September 2002 --
After wrapping up the Mast Collar
replacement in 2001, it looked like this.
It stayed that way while I replaced all the deck hardware, then while painting the headliner.
By Fall of 2002 I'm ready to start finishing up some details, since the boat's sailing and there's nothing else here needing fixing.
I took a plank and cut the mast cross section out of it. To figure out where to drill holes, a little dab of caulk on each bolt marked the spots nicely.
I had this idea that has turned out to be kinda cool.
The entire structure is incredibly solid, since the twelve 5/16" bolts come down from the mast collar and a solid two inches of fiberglass and epoxy, so I found four "eye nuts" from McMaster-Carr. They're cast 316 Stainless.
You can never have too many handy places to hang or tie stuff!
So here it is mounted in place. Note the switches on the sides, and the way the routed edge makes it look thinner.
I used a Red light on the starboard aft corner, and Amber in the starboard
To Port there's a white one. I used one of each color to see how they work out in real life, and then decide before installing the last light.
I still want lights there, and there's room to mount them, but it seemed that if I used lights that hung down even a bit I'd be constantly breaking them with my head.
These LED Lights are small enough to mount in a 7/8" thick
plank, and only draw .05 amps (.7W) so I figured it's worth a shot.
Hopefully they'll work out. I don't think they're bright enough for anything other than ambiance, but we'll see.
I overdrilled the holes on the back side to fit over the "real"
nuts that are
holding the mast collar down.
There will be four Led lights, with rocker switches mounted
on the edges of the teak. I used a router to make slots for the switches,
and my Handy Dremel Tool to make grooves for all the wires. Wiring it up was
a bit of a pain, but after getting all the wires in place I held them down
Once it's mounted on the boat,
the cabin top will hold them in place.
Since this area might get wet, all the connections are heat-shrink sealed.
Here's my opinion:
* White is lousy, since it's really bluish and harsh.
When it's on it seems to evoke a feeling of visceral annoyance.
The white will be replaced.
* Red is twice as bright as the others, and will work perfect to provide a dim illumination in the cabin when sailing at night, but I only need one.
* Amber provides a nice warm ambient glow. It's not bright enough to really do much all by itself, but fills in shadows nicely. When only Amber is on, it's like having candlelight. Sorta.
So I'm going to pull the white and add two more Amber.
The white is too expensive to waste,
so it'll go somewhere, someday.
Maybe in the engine compartment, since when I'm back there
I'm already annoyed and the light won't make it worse.
November 2002 -
With three Amber lights and the single Red this is really nice. The three Ambers fill the entire cabin with nice mellow light. Not enough to read by, but just enough to move about and find things without needing to flip on more lights.