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Author Topic:   bow light wiring on a 69 hull
crusty13 posted 12-28-2002 02:11 AM ET (US)   Profile for crusty13   Send Email to crusty13  
Greetings whalerazzi! I just picked up a classic one owner 13 sport (1969 hull, well used but sound, with a great running low hour 1990 Suzuki 30) and I'm restoring/refitting it into a keys oriented, local dive/tender set up. Looks like it previously had a bow light, (probably torn off by the anchor line) at some point. There is a wire down in the center hole that I can just barely grab with needlenose, but it's too tight to pull out and there's no way to get a connection.Is there/was there any sort of conduit left embedded in the foam at mfg. to facilitate this wire? Strangely, there is not a wire coming out by the console, but it looks like it may be coming out at the rear,(at the location of what I assume was either a stern light or a small flagstaff, mounted just inside the transom) Were conduit/wires laid into the foam? And connected to the harness at a single point to minimize hull penetrations to two? Any suggestions for bow lighting- because looks like I'm going to need to surface mount a wire, as we like to run at night. Thoughts: May try to surface mount a small diameter plastic or pvc conduit with epoxy or the like, to A: inside otherwise uncluttered boat? B: Around boat tucked just under chine? C: Use one of those battery bowered clip-ons? D: Apply enough current to wire to melt it away from foam and pull like hell? or ???
You'll be aghast to know that I first chiseled open what I thought was a caulked circular access hatch directly behind the bow eye, in the deck just ahead of the forward locker. Now it looks like this was probably some sort of factory "plug", inserted permanently at the end of the foam fill process during mfg. Any problems if I just butter both sides with epoxy and clamp it back down - then caulk? Guess that's enough to stirr it up for now, would appreciate any input. And, I promise not to cut any more holes!
gansett posted 12-28-2002 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for gansett  Send Email to gansett     
If you're going to install the two-piece rub rail, you can run new wires from helm to both bow and stern inside the rub rail.
Tom W Clark posted 12-28-2002 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

The wires were run through the hull itself and thus are not replaceable. Originally Whaler used to foam three wires into the hull, the extra one was to be used as a spare. The problem with this is by the time the two wires in use were shot, so was the spare. Then there was the problem of the wire getting shorter and shorter every time the bow light was removed or repaired.

You are correct in noting that the wire runs from the bow to the stern only. Originally there was a small terminal block covering the exit hole of the wires in the stern. The stern light would have had a pig tail that was connected to this terminal block. The switched power lead ran down the starboard side of the boat from the switch on the console and was screwed to this terminal block as well.

Starting in 1971, Whaler switched to the three piece rub rail that gansett mentions above. The insert of this rub rail allows the wire to run inside it and thus it is replaceable. This is the best option for you. A Barbour Plastics (Whaler OEM) rub rail kit can be ordered from any Whaler dealer at a cost of less than $100.

The only other practical alternative is to run new wire under the external grip of the gunwale. This was Whaler’s suggested solution before they came out with the three piece rub rail.

Read more about the bow light wiring in the Frequently Asked Question Section of this site:

Read all about Whaler rub rails in the Reference Section of this site:

The “circular access hatch” you pried loose is in fact the sprue hole that the liquid foam was poured into during construction of the hull. As you have learned, it was never meant to be removed. Your proposed fix is as good as anything I would think.

Welcome to the FORUM and be sure to check out the many good articles in the other sections of this site as well as the excellent Whaler photography of the Cetacea Section.

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