Up the mast


Carol went fishing at the crack of dawn and couldn’t see our anchor light. We asked another boat if they could see it the next night and….no light. So we left our steaming light on for the night. For the non-boaters, anchor lights are small all around white lights usually kept at the top of the mast on a sailboat so that other boats coming and going in the dark don’t crush you. Important!

We had replaced our energy hungry normal bulb with an LED bulb that fit in our existing fixture, thereby avoiding redoing the electrical wiring which runs inside of our mast. One year later the ANCOR replacement LED died.


Hopefully we can return to West Marine or warranty with Ancor but of course we didn’t keep the receipt for a light bulb. *sigh*

At first we weren’t certain if it was the bulb, or the fixture, or the wiring so after some inside-the-boat tests with the multimeter, I took our climbing ascenders and shimmied up the main halyard while Carol kept the spinnaker halyard on a winch as my safety line. This is some of the kit at the top of the mast:
IMGP2580 IMGP2578 IMGP2577

I cleaned up the connections which was useful but not necessary and bent a bit in the fixture into a better fitting shape (it had relaxed) but the only problem at this time was the new bulb. The old one worked perfectly and we still have another old style bulb as a spare for now.


Our lagoon in Scow Bay from the mast:


  1. I've got a light out at the top of the mast too, that I just found out about because of an overweight bird (posting coming tonite). I didn't have a screwdriver with me (why?), so I don't know if it is an LED problem or a poor connection with the light base. (The low-current LEDs are particularly susceptible to poor connections)

  2. The photo looking down from the top of the mast is cool and dizzying.

  3. Awesome that you can combine your climbing and sailing skills! Great view from the top.



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