Bow and Stern Navigation Light Replacement

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Ron Hill, Apache #788

Over the years the UV of the sunlight had taken a toll on the lenses. The outsides were heavily crazed. The rest of the fixture looked fine (from the outside) so I special ordered only replacement lenses. I was surprised to find that the entire fixture was only a few dollars more than the lens replacement.

Replacement Light

The Aqua Signal Classic 25 series is easy to replace. The stern light lens came right off after the bottom and top retaining screw head bolts were removed. It was a simple task to remove and insert the new lens. The bow fixture was a different matter. I’d replaced that bulb many years ago, so it had been apart. I was surprised how difficult it was to turn the upper bolt. Then the bolt turned, but didn’t back out. After removing the entire fixture I found the problem. That upper brass bolt had corroded itself to the captive brass nut and then broke in half. So it was back to the chandlery for a complete bow light assembly as I didn’t have an extra 2 ¼ inch #4 NF bolt onboard!!

Over the years, especially the bow fixture was exposed to salt water and those nuts and bolts had corroded. During installation of the new fixture and wire I coated all of the nuts and bolts with a waterproof grease (or lanacoat) to cut down corrosion.

My advice to someone taking on this task - is to take the fixture apart first, so you know if it’ll come apart in one piece. Even if you’ve had that fixture apart, but didn’t coat the threads with a preservative, don’t count on it coming apart properly. I also noted that although the bulb is a festoon type it’s slightly different. This fixture needs a special festoon bulb with end “dimples” - not end points like most festoon bulbs!

Replacement Bulb

Replacement Bulb

Another upgrade is to just replace the bulb with a high efficiency LED drop in replacment like the one shown here. I found this one at Doctor LED Very exciting stuff.

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