“Who needs navigation lights? I don’t fish at night!”

“Who needs navigation lights? I don’t fish at night!”
Light fixture corrosion can be reduced with frequent use.
September is a great month to be out on the water and as we start getting the first mild cool fronts you will notice as the air temperature drops, your outboard just seems to run better. Actually, it does. This is due to greater air density. It is amazing to feel the extra horsepower you have been missing all summer.

With the temperature changing you will also notice the days are a bit shorter, which brings me to this month's topic: Do your navigation lights work?

In the early morning and late evening, not just during total darkness, navigation lights are a must for safe operation. During an annual service at our store we flip every switch to verify system operations, and did you know when most owners are called to talk about this issue the owner will often respond with; "We only fish during the day." Even with this answer I ask all the obvious questions and go on to explain the importance for keeping navigation lights in good working order.

A common denominator that is consistent with navigation light system failures is that if you don't use the system regularly it is almost guaranteed to fail. Moist salt air will destroy the contacts in the fixtures and the copper wiring will act as a wick and draw the moisture inside, destroying the integrity of the copper. During rigging, whether in original installation or repair, using "tinned" wire (although more expensive) is vital to the life of the electrical system. High-quality bulbs are also more expensive but they are going to last much longer, given their better resistance to corrosion in the salt air environment.

The bottom line here is simple, turn on the navigation lights every time you get on the boat for at least fifteen minutes. Getting caught on the water at night with no lights is dangerous and it is easily preventable.

Have a great September!

Chris Mapp
Coastal Bend Marine
Port O'Connor, TX