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Navigation Lights

Today is "Maintenance Monday" and today we're talking about your boat's navigation lights. Navigation lights help you and other boaters identify other vessels, and these lights must be illuminated from sunset to sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility, such as fog or stormy weather. There are four common navigation lights: sidelights, stern lights, masthead lights, and all-around white lights.

The connections inside your navigation lights usually have a short-lived life. Outside all the time, getting sprayed with sea water regularly, they eventually end up with badly corroded contacts at the light bulbs.

Three Tips for Maintaining Navigation Lights:

• Clean the contacts of both the bulb and the fixture regularly, using fine sandpaper wrapped on a dowel. A pen eraser works well too. • Coat the contacts with dielectric grease • Clean the wiring terminals and check them for corrosion and a tight mechanical fit.

Just an FYI - Marine lighting component manufacturer Perko now gold plates all the contact terminals in their marine lighting fixtures, greatly reducing corrosion. A little more expensive in the short-term, but probably less expensive in the long-term.

Any other maintenance questions specific to your vessel? Feel free to ask here, or call me, Captain Dan, direct at (239)776-4253!

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