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Thread: Cockpit lights

  1. #1

    Default Cockpit lights

    So the perko lights fitted to my bimini are corroded - and worse, the cable wasn't tinned - so the corrosion has wicked back up the wiring inside the bimini.

    I can see where the cabling runs, but hoping I can free the cable on the cabin side of the bimini (ie. inside if I remove the headlining) - hopeing I don't have to lift the bimini to get access on the top... Anyone else had experience with this?

    Any suggestions on replacement lights? Sticking with the perko ones is easiest, but I could drill the stainless disk thats welded to the bimini and put something else up if there was something nicer that wasn't going to turn to white powder after a few years....

    Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: Cockpit lights

    I have seen a very nice Hella waterproof LED light that would be suitable, but the price is silly.

    Tinned cable, silicon grease and led conversion soldered and then hot melt glue to keep all the wiring good seems like an approach.
    Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Worcester, U.K., Moraira, Spain
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Cockpit lights

    Sorry, can't help but will be very interested to hear where the cables run for future reference.

    I think mine are still original but have to confess that they don't look good. Thinking of swapping a couple of the engine room lights as they are the same but have fared better in that environment than the cockpit ones which have seen more than their fair share of bimini height waves arriving aboard

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cockpit lights

    Mike - Good point about the engine bay ones - but mine don't seem to work.

    The cables for my lights seem to run down the arms of the bimini to the coachroof, then out and into the cross-frame. From there, they seem to go down the middle support into the cabin, then under the headliner towards the nav station.

    Where they come through the roof is caked in sealant, so it could be a challenge to free them off and replace them. Will let you know!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cape Canaveral, Florida
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Cockpit lights

    On our P42 the two cockpit lights are wired independently. Both wires run through the bimini frame into the port aft cabin, where they are joined to a single wire that runs across to the electrical panel in the starboard hull.

    Each light has a wire that runs inside the fore-aft tube above it. The wires run aft to the cross tube. There is a hole in the fore-aft tube just before it joins the cross tube and a hole in the cross tube near where it the fore-aft tube joins it. The wire is visible from the cockpit for about an inch where it transitions from the fore-aft tube to the cross tube. Once back inside the cross tube, both wires run toward the port side. The wires transition to the down tube completely within the tubes and are not visible from the cockpit. The wires run inside the down tube and through the deck. There is a hole drilled in the deck about the size of your finger and both wires run through the same hole. This hole was sealed with caulk around the wires. The deck hole is lined up with the down tube and the wires are not visible from the cockpit.

    To gain access to the wires in the port aft cabin, I had to remove the ceiling panels (held in place by velcro -- just pull, but be careful of the wires for the ceiling lights).

    I had to remove the wires to weld some additional hand-holds onto the existing bimini frame. I was able to remove and re-install the wires, but it was quite a job pulling the wire out and pull it back in. I taped stainless steel (seizing) wire to the end of each electrical wire at the cockpit light and pulled it through into the cabin. The tricky part was getting the wire around the corner where the cross tube joins to the down tube. I had to push an inch of wire from one end and then pull that inch out from the other. Tedious, even with a helper. As I recall, it took about 3 hours to get the wire back in. These days, I would seriously consider abandoning the factory wiring run and instead substituting a self-contained battery-powered LED light.

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