Boating - - BOAT DOCTOR Q&A -

Q: My boat’s red and green bow light [Ed­i­tor’s note: the red and green light or lights are of­fi­cially termed “side­lights”] has a plas­tic lens that is in two parts. One side is green and the other red. When re­plac­ing a bulb, the chrome-plated hous­ing screws down over these two plas­tic pieces. The prob­lem is that there is a small seam be­tween the red and green plas­tic. It’s not enough to see, but while run­ning, this seam al­lows spray to seep in and hit the hot bulb. This breaks the bulb. The same thing hap­pens back at the dock af­ter a night run: If I rinse off the boat, I have to avoid spray­ing the bow light or else the bulb breaks. Do you have any sug­ges­tions?

Don Fit­ter­man Se­cau­cus, New Jer­sey

A: Don, while I could sug­gest any num­ber of Rube Gold­berg fixes, I would only deem these ap­pro­pri­ate if done while out on a cruise where no other op­tions were avail­able. In­stead, I’ll rec­om­mend you re­place the fix­ture and check the new one out for wa­ter­tight con­struc­tion. Proper light­ing is an es­sen­tial safety com­po­nent. It’s a shame that a maker pro­duced a light made from such a costly, qual­ity ma­te­rial like chrome-plated stain­less and then fell short in an­other part of the de­sign.

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