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Author Topic:   Boston Whaler Small Boat Navigation Lamp Wiring
Nevek posted 11-02-2011 04:09 PM ET (US)   Profile for Nevek   Send Email to Nevek  
Still in the planning phase for my 15-foot Boston Whaler boat. How [is the wiring for the navigation lamps run to the] center console [of a small Boston Whaler boat]? I plan on digging a rigging tunnel into the hull for the controls and gauges, but I don't know how you would get a wire to the front running lights without [the wire] being seen and exposed. I know [the wiring to the lamp] runs under the rub rail, but how to I get a wire to the rub rail without being exposed? Does [the wiring from under the rub rail which exits on the cockpit sides aft] just run along the top of the transom for a little bit?
contender posted 11-02-2011 07:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Nevek: I have own a 16-foot Boston Whaler boat sincepurchased it used, six-months-old in 1975. Ever since then I had my factory [combined sidelight lamp] and the factory [all-round lamp] mounted by Boston Whaler from the factory. I boat in saltwater all the time, and it did not matter what I did the rear connection, that is, for the wires for the bow light and stern light, [the wires] would corrode no matter what. The saltwater was just too hard on the electric connection. Last year I re-did my Boston Whaler for the first time, I mounted my [all-round lamp] on the engine cowling, and my [sidelight lamps] on my new custom console. No more wires in the rub rail, no more exposed electrical connection, no wires hanging about, nothing. I'm much happier with less worriers and the lights are now LEDs....
L H G posted 11-02-2011 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Here is how [I did] it and is an improvement over Whaler's original installation: current=Scan_Pic0031.jpg

In this same location, adjacent to the battery box, originally there was a two gang terminal block, which covered a small hole in the sidewall where the wires came in from the bow light, which were run in the rubrail.

Shown is my weatherproofing and wiring improvement. The 2 halves tan junction box is available from Sue at Twin Cities Marine.
It can be drilled for wires as needed. Inside is 4 gang terminal block, of which only three terminals are used. The white cable entering is three wire, + for bow light, + for stern light, and combined negative. You can also see the black pigtail for the stern light.

It makes for a clean looking, protected connection and waterproof installation. Your problems with nav lighting will be over if you do it this way.

Nevek posted 11-03-2011 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Nevek  Send Email to Nevek     
Thanks everyone. I like the look of the original [combined sidelight lamp] which is why I wanted to run it that way. If [the runnning of the wiring] ends up being more work than benefit, I think I will probably [move the sidelight lamps to] the console.
jimh posted 11-03-2011 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The wiring path for the combined sidelight lamp at the bow is under the rub rail, as you already seem to know. See the FAQ for more advice on handling wiring to the combined sidelight lamp at the bow:

Running the wiring from the terminal block near the transom to a center console is usually done through a rigging tunnel.

Does [the wiring from under the rub rail which exits on the cockpit sides aft] just run along the top of the transom for a little bit?

Yes, the wiring from the cockpit side has to be run over to the rigging tunnel. Usually on a small open skiff like a small Boston Whaler boat there will already be plenty of exposed wiring, cables, harnesses, hoses, and what not, so the addition of a small cable for the navigation lamps is not particularly intrusive.

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