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Maintaining Navigation Lights

How you can increase the service life and maintenance intervals of navigation lights.

June 13, 2012
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For BoatingLAB’s in-depth test and comparison of navigation lights click here.

First my apologies! I’ve been traveling for the last several weeks, picking up and trailering my new boat up the East Coast. So, now you know why I haven’t updated in a couple of weeks. I’ll share more on the new ride as the month progresses.

Anyhow, I’m back in action here at the blog site and a few new things flew in over the transom this morning that are worth sharing and need pointing out. One of them is an announcement from our friends at Perko that talks about something they do that can really make a difference in your maintenance checklist requirements. The photo here tells part of the story:

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So the arrows are pointing to what are perhaps the most vulnerable electrical contacts on your boat. The connections inside your navigation lights live a horrible life! Outside all the time, getting sprayed with sea water regularly, they eventually end up with badly corroded contacts at the light bulbs. Perko’s answer? Gold plate the terminals.

Gold is one of the most noble metals we know of and it resists corrosion naturally. Heck, they are still finding gold artifacts at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea that are in really nice shape considering their exposure to sea water for centuries!

So, when shopping for new nav light fixtures, and sooner or later you will be, check these Perko lights out. It’s the details that count in top quality boat wiring, and these terminals are just one more way to raise the bar as well as the service life and maintenance intervals for your navigation lights.

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Three Tips for Maintaining Navigation Lights
• Clean the contacts of both the bulb and the fixture regularly, using fine sandpaper wrapped on a dowel. A pen eraser works well too.
• Coat the contacts with dielectric grease
• Clean the wiring terminals and check them for corrosion and a tight mechanical fit.

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