View Full Version : Lighting Up A Boat

02-06-2002, 01:29 PM
I am thinking of putting a fluorescent light inside my boat, so when I am night fishing I don't have to keep using a torch. I was thinking of putting it underneath the pockets and was wondering what sort of strain this would have on my battery. My boat is a 16 foot aluminuim Bermuda, is this something I could do? Or should I get someone to do it for me? Also, I've heard of battery chargers, do you just connect these the night before you go out to keep your battery life up, or what? I've seen these in K Mart, are they K Mart crap, or are they good enough for what I need? Thanks for your help. :)

02-06-2002, 02:49 PM
I had a little flouro in my half cab for a few years then knocked into it with an esky and broke it.
I've never replaced it to my anguish - just never get around to it.
It was only a relatively cheap one from Super Cheap. It drew bugger all amps and I could run it for 3-4 hours a night no worries on a single 15 plate marine battery.
There's a place call Choice Electrics near the RNA that specialise in real low amp lights for 12 volt.
I've got a 60cm flouro for camping from them that is bright as a light in the house. It draw 1 amp per hour. Bit exy compered to Super cheap but may be worth the while in the long run. If you run a dual battery system you're laughing anyway.

02-06-2002, 06:15 PM
Same as bugman. I have two from Supercheap up under the gunnels and run them with all the electrics with no problems. Great because no glare and out of the weather and harms way.

03-06-2002, 06:37 AM
Hey Sean,
like the others said and do it yourself. Bugger all off your battery and easy to install with cigarette lighter sockets.

04-06-2002, 05:19 AM
there are lights in the gardening section of coles which are solar powered. you get about 8 hours of light from a sunnydays charging. roughly $20


05-06-2002, 09:04 AM
Thanks, the solar powered ones sound interesting, Saves wiring!

19-06-2002, 04:19 AM
After reading this thread, I installed a marine quality cigarette lighter socket on my Quinnie runabout on Saturday and then plugged in a $13 portable fluoro (8W) to go fishing at Jumpinpin on Saturday night.

It was brilliant!!! I just slipped the fluoro under the gunwale and sitting on a bracket under there and had lovely indirect light. Now I will go and buy a second light to slip under the gunwale on the other side to spread the light across the boat's floor.

So much better than torch light or other incadescent light for tying hooks etc. Plenty of light available.

My wife then showed me an old catalog from Crazy Clarks that showed what looked like exactly the same light for $5.99. But even at $13, it was a bargain!

The only thing that I need to change now is that the anchor light is on a short pole at the back of the boat and it gets in the eyes and is very annoying. So this week, i shall rig up a little light on a long lead to sit on top of the canopy away from my direct vision when anchoring and have it plugged into the anchor light socket.

I also bought a new spottie on Saturday to plug into the cigarette lighter socket and that worked out very well also.

So let's see - portable fluoro = $13; Cigarette lighter socket = $10.50; fuse holder = $1.50; fuse + a bit of wire. A very cheap way of getting a great night fishing lighting set-up.

If you did not want to hardwire a socket and fuse, the fluoro come with both a cigarette lighter plug AND an alligator clip connection to clip it on directly to the battery.

Ignore the modest power drain. It won't kill your battery.

I wouldn't be bothered with expensive sounding solar thingies.


19-06-2002, 05:07 AM
Done exactly the same with the cheap fluro as Sweetlip. Plenty of light that's not beaming in your face. I run mine directly from the battery with an inline swith under the gunwale, out of the weather. Works a treat.

19-06-2002, 06:04 AM
so all up $25 + a bit of wire + a couple hours labour/. you could of almost bought two expensive sounding solar thingies for that.

so you could be bothered hard wiring a socket to your battery, mounting the socket, mounting the fluro, zip tying wires, installing fuse holders, a bit of soldering if you do it properly. but wouldnt be bothered taking a solar light from the box and cliping it onto your canopy/gunwale/transom/where ever you want. not to mention it is a great anchor light for overnighters you dont need to worry about having a flat battery when you wake up. your choice i guesse ???

19-06-2002, 08:45 AM
Have you done it with the solar powered light.

How many watts does it give out?

I suspect that a solar powered garden light does not go anywhere near the light output of a little fluoro.


19-06-2002, 01:35 PM
Horses for courses Mick. I enjoy tinkering, as would many others. ;D
I would think a sealed fluro would outlast a garden light in the salt environment. I'll give those solar thingies a look when I'm down Coles next.

20-06-2002, 08:29 AM
no they dont have the same output as a fluro. you can just read by one of them. provided you used marine quality wire and fluro your probably right jack. but as far as conveinence and price go, they are good value.

just my opinion

21-06-2002, 07:18 PM
Probably the absolute cheapest and most effective solution is to go to Crazy Clarks and buy one of their $5.99 12v 8W fluoro trouble lights.

I bought one tonight and it is a copy of the $13 one that I bought from Whitworths last week. For all intents and purposes it looks the same but on closer inspection, you can tell the differences but at $6 who gives a rats how long it lasts.

These little lights come with two connections as standard - a cigarette lighter socket AND a couple of alligator clips to hook directly on to the battery.

It does not get any simpler that this and assuming that they do work which of course they must otherwise you take it back, I can say that 8W is stacks of light in the back of a boat for baiting, tying hooks etc.

The power drain on the boat battery is too small to worry about.

I am adding a second one only to spread the light across the floor at the back of the boat from under the gunwales but that is just a luxury.


22-06-2002, 09:24 AM
I have just bought nav lights etc for my tinny and will be installing them on the weekend. I bought some small round lights that have the top half of the bam blocked so they only shine downwards. They are called curtesy lights and you may have seen them on those airport starways for getting on planes on the tarmac. They shine the light downwards so you see where your stepping but not blinded with them shining in your eyes. I was told when buying them that they should give a soft light around the bottom of the boat but not cause any glare above the boat to ruin night sight.

I will let you know how I go when I get them in and have used them. Can't remeber the exact cost but I think around $10 each.