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Underwater Light Installation Question

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I thought I was going to give up on installing UW lights because I would have to deal with a "boxed in" area in my bilge but I think I can get around that if I mount the lights on each side of my outdrive. They will be fairly close together but I think it will be ok just a more focused beam toward the center of the boat which I am ok with.

So now my questions (probably dumb questions so bear with me).

1. I am pretty sure I am going to buy the Lumitec Seablaze 3's. Can you have the lights on while on plane? I have seen many videos showing that but I guess I was under the assumpiton the lights had to be fully submerged to cool them and you could not operate them while on plane. So, yes or no you can operate the lights while running?

2. My boat came from the factory with an "Underwater LIghts" switch at the helm. The switch illuminates when you throw it. Does anyone know if Chaparral runs the lead from that switch to the bilge and if so, where is it terminated? I looked today and saw a ground terminal on the transom but did not see anything that looked like it may be the hot lead on a terminal block. I have not gotten a volt meter out yet to check around. My alternative is to run lead to the dash but obviously perfer to avoide that if I can.

Thx.

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FT,

It is illegal to run with those lights on no matter what. You will be nabbed by the CG or local authorities. they are only to be used while at anchor or in a dock. You are only allowed to use your proper navigation lights while underway, .i.e. Running red/green and stern white.

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1: Some (not all) Lumitec Seablaze models are designed to work under/above the water. I have installed the light like this, I do not remember what model ... the info is available in Lumitec specs.

As BaW said, these light are not nav lights, and are not to be used underway (USCG COLREGS Rule 20).

2: I have run flat duplex wire from the light to helm and connected red wire to a spare/acc switch/fuse, and black (or yellow) wire to a negative terminal at helm.

I don't think Chap would run spare wire(s) to the bilge for future use. There are extra acc switches but no wires on my boat.

Hope this helps ... :)

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The green wire you are talking about is probably the ground for your garboard drain, ( boat plug to keep water out ),don't know in your model but would think if there is a switch there should be wire back there for the lights, look into LED lighting and that eliminates that box just need to run wire thru thee hull plus they never get hot.

parts guide might have a wiring diagram .

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I will say check with your local CG. I was actually given a thumbs up from the CG coming into the harbor at New Buf, lake mi.

The lumitec work fine on plane, no issues.

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'E' were you on plan or in a no wake zone?

If it was a no wake zone the might of just been admiring the pretty blue glow in the water. :clapsmiley:

.

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I just installed UW lights on the Chap 2 weekends ago. (Will post pics when I have them) I attached to my ACC switch on the dash, which will soon have a UW light cover on it. The switch wasn't wired to anything, although it lit up and looked like it was wired for prime time. Therefore, you will have to run a wire to the helm, one to a fuse box (we used the one at the helm), and one to a ground strip (used the one at the stern). Once I got the dumb screws to quit shearing off, it really only took a few hours. We installed a light to the outside of each drive, and one right in the middle.

Not sure on the rules of running with them on. I assume if its a problem, I will be the one to get pulled over. :slap:

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I did the same as TXTWIN, except the AUX switch was pre-wired to a small terminal block located in between both engines. I did a wire harness at home of 10 foot long with 4 drops. One in the center with ring terminal to connect to the existing block. One on each end and one more in center. With small plastic plug.

On each led wire, I installed the male plug and laiddown the harness behind both engines attached with tie-wrap on existing wire.

I ordered from Cecil Marine the UW light cover:

http://www.cecilmarineonline.com/servlet/the-76/SWITCH-COVER-UNDER-WATER/Detail

Nice job, clean and professional.

I found the appropriate wire by using this tool. Amazing tool for locating wire into multiple harness.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cable-Wire-Line-Phone-Telephone-Network-RJ-Toner-Tracer-Tester-Generator-Tracker-/190779646313?pt=US_Cable_Testers&hash=item2c6b5a6169"]http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cable-Wire-Line-Phone-Telephone-Network-RJ-Toner-Tracer-Tester-Generator-Tracker-/190779646313?pt=US_Cable_Testers&hash=item2c6b5a6169

For sure, I will be the second to get pulled over. :o

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'E' were you on plan or in a no wake zone?

If it was a no wake zone the might of just been admiring the pretty blue glow in the water. :clapsmiley:

.

The CG may just have bigger issues than a blue underwater glow. When my interior courtesy lights are on the LEDs in the blower vent are on too. That is a bigger issue IMO than the UW lights. There are all kinds of boats out with LEDs and I've never heard of anyone ticketed yet on LM. The CG spends most of their time at night checking fishermen. And the days are spent rescuing and pulling over drunk boaters. I love the blue rooster tail the lights put off, but when it's pitch black I don't run on plane only at dusk when I can still see

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Please don't get me wrong, I think the underwater lights are pretty neat. I'd put them on my boat but I rarely go out at night and I trailer. But, while your local chapter of the USCG may (for the time being) ignoring extra lights being displayed while underway, they can pose a potential hazard to other boaters. CG regs are quite clear about what lights can and cannot be displayed while underway or at anchor. If one is coming into a crowded harbor at night, the light displays from buoys and other boats are important to safe passage. When one is looking at lots of shore lights in addition to those lights on watercraft, it can become very difficult to ascertain what's what.

There was a previous thread about the "headlights" on an Avalon Pontoon boat. I have seen several people on Lake Lanier cruising with them turned on. It just so happens that those lights overpower the running red/green lights so it would be difficult to ascertain their course from a distance. This is a trend that I see more of on other similar craft.

I have ranted enough, sorry for being the killjoy, but I believe it is a very important issue.

Al

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I don't disagree that a spotlight or docking lights pose a glare or blinding risk. but would argue that a glow from underwater actually increases the safety. I can easily see the white anchor light and the blue glow around the stern provides a visual for other boaters to avoid. some of the fishermen drive WOT at night and 2 little nav lights and a white stern light are enough (when the boat is operating at a safe speed and distance) but too often others aren't using safe practices.

if everyone wants to get specific letter of the law then the dashboard gauges should be turned off as well because they glow too and all the interior lights around speakers and walkways.

IMO, as long as the nav lights are visible and the stern anchor light is visible at a high point then accent lights will add to your visible area making you less likely to be struck by another vessel

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if everyone wants to get specific letter of the law then the dashboard gauges should be turned off as well because they glow too and all the interior lights around speakers and walkways.

IMO, as long as the nav lights are visible and the stern anchor light is visible at a high point then accent lights will add to your visible area making you less likely to be struck by another vessel

I don't think this is letter of the law at all ...

The dash lights are not lights at all by the letter of the law. Beside being very low intensity and barely visible from any distance, they cast a dim light on the gauges and not point outside of the boat, Similarly with properly installed cockpit and companionway lights ... there is a reason why they are low intensity and installed low to the floor (when unmodified).

The real problem is with the lights that project outside of the boat. This might include headlights, spotlights, decorative lights on the outside hull (including vent lights ... what a concept to connect them on the same circuit as cockpit lights!?), underwater lights, or badly positioned and/or too strong arch lights, cockpit lights, speaker accent lights, etc.

The above mentioned lights are not illegal ... they only must not be used while underway. It's not just about the boat being visible, it's also about the boat being "invisible" (transparent and predictable) when it comes to overall navigation at night.

There is a twofold reason for this ...

First, some of the lights will plainly blind other boaters, and/or kill their night vision. Second, some lights will obscure boat's nav lights, and/or confuse other boaters adding to the light noise and making it much more difficult to locate and identify boat's nav lights and nav aids lights. The first case affects boaters in the vicinity, the second case might affect boaters near and far, harming their ability to navigate safely.

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Thx for all the replies. I havent had a chance to get out to the boat but one other question. I am going to assume worst case that I have to run a postivie lead to the helm. Can I tie the two positive leads from the lights together and run one lead to the helm switch or do I have to run two positive leads to the helm; one for each light? Same question on the ground but I have a ground strip on the stern I can use for that.

Also, what gauge wire do you recommend? 16 gauge? 14 gauge? It is probably a 15 ft. run give or take but it is up and back I think so maybe ~30ft.

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I thought I was going to give up on installing UW lights because I would have to deal with a "boxed in" area in my bilge but I think I can get around that if I mount the lights on each side of my outdrive. They will be fairly close together but I think it will be ok just a more focused beam toward the center of the boat which I am ok with.

So now my questions (probably dumb questions so bear with me).

1. I am pretty sure I am going to buy the Lumitec Seablaze 3's. Can you have the lights on while on plane? I have seen many videos showing that but I guess I was under the assumpiton the lights had to be fully submerged to cool them and you could not operate them while on plane. So, yes or no you can operate the lights while running?

2. My boat came from the factory with an "Underwater LIghts" switch at the helm. The switch illuminates when you throw it. Does anyone know if Chaparral runs the lead from that switch to the bilge and if so, where is it terminated? I looked today and saw a ground terminal on the transom but did not see anything that looked like it may be the hot lead on a terminal block. I have not gotten a volt meter out yet to check around. My alternative is to run lead to the dash but obviously perfer to avoide that if I can.

Thx.

most likely the switch is hot from the battery to the switch only and not from the switch back to engine compartment. Mine also was pre-wired for the uw lights but still had to run it back to the switch. all 3 of my lights are connected together and homerun to the switch

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So the switch absorbs the load of the lights? No relay was needed? I want to install 3 LED lights as well and was wondering if I needed a relay?

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the seablaze 3 draws 2.5amps per light on a 12v system. dedicated fuse rated to handle the load is needed. check your fuse panel and make sure if you have multiple lights that it is sufficient but all the components on the light are internal, no separate relays or ballasts for this type of LED

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Update and electrical help needed:

I started the install today, first step running a lead to the helm from the bilge. Got the lead run and ready to hook it up to the Underwater Light switch that was there from the factory. Thats where I hit a brick wall. The switch has four wires on it and no other place for an additional connection altough it looks like it was built to accomodate six leads there are only four available prongs. One lead is yellow (thats ground), another lead is solid blue, one is blue with a red stripe and one is red with a blue strip. I checked the bilge thoroughly and there are no leads those colors in the bilge so I am confident a lead was not run at the factory back to the bilge.

So my question is where do I hook up the lead I ran from the bilge to the switch? I have not gone to the fuse panel yet so maybe I should terminate the lead there? and perhaps that is where one of the leads terminates from the switch since they are not in the bilge?

Any help is appreciated. I really dont want to call a pro for what would be a 5 second diagnosis for someone that knows what they are doing. So anyone that has done this themselves, help. Thx

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Update: I found the lead I needed. It is the Blue w Red strip coming off the back of the UW light switch. Of course it is nowhere readily apparent in the bilge (most likely buried in a wiring look back there somewhere). So since I had already run a lead to the bilge from the helm I spliced that lead onto the blue w red stripe lead from the switch and bingo. 12 volts when swithed on, o volts when off. Need to buy the lights now and finish the install but that part is the easy part from my perspective.

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I search these boards all the time, I searched all day yesterday same situation as the guy in this post the switch is on dash wire is red and blue but here does it go. I hope the board would have the answer I saw this post and was great this will have the answer. In the end this guy just spliced in. I search mre and found it on my boat so I figured i had to help the next guy. The blue and red wire is mount on the engine compartment front wall or aft cabin back wall. Right next to the battery charger and between the yellow bus bar. Connectors and all right there very easy once I found it....... Think chaparral wouldnt make everything a mystrey

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I search these boards all the time, I searched all day yesterday same situation as the guy in this post the switch is on dash wire is red and blue but here does it go. I hope the board would have the answer I saw this post and was great this will have the answer. In the end this guy just spliced in. I search mre and found it on my boat so I figured i had to help the next guy. The blue and red wire is mount on the engine compartment front wall or aft cabin back wall. Right next to the battery charger and between the yellow bus bar. Connectors and all right there very easy once I found it....... Think chaparral wouldnt make everything a mystrey

Welcome to the forum, Tonkadog and THANK YOU! I hadn't done any searching yet, but by reviving this thread, I think you solved one of my questions. I'm planning to run some lights in the engine room and wanted to tie them into a helm accessory switch. Your response will lead me to check the engine room front wall for the termination of the accessory switch wires. You have likely saved me a LOT of time understanding how the electrical is laid out!

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