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Old 06-19-2009, 07:44 AM   #1
Rear Admiral
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 333

A few days before departing Brisbane for Vanuatu we fitted LED nav lights on the pulpit. Bright, light and definately right - came up a treat.

10 days later after battling heavy seas all the way we dropped anchor at Huon Reef on the northern outskirts of New Caledonia. A long, wet, cold trip dodging storms and squalls night and day.

Launched the dinghy to see what life was like standing on something dry and definately stationary, we motored round the bow of Mico to discover that our bumpkin chain (15mm stainless steel), heavy duty toggle and fittings had been reduced to something the consistency of a voilet crumble honeycomb. And crumble it did. Squeezed between the fingers it fell apart

A big fright as if we had of not stopped and continued through to Vanuatu - we could have lost the entire rig.

The culprit?

Tracked it down to a hairline split in the LED wiring. So small it barely made contact and was almost invisible to the naked eye.

During the night watches when we turned on the nav lights I had noticed the occasional spike on the control board but mistakenly put it down to the radar that also got switched on for night passage.

Fortunately we had spare chain and fittings to see us through but next time I see a spike? I'll be checking the entire boat!

Can't seem to upload the pic as internet is only one jump ahead of tom toms and smoke signals here - will try later.

Fair winds.

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Old 06-19-2009, 12:18 PM   #2
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Posts: 2,098

Oh, my! *Have you dived to check your zincs, just in case? *Please try to send some photos - it would be instructive to all of us.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 06-19-2009, 05:19 PM   #3
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Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Ouch! Please do dive and check your zincs--good practice. You may also wish to invest in a silver/silver chloride half cel and use it with a voltage/ohm meter to check for problems and proper zinc sizing.

Good luck! in your travels
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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Old 06-21-2009, 01:06 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 15
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"You may also wish to invest in a silver/silver chloride half cel and use it with a voltage/ohm meter to check for problems and proper zinc sizing."

Can you elucidate on this? Not covered in Nigel Calder and would be very instructive, thanks!
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