look at cars with LED headlights. You will see a very defined beam of light rather than the older halogen style bulbs that put out a pretty broad beam pattern. On my pick up with LED headlights, it is pretty much a straight line between dark and light on the upper side of the beam. This is done by dousing the light from the LED, not done my using a reflector. LED's, (the actual LED die, not the entire bulb), can be made very directional and thus one of their attributes.

Mark
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Looks good Dave. You are an overachiever as usual. The USCG requirement for power boats under 12 meters is that the all around white light visible for 2 nautical miles and AT LEAST 1 meter above running the lights. You are twice as good as required.
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
I love your idea, but took the easy way out. I've got enough projects
I bought this, offered $25 shipped, and they accepted.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2748-Attwood-5310-72-1-Aluminum-72-Inch-12-Degree-All-Round-2-Plug-Boat-Stern-/312099010934?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0


I was also hoping it would cast a bit of light to help with setting decoys.










Oxford, CT

Last edited by:

MIKE-SID: Oct 17, 2021, 4:54 AM
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Re: Are you blinded by the light? In reply to
Mike-Sid

That certainly is a good price on your purchase and definitely saved you some labor as well. The only advantage I have found when using the PVC, is it is quite forgiving when coming into contact with overhanging branches. Most of the time it will just bend and rebound unless it is a high speed strike.

Looks like a nice rig you have there.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging