Whaler Restoration – Bow Light Fabrication & Install

Installing the bow light took much more time and way more than work I expected… but I guess that’s been the case with every part of this restore.

The recommended installation of the bow light required cutting into the rub rail so that the assembly fit flush to the deck. But I didn’t want to cut into a perfectly brand new rub rail. So, to account for the gap and to help the base of the assembly sit flush, I needed to raise it about a quarter inch Marine lumber to the rescue! This 1/4″ x 6″ x 12″ block cost about $20 and took me roughly 3 hours of sawing, dremeling, and sanding to get it shaped just right. All cuts and corners were smoothed and one edge even tapered for the best fit. Holes were drilled to allow for passthrough of the mounting bolts and room for the wires.

For mounting underneath, a metal bracket was supplied. But, I didn’t drill my holes in the exact spot through the hull to account for its width. So, I then had to break out the hacksaw and cut it lengthwise to make it skinnier, then sand and smooth it. A piece of marine lumber was shaped to stack on top and give a tighter fit. Then, the bolts also came too long, so I had to cut them shorter.

Before putting everything together, I spray painted the black bracket with several coats of white Rustoleum paint, I filled in all holes with 3M 4200 adhesive sealant, and I wired the assembly to its power cable, securing the connections with heat shrink sleeves. The power cable was tucked in behind the rub rail, the bolts were tightened, and I hooked the light up to the battery to see the finished project. Looks good!

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