Help? putting lights on my 12ft jon boat

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by moondog58, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. moondog58

    moondog58 New Member

    Messages:
    262
    State:
    West Virginia
    Ok, my 12 ft jon boat is a day runner right now. Was thinking that over the winter, when it is stored in the back yard, I might put some lights on her so my son and I could night fish on the Monongahela River.

    I am trying to get the old Montgomery Wards Sea King 5 hp up and running, but right now all we have for power is an electric trolling motor.

    How hard would it be to rig some type of light package, maybe removable, and run it off the trolling motor battery? Seems straight forward enough, but I am not wiring expert. I can do it, but I may shock everyone in the boat.

    Does anyone have any ideas on this?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Wabash River Bear

    Wabash River Bear New Member

    Messages:
    3,019
    State:
    Indiana
    I suggest a seperate battery for accesories if you are using a trolling motor as your only propulsion. You dont want to get stranded for lack of battery.

    12v wiring is pretty basic and easy. Positive from the battery (using red wire of the proper gauge) to an inline fuse (of the proper amperage for the device) out of the inline fuse to one side of a switch (of the proper amperage), out of the other side of the switch to the device's positive. Device's negative (using black wire of the proper gauge) to the battery negative.


    The key is to know the amp draw of your device and size eveything accordingly.


    Make sure all your connections are tight, secure, insulated, and seal with liquid tape. Stake on or crimp on connectors will give you a variety of options and will work fine if done properly.


    Make sure your wiring is tucked away where it cant get damaged or short to your boat hull. Hint, cpvc pipe can be used as a cheap conduit.

    Never, ever, use your boat hull as a ground plane. Always run a seperate ground to your battery.


    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009

  3. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Messages:
    1,463
    State:
    Central Iowa
    just buy the clamp on ones that look like a flashlight.
     
  4. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

    Messages:
    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    if you goto walmart or to cabellas.com or basspro.com or any of the above they sell the clamp on type and they run on D batteries. they are cheap and effective, i have them on my 15 foot Jon boat. it's alot easier then wiring up something.
     
  5. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,623
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    I have to agree just get the clamp on flashlight style an make sure u keep some extra batteries in the boat for them :wink:
     
  6. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
  7. 6pointer0075

    6pointer0075 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    State:
    tn
    yeah the clamp ons are the easy way to go but lets just add this up...front clamp light maybe $15 back maybe $15 and d cell batteries arent chaep either what are they like 7 for a 4pack and get ready to buy new ones everytime u go out. i have them for my boat but they are really dim which makes it hard for other boats to see you. i bought real lights cause i got tired of messing with the clamps and replacing the batteries. i think like he said just crack ya a beer set down for a minute and wire some real lights and spend half the money. good luck to ya let us know how it goes!!!
     
  8. catfishinsc

    catfishinsc New Member

    Messages:
    507
    State:
    SC
    Which ever way you go, carry extra bulbs too, and check the lights before you go out, or at least before it gets dark.
     
  9. Eddie Mullins

    Eddie Mullins New Member

    Messages:
    299
    State:
    AR
    I just got a $20 pair of Baja running lights from Wally Wolrd I plan to mount on my boat. They came with wiring and switch and are on a mount that requires a single bolt hole to install. Tryin to decide if I want to make a removable mount for the boat and just how to best keep them out of the way if I am running lines. I don' tknow much about wiring either, but these came as a kit with instructions so I think even I can figure it out.
     
  10. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    "Removable mount"?

    Ya might take a cue from some of the rod holder bars our members have made.
    Then install male/female plugins on the "lights end" of the wires.

    When ya want 'em, drop your holder on and plug in. :big_smile:
     
  11. catfishinsc

    catfishinsc New Member

    Messages:
    507
    State:
    SC
    They make lights that have a base and the light is on a pole that you stick in the base. The base stays in place and wired up, and is very low profile. I'm sure they cost more and don't come with wire, but if you want removable ones they may be worth it. You won't have to fabricate anything or get plugs for the wires.
     
  12. etexun

    etexun New Member

    Messages:
    375
    State:
    Texas (Nea
    Here is I posted out my Boat Light project. It might give you some ideas. There are all sorts of lights you can install. It is a personal decision, go with easy to install lights, of course they will not be as bright but easy install and maintain. Or go with bolt on lights and then you really have to start figuring out how to mount them? How bright do you want them to be? And will your battery run them?
    Either way have fun. Its your boat.
    I posted it to the end of my boat project.
    Flatbottom project in the boat modification topics.
     
  13. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    On my ten foot jon I went with the receptacles and pole nav lights ( and used plug in wires for the depth sounder)

    For a few reasons.

    First, because I already had the nav lights on "poles" that went to a bass boat I had ( Savings!! no sense buying another set when you can just swap 'em back and forth)

    Second, this boat sits about as high off the surface as a water spider does, so I figured a higher mount would be MUCH better for folks being able to see me.

    Third, I wanted to be able to flip this boat for "roof rack" or "station wagon" hauling if need be.
    The removable pole lights are tailor made for quick on and off. (I can disassemble all my electrics, small battery included, in about a minute)

    ...And,, when I don't need the lights,, they are stored out of my way.

    With the new receptacles, wire, connections, push-pull switch, and small battery (I already had the lights) I have something like $55 in the job.
     
  14. moondog58

    moondog58 New Member

    Messages:
    262
    State:
    West Virginia
    Thanks everyone for your ideas and help. I let you know what I will do in the boat mod forum next spring when I get it done.

    Thanks again.
     
  15. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You know what the regs are on those lights?
    2 miles.
     
  16. catnbox69

    catnbox69 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    burlington
    I have a telescopic pole that once was a tree cutting tool, i have removed the head and put the wiring inside the tubing. the light im using is a 8$ painters light(trouble light)with the end cut off that i have replaced with colored alligator clips. i can put the light up high enough that the bugs stay away and the light isnt in the way. works great...............damn i shoulda marketed this product,oh well hope this helps