5/7/2014 – First boat job done

Got up early today, had breakfast and was at the boat by shortly after 8:00.  Today’s job: hang ribbon LEDs in the quarter berth (aka “the garage”) so it’s easier to see all the crap we have stored back there.  Maybe I’d do a little inventory and cleaning up while I was at it.

Obviously, before I could do any work in the garage, I had to empty it out.  This is when I’m glad that I’m here on my own and Lulu’s up in Oregon being a grandma to these two:

20140507 093518 resized by AVG Image ShrinkerImage

If she was at the boat, she’d have to deal with this:

IMG 2411

and this:

IMG 2410

All that garage stuff has to go somewhere while I’m working.  The first surprise I ran into was the elusive gallon jug of propylene glycol that we’d bought for pickling the watermaker.  I managed to get it done with just one gallon after we couldn’t find the second one and convinced ourselves that maybe we hadn’t really bought it after all.  Well, we did and it was crunched under stuff way at the back with a tiny hole in it’s bottom.  Not having a vent hole, it didn’t leak very much, thankfully.  The next surprise was this:

IMG 2409

The bottom of the can of Teak Oil had rusted and developed some holes.  Fortunately, there wasn’t much in the can when we stowed it.  This actually came up pretty easily with a putty knife followed by some al-purpose kitchen cleaner spray.  Once I got this all cleaned up I could actually get on with the job of hanging and wiring the ribbon LEDs.  These come on a long strip about 16 feet long.  One end has bare wires and the other end has some kind of plug.  The strip is marked so that you can cut it after each individual LED module.  Each module is about 1.5″ long.  I started with the bare wires and ran a continuous strip around the top of the three walls of the quarter berth.  It’s really easy to hang the strip because it has an adhesive back.  Good thing because if you tried to use a staple or something you’d surely short things out.  I hope the adhesive is good.  Once I got to the end, I snipped the ribbon at the mark.  I still had a good 5′ piece so I decided to put it under the shelf behind the sink & stove.

These could be wired directly to a switch but I opted for dimmers in both these locations.  The quarter berth didn’t really need the dimmer but it’s what I had so I used it.  The under-shelf light however, will be great with a dimmer.  We like to have a little bit of light on when we’re watching our shows and this will be perfect.  Set it as dim as we want and have hardly any amp-draw.

The before and after pictures of the under-shelf installation aren’t very dramatic since it was bright daylight when I snapped the photo, but here you go anyway.


IMG 2414After:

IMG 2415

That white thing behind the egg beater is the side of a fluorescent fixture lit up by the LED ribbon.

The garage, however, is much more dramatic:


IMG 2412


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Oh, this is going to make life much easier.  I still have three more ribbons.  Wonder where I should install them.  Engine Room?  That’d be sweet.  Where else?  Suggestions?

Besides the leaking jugs, I didn’t throw too much away.  I did make Jimmy (the local guy who helped me with the Frenchman’s boat) pretty happy when I gave him an ultralightweight fishing rod and reel and a gaff hook that I’d overlooked when we were purging the boat of fishing gear.  That stuff could have bitten us if it’d been found during some kind of inspection since our fishing licenses have expired and we have no plans to renew them.  In Mexico, if there’s fishing gear on the boat, any fishing gear, everyone on board is required to have a current fishing license.  Also gave Jimmy 2 pairs of flippers that we bought and both hated.  They’re way too long for the kind of casual snorkeling we do.  Might be OK if we were scuba diving but we’re not.

Tomorrow’s job is the big one: relocate the stereo and free up a bunch of shelf space as a result.  This one could take me more than a day.


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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13 Responses to 5/7/2014 – First boat job done

  1. Tate says:

    LEDs are such a nice luxury aren’t they? We love them. Looks good.

  2. Voytek says:

    Steve, I’ve had some leftover LEDs and stuck them under the spreaders. Bright enough to light the deck and also double for anchor light….

  3. vraymond108 says:

    Steve, I have been wondering about those LED string lights. Which brand did you end up with? Unfortunately I need 24v for the most part. At least it is in every cabin on the boat.

    • sryoder says:

      Been so long since I bought them. I’ll have to check when I’m back at the boat tomorrow (spending nights in Flipper so I don’t have to clean up my mess every day). I’l get back to you on this.

    • sryoder says:

      Just looked through my electronic receipts (sometimes it pays to never throw anything away), and it looks like the lights came from LEDWholesalers

      4 “5 Meter Reel Warm White 2700k Flexible LED Ribbon 300 Leds 16 Ft by LEDwholesalers, 2026ww-27k” Misc.; $13.88 In Stock Sold by: LEDwholesalers ®

      I got my dimmers from the same source. The price was $0.04/dimmer but the shipping on 4 of them was $9.96. Still pretty reasonable. Must be a simple little step-down transformer you could use to change the 24V to 12V.

      • s/v Eolian says:

        Transformers don’t work on DC (this is why Tesla’s AC system beat out Edison’s DC system). You should be able to put two 12V strings in series with each other, being careful to ensure that both strings have the same number of LEDs.


  4. I’m pretty sure grandma Lulu is pretty glad she isn’t there as well. I’m sure she prefers changing smelly diapers than cleaning up leaking can goo!
    LEDs… I ripped out the fluorescent innards and stuck a strip in the fixtures utilizing the original switch and “look”. Even for the spot lights. The 2meter strip though, next to/along the curtain rod, keeps on un-sticking and is driving me nuts. I’ve tried adding more double sided tape to no avail even after cleaning the ceiling vinyl with acetone. Soon I’ll start stapling it until it goes bzzzzzzzz!

    • sryoder says:

      That’s not good news about the strip coming loose. Maybe I’ll be luckier. If not, I might resort to thumbtacks or pushpins since I can probably do a much more accurate job of placing the point in one of the tiny areas where there’s no circuitry.

  5. s/v Eolian says:

    Hi Steve –

    I bought a couple of 16′ reels too – the lites will go on the top of and behind some valences I am making to cover our window blinds (subject of another post sometime)… but because I am cheap and I didn’t trust the adhesive to not dry out, I bought the strips without the adhesive… planning to use a hot glue gun to stick them down.

    Now I am second-guessing my decision, and I will be very interested to hear how the adhesive on yours holds up in the tropical heat…

    s/v Eolian

  6. Daniel says:

    I think I’m going to take this idea. I’ve been looking at finding a good way to light up my engine space. This looks perfect for it.

    • sryoder says:

      I’m pretty sure I’m going to do it in the engine compartment as well. It’d be nice to be able find the oil dipstick by sight rather than jut feeling around for it.

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