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Driving lights for a river boat - what works best

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  • Driving lights for a river boat - what works best

    Thinking about adding some 'driving' lights to my riverboat. There have been a fair number of times that I have found myself running back to camp with little natural light left. So far I have been lucky..

    1) Mount high or mount low
    2)LED or ?
    3)type of light (spot - bar - etc)
    4)Minimum lumens needed to make them effective

    This will be for a river boat - goal is to be able to see obstacles to make it to and from locations without having an OOPS.

  • #2
    Go to Wooldridge's facebook page and check out thier light placement and the LED lights they are installing on the customers boats that are pictured there.
    No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel when these guys have it figured out already. I'm sure a quick call to the factory would answer all sorts of your questions regarding type, lumens, style (spot, wide angle), etc...
    BK Marine Services 232-6399
    Alaskas only Planar diesel heaters dealer, service, warranty, and installation.
    Alaskas only Lonestar drum winch dealer, Whirlwind props, Stinger gearbox, and Alumatech airboats.


    • #3
      LED for long life and low current draw! Any mounting position that lets light reflect off the front deck is bad.
      When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
      '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
      2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"


      • #4
        I don't have a lot of experience running rivers at night what little I do know is when the light hit's the water it like a black hole and absorb the light. I ran 4 lights two pointed to each side so I could see any trees on the sides and two BIG spot lights pointed in front. It was not enough.

        What every you decide on make sure your boat charging system and battery can handle the load, you would not want to have a dead battery.


        • #5
          I bought two cheap ($150 each) HID off road lights I am going to mount on my ocean boat. Will be used in the late fall when it get dark early. I am struggling with where to mount them myself. Not going to cut pockets in the hull as the hull is painted. I think they are going to get mounted on the bow rail or gunnel and face forward. 1 million candle power should work.

          Some of the new LED light bars look nice, but the bright ones are mucho $$$$, like $700 to $1000 to make it look like day time in front of you.
          2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

          Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson


          • #6
            The led lights are very bright. Low draw, and through a wide beam. There are nice lights to have for slow speeds and up close. However their range is very limited. They dont reach out and touch anything.

            For example. I have a set of rigid dually led lights mounted on the top of my cab of my ranger. Flip them on and it is broad daylight almost 90* out to both sides of the wheeler and for a good distant out front. However, kick up the speed and you start over driving them somewhere in the 20's. Id love them on a boat for picking your way in and out of shore, ect. But they would be useless on step. I would mucb rather have a set of 6" or 10" lightforce lights to reach out into the night.


            • #7
              What work best are some HIDs, but they suck some serious power and replacement bulbs are not cheap.
              I've got a Rigid light bar combo spot/flood. Good light, reliable. And it's enough to get you back to camp. The rigid lights, as you get bigger(and this is true of most LED lights) just produce more light, not more powerful light, if that makes sense. So to really reach out there, some good HID lights would be the way to go IMHO.
              Ive got my light on my overhead rack, seems to work fine.
              Fighting gravity is never cheap.


              • #8
                Lightforce lights with the blue lens covers. The blue lens is designed for marine applications. Sucks the juice though. I have found most lights while on the water will help you find the bank or objects in the water but doesn't help with reading the water. There to be uses to get out of a bind but I wouldn't head out in the dark just because I had them.
                Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity


                • #9
                  Hand held spot light works very well, you can point it where you want it.
                  "I'd rather be fishing!"


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