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Underwater lights - are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by SoCalD, Feb 27, 2021.

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  1. SoCalD

    SoCalD New Member

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    I have a 50ft Mikelson sportfisher I am considering putting underwater lights on. I have spoken to two boat yards and they both said they do not recommend any underwater lights as most of them fail within the first 2-3 yrs. Looking for feedback on personal experiences with underwater lights. Do they fail often and are they worth it? Also which surface mount ones do you recommend? Lumitec seems to be one of the best.
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I ve never gotten more than two years out of Lumitecs. I don’t recall the brand we have now but they’re 3 year old and still working.

    is it worth it? Depends on where you are. I m always laughing when I see boats with underwater lights in areas where the water is murky. They’re useless. But if you go to the Bahamas? Hell yeah!
  3. BRyachts

    BRyachts Member

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    You'll never convince me it's a good idea to drill holes into or thru a fiberglass hull to mount a stamped sheet metal light.
    If you've got a cored hull it's just a good way to get water intrusion into the core, if you've got a solid below the waterline hull, why would you want to weaken it for a short term fashion statement that can only be used in clear water like Bahamas or Carib.
  4. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Me neither, not a good idea to drill holes in the bottom of your boat, cored or not, to do what? Light up the water to attract fishes, to look cool, or what..? o_O
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    It s really nice in the Bahamas. Adds a new dimension. Bottom looks amazing.

    One way to avoid drilling holes is to epoxy a mounting pad to the transom (as easy as 1” thick coosa) in which you attach the surface Mount lights. You run the wire thru a groove in the mounting pad and penetrate the transom above water line.

    this allows for the fixture to be replaced without a haul out
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    It's nice checking the fish swimming behind the boats as you walk down the dock in a place like Montauk, and I guess charter guests probably expect it, but as for fashion they're everywhere today and have been for quite while. To me more trouble or potential trouble than they're worth. If you want to amuse your kids or guests one evening just tie a few glow sticks to strings and drop them overboard.
  7. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    +1.
    That said, u/w lights are great for a night swim while anchored in total darkness.
    In fact, I've had friends onboard who would have never jumped in the water, before I turned on my custom made u/w lights.
    Which are the easiest/less expensive/more reliable you can find: a pair of powerful dive torches, attached to the stern cleats with lines and dropped overboard. Not as powerful as the brightest u/w lights available out there, but the result is practically the same, if not even better.
    For instance, when anchored in shallow and transparent waters, the effect they can make when lowered down close to the seabed has to be seen to be believed. And the hull is grateful for not having drilled holes in it.
  8. BigChief

    BigChief Member

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    I had 3 blue ocean leds on my tiara, 3 on a 41 vike. Now 4 lumitec Quattros on my 48 ocean.
    Never any issues. Proper install and sealant is the most important for success.
    I like the side facing lites along the stern which has now been more popular.
  9. SoCalD

    SoCalD New Member

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    Hey BigChief - what is the longest you have had underwater lights? How long have you had the Lumitecs?
  10. SoCalD

    SoCalD New Member

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    All, thank you for your replies! I am leaning toward not getting them now. You have all confirmed my concerns. I really do not like the thought of drilling more holes into my hull especially if the lights will not last that long. Also I did not mention this but the lower part of my transom is angled downward to provide lift when backing down so if I were to install lights, they would be pointing downward at a
    45 degree angle also so not ideal unless there are lights out there with a wide beam angle that would compensate for that.
  11. BigChief

    BigChief Member

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    5 yrs on both boats with ocean leds
    Lumitec are going on 6 yrs.

    Transducers usually have a wedge made to match the angle of the hull, can also be done for the lights.
    SoCalD likes this.
  12. Alzira II

    Alzira II Member

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    I would not not have a boat without them. I have 2 young boys who love to fish as late as I will let them stay up. They watch those lights and fish all night long while me and mom relax. The satisfaction of knowing they are fishing and observing the real word and not playing video games is the entire reason I own a boat. Install them right, if they break replace them.
    FlyingGolfer likes this.
  13. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Editor

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    You mean...ANYwhere in the Caribbean :)
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    or anywhere the water is clear...
  15. tbaxl

    tbaxl Member

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    UW lighting is great when you are trying to gaff a fish at night. I only have one mounted aft center, but fished a boat with three aft facing, three each side and a couple on the bottom facing down, best boat to fish at night I have been on. Mounting them is the same as other thru hulls, do it correctly and no issues.
  16. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    I love my underwater lights and would probably install them on any boat I have. I had a set of Lumitec Seablaze X's for 5 years on my current boat before one failed. I replaced them with a new set of Lumitec's. With all due respect to the other boaters on here I find it hard to believe that drilling a couple of 5/16th's holes into your transom in significantly undermining the structural integrity of the the boat, cored or not as long as proper precautions are taken. My boat it full of much bigger holes for various thru-hulls. And if they are installed correctly should give you absolutely no issues.
  17. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Editor

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    Correct but I was just expanding your Bahamas only comment ...as the entire Caribbean has clear water.
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Keyword is indeed CORRECTLY. If you have a cores transom you d better be sure whoever drills the holes first uses epoxy to isolate the core. Sealant isn’t enough. Which is why I like epoxing a mounting pad and then run the wire above WL
  19. Scott M

    Scott M Member

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    I have had Lumitecs on my old boat and installed them on my new boat. Pascal is 100% correct that they are best in clear water like Bahamas and Caribbean. 4+ years on my old boat and no failures. Drilling a 5/16 hole and surface mounting the light is no big deal. I would not have a boat without them. It is not a fashion statement and opens up a whole new world for your guests and children. Tons of fun at night. Risk is very low and enjoyment is very high. Highly recommend them.
    Norseman likes this.
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    E24C4EE9-31C3-4E80-9B56-77238D46BAA2.jpeg
    Installing underwater lights... $2000

    Petting a row of nurse sharks lined up on your swim platform.. priceless.
    dcwjd, ChiTown, SoCalD and 4 others like this.