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Author Topic:   Stern Light Connection -- HELP
Undaunted1 posted 05-10-2009 11:29 AM ET (US)   Profile for Undaunted1   Send Email to Undaunted1  
I've owned small boats for 20 years and have yet to have a stern pole work through the season. there's gotta be a way to inusure I'm not stuck on the water at night with no stern light.

Apparently the 2 connections get corroded (M&F). There's no way to get in there to clean them properly. Anyone know a diffinitive solution that might work?

An exhaustive ssearch (I figure everybody must have this problem, but I must be out of the loop cuz i didn't find any real answers) turned up a few things:

dialectiric grease
wd 40
sliver cleaner
corrosion block
PB Blaster

Anyone know for sure the way to go?

Tom W Clark posted 05-10-2009 12:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
What model of Whaler dou have? Or, more to the point, what stern light do you have?
Undaunted1 posted 05-10-2009 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Undaunted1  Send Email to Undaunted1     
It's your basic Perko with the two prong connector that you just push into the base. the base has a rubber flap that is supposed to protect it but always pops off.

My boat is a 15' Dauntless, but I had the same set up on my last boat.

Chuck Tribolet posted 05-10-2009 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I had the same problem. I eventually replaced the wire from
lamp socket to switch with 18 gauge Ancor boat cable (think
skinny, stranded, marine-grade Romex). No connector. Eight
years or so and NO problems with that. (I have burned out a
few bulbs and had to replace the socket once). Be sure to
leave enough slack to stow the lamppost.

Unfortunately, it looks like you have a different unit that's
got a socket that's integral with the lamp post.


Phil T posted 05-10-2009 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Phil T  Send Email to Phil T     
For the recessed plug in style stern navigation light, having clean contacts and using dielectric grease will stave off problems.

I replaced my stern pole and base 3 years ago with a Perko unit and have not had a single problem. I reapply grease once a year in the fall.

New 2 Whalers posted 05-11-2009 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for New 2 Whalers  Send Email to New 2 Whalers     
I had the same problem with the two connector plug getting corroded because the rubber flap kept breaking off.

I cut off the very top of a water bottle and used clear silicone to glue it over the socket on the gunwale and keep the cap screwed down after spraying it with Corrosion X.

The neck of the bottle is just the right size to accommodate the plug.

Sebash4 posted 05-12-2009 08:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sebash4  Send Email to Sebash4     
I use an electrical contact cleaner called Permatex to spray my electrical connections. It comes in a 16 onuce aerosol can and I've not had any problems since I started using it. Any good electrical contact cleaner will work and can be purchaed at Radio Shack..In a saltwater environment this stuff can save you a lot of problems.
ratherwhalering posted 05-12-2009 06:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
I finally found a totally water proof solution:

L H G posted 05-15-2009 01:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
I solved that problem years ago by using the flat 2-pole (trailer type) connectors, available at any auto store. The 6" wire pig-tail leads from these plugs crimp to the light and power supply wires, a much better, and water proof, connection than those lousy set screw plugs. Costs about 2 bucks for a permanent and reliable fix. Try it and you'll agree. I use these connectors all over the boat for easy disconnect and replacement purposes.
L H G posted 05-15-2009 06:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Here is the 2 pole flat connector used for the stern light connection on my 19 Outrage: current=R1-6.jpg

Undaunted1 posted 05-25-2009 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Undaunted1  Send Email to Undaunted1     
I got some dialectric grease (jeez, that stuff is expensive) and slathered it on and it seems to be working great now. light pops right on. I'll try that for awhile and go to LHG's connector if necessary (thanks for the picture). Thank you everyone for taking the time to advise.


jimh posted 05-25-2009 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Using that two-pole connection as L H G does can be a hazard unless you are conscientious about the arrangement of the open pin. The open pin must always be the GROUND on the source side of the connection and the HOT on the load side. If you mistakenly wire it backwards you are in for trouble.

Another disadvantage of the connector is that it is not field installable. It is already molded onto the leads which are attached to it, and those leads are not very long. This means you have to splice it into an existing cable. Now you have two splices in the cable and a connector. Is this better than a single connector?

The connectors are not expensive, and they are reasonably weatherproof.

L H G posted 05-26-2009 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
As you guys can see from the photo, the red (+) wire is on the female side of the plug from the light power source.

With more the 40 years of Whaler ownership behind me, I got tired of those set-screw plug connector failures years ago, where the bare wire goes under the tiny screw. Ancient, non-waterproof idea, where the wire easily pulls out, if you ask me. Modern connections now use a crimped-on ring terminal, or spade terminal, for screw terminal connections.

I think a properly done and waterproofed crimp splice + flat plug connector is a lot stronger than this set screw idea. Can you imagine if your car-trailer connector was like these old fashioned plastic/rubber set screw plugs, with bare wires and tiny screws. They'd be worthless and fail easily.

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