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Author Topic:   Source of OFF-ON-BOTH Navigation Light Switch?
Tom Hemphill posted 07-30-2007 09:29 PM ET (US)   Profile for Tom Hemphill  
I'm looking to obtain a switch to operate my navigation lights, such that the first position is off, the second position gives the anchor (white all-around) light and the third position gives it plus the bi-color bow light. This will be for mounting on the console of my 1966 13-foot Sport Whaler. Since it will be exposed to the elements, I want to get one of very high quality. The general topic has been frequently discussed on this forum, but I haven't seen specific manufacturers and model numbers mentioned. Cole-Hersee seems not to offer such a switch at this time, and the others I've found appear to be lesser quality (e.g. plastic knobs). Ant suggestions?
Henry posted 07-31-2007 12:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Henry  Send Email to Henry     
I had the same problem finding a three position switch with the same type of knob as the original. Had to settle for one with a plastic knob. It is rather easy to replace if I find one that looks like the original.

Do you have any specific reason for wanting the first click out to turn on the stern light first and the second click out to turn on both stern and bow lights instead of vice versa?

I went with the first click turning on the bow light first because I navigate at night under circumstances where I want to preserve my night vision (the stern light will kill your night vision but the bow light won't) but want 180 degrees of the boat to be seen. Also the bow light alone helps me make out the edges of mangrove shorelines and the brightness of a stern light in these situations is blinding.

Is it illegal to be at anchor with the bow light and the anchor light on?

Tom W Clark posted 07-31-2007 12:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Cole-Hersee and Perko both offer such a switch. Both have differently styled knobs so take your pick.
Tom Hemphill posted 07-31-2007 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Hemphill    
Thank you both for your responses!

I don't have a rabid fear of plastic knobs, but plated brass would certainly make me happier.

Henry: I'm not particular about the order the lights come on, but I do want the white stern light to be on when the bi-color bow light is on. I agree that the white light impairs your night vision, but my reading of the local laws (which reportedly are taken from Coast Guard rules) suggests that it's required when underway. It makes sense to me that the combination helps other vessels discern your direction of travel. Likewise, I think the absence of a bow light will indicate to other boats that you are at anchor (and not likely to get out of their way).

Mr. Clark: I haven't yet examined the offerings from Perko, so thanks for that hint. But Cole-Hersee seems not to list such a beast on their web site. Is it possible they no longer make it? If you are able to suggest a manufacturer's part number, maybe I can locate one more easily.

tmann45 posted 07-31-2007 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
Cole-Hersee M-53X series?
bms1939 posted 07-31-2007 10:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for bms1939  Send Email to bms1939     
Most switches you will find will be up for nav lights(bow and stern light), middle (off), down for anchor(stern light only). An all round light on the highest part of the boat that can be seen for I think at least a mile along with the bow light is required for navigation after sun set. A bow light can only be seen from the front and sides, not the back. Running like that at night could turn into a dangerous situation.
Tom Hemphill posted 08-02-2007 06:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Hemphill    
Thank you all for your responses. Further Internet searches strongly point to the Cole-Hersee M476 switch as the one which will meet my needs and desires.

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