I wanted to add spreader lights to allow better use of the boat at night. Sometimes when anchoring it’s also nice to light the boat up for a midnight swim, or just to make it easier when cleaning things up at the dock after getting back after dark. I picked up 2 of the high output 600 lumen Dr LED Kevin Spreader lights, and 25ft of 16/4 tinned marine wire. I had the mast down in preparation for this, and had to cut the rivets off the mast base (sorry, forgot to take pics of that) to gain access to the conduit inside the mast.

For the actual installation I took off the steaming light and used it’s power wire to pull a length of twine up to the 3/4″ hole in the mast under the steaming light, then pulled the steaming light wire, along with 2 lengths of twine back down the mast with the first length of twine pulled up.  Leaving one length tied off as a backup we then pulled the new wire through the conduit and out the steaming light hole, where  the outer insulation was stripped leaving the 4 wires. 

Exit holes were drilled right above the spreaders, and a length of coat hanger wire was used to feed from here back up the 18 inches to the steaming light, then the wire was used to pull a short length of twine down to each exit hole, with the other end attached to each pair of wires for the lights, and then used to pull the pair out the exits.

Mounting holes under the spreaders were drilled and tapped, and the lights attached. Then the wires were connected with heat shrink butt connectors, and then covered over again with adhesive lined heat shrink tubing. The extra wire was secured with black vinyl (electrical) tape so it wouldn’t be visible from the deck.

Once the mast was stepped and the boat was back in the water, I finished the installation by installing a 4 pin deck connector for the wires.

As you can see the lights are quite bright even in daylight, and REALLY light up the boat at night!

I am going to work to aim the lights a little better to more evenly light the deck, as you can see they are just pointed straight down.  They do light up everything quite effectively, but some parts of the deck are clearly better lit than others. Power consumption for light output, these are definitely some of the best spreader lights on the market.

Also note the bulging sail covers… my brand new Neil Pryde Main and 135 Genoa are under there, this pic taken a few hours after coming back from the first time out with the new sails!

UPDATE:  Added 2 new pictures showing the lighting of the boat after aiming the lights, both taken from a cell phone, so they are much darker in the picture than in real life.  The one from the stern may have had the camera’s flash on, but it’s a cell phone, so the flash is pretty useless.

One Response to “Spreader Lights”

  • Bruce Ferguson says:

    Very nice article. Thank you. I am about to put LED spreader lights onto our boat. Thanks for posting!

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