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Author Topic:   Improved anchor light reliability.
triblet posted 06-04-2002 08:01 PM ET (US)   Profile for triblet   Send Email to triblet  
The anchor light on my Montauk has always
been somewhat unreliable. I THINK I've
finally got it licked. I found three sources
of unreliability:

1. The bulb in the socket. Replacing the
socket with a new one (it's a standard
Perko part, West stocks them) and coating
things with Dow-Corning 111 Silicone grease
fixed this one.

2. The flat quick disconnnects to the switch
kept quickly disconnecting. The biggest
problem was the multiple layers of piggy
backed connectors. I rewired things so
that there's pretty much just one connector
on each (I didn't bother with one). This
is done by using connectors for large guage
wire (say 10-12 ga) and putting multiple
smaller (say 14-16 ga) wires into it before
crimping. I also changed the circuit a
little so the net effect is the same, but
there are fewer wires.

3. The round plug at the base of the mast.
I ran new 18 ga. Ancor boat cable all the
way from the socket to the switch. It's
permanently threaded through the mast holder.
No more plug.


Boston Marine posted 06-04-2002 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Marine    
On [my] Outrage [I] just installed a complete set of new gauges. Instead of just crimping, [I] soldered all the grounds as one continious wire from gauge to gauge. The same was followed for lighting. The fuse pack is packed with silicone paste. As far as senders, [I] re-terminated all wires with copper eyes crimped and then soldered. New ignition switch (The potted model with pigtails) was installed. The wires were connected by soldering. [I] don't believe crimping alone is enough. Soldered connections are absolutley foolproof.
Chuck, you are correct to use silicone paste and that is what [I] do also. Keeps air and moisture out of slip connections. Just my .02
jimh posted 06-04-2002 11:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Edited post to change grammar from first-person, plural, to first-person, singular. Generally the first-person plural is used by a royal head of state, like a King, when referring to himself.--jimh]
andygere posted 06-05-2002 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Chuck, with your anchor light now hardwired, do you leave the mast up all the time, or did you just leave enough wire to stow it nearby?
lhg posted 06-05-2002 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I solved the stern pole "plug" problem by switching to the molded rubber flat 2 pole connectors. These are a twin to the standard 4 pole trailer light connector. Available at Pep Boys & most good boat stores, where they cost more!
triblet posted 06-06-2002 12:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I left enough slack to stow the mast in the
factory rubber clips.

I considered using the two pole bullet
connectors (like a four wire trailer
connector, but only two wires), but I
couldn't find any that were truly marine
grade. I found some wannabes (Perko?) but
the wire wasn't tinned.

The problem wasn't the crimp to wire joint,
but rather the flat QD connections to the
switch, which used (in one case) piggyback
connections three deep. The three were
running light, instrument lights, and
binnacle light. I moved the binnacle light
to the end of the instrument light daisy
chain (crimped on eye), and put the other two
into a single crimp QD. So now the QDs is
only one deep.

I think that a properly done crimp is just
fine. Proper means using the Ancor crimps
with glue lined heat shrink for strain relief
and sealing. And a GOOD crimp tool ($50, not
one of the $3 ones from the hardware store). I've had zero problems with crimp
connections, and this is on a salt water
boat (sorry, WhalerGuy, you don't want it ;-)
that gets used for diving almost every
weekend day (I think I've launched 35 times
this year).

For what it's worth, NASA uses crimps. And
so do lots of airplanes.

Soldering has to be done right. If you flow
too much solder in, and it goes up the wire
past the strain relief, the wire can break
at the stress riser where the wire ends.


andygere posted 06-06-2002 02:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Where on your boat are the rubber clips located?
triblet posted 06-07-2002 01:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Dunno the proper nautical term, but the
inside of the starboard gunwale. West
Marine carries a similar clip.


andygere posted 06-07-2002 11:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Thanks Chuck. I picked up a pair of the clips at the Outboard Motor shop a while back, and have been trying to figure out where to mount them. I like the idea of hard wiring the mast. I am getting tired of having to clean the oxidation off my connector plugs every time I use the anchor light.
Salmon Tub posted 06-07-2002 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
Andy, I have those same clips in the factory spot and don't like them there. It tend to get in the way of passengers and they end up kicking the pole and or stepping on the plug. You may want to consider mounting them vertically between the rod holders next to the shepard's hook rail. As for keeping the connectors clean, you can buy an extra set (male and female) and use them as covers to protect the existing ones. Just a thought.
triblet posted 06-07-2002 08:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I don't have any problems with passengers
and the pole mounted in the factory location.


Ed Z posted 06-07-2002 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Z  Send Email to Ed Z     

I too use crimped connections all through the boat... The only difference in my method is that I stick the stripped part of the wire into some vasoline and then into the connector... I then use the glue lined heat shrink to seal the joint and privide the strain relief... During a rewiring job (changed out a bunch of the electronics) I cut open a few of the crimp connections I had made many many years ago and found them to look as good as the day I had done them...
Boston Marine posted 06-08-2002 07:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Marine    
Chuck, I do solder "right"
andygere posted 06-08-2002 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I like your storage idea on the front of the console. I use the dummy connecter trick to keep my trailer wires from oxidizing, and I don't know why I didn't think of it for the anchor light. I think I even have a spare set lying around....

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