Unless you are Larry and Lin Pardey, who don’t have an electrical system on their boat, you spend a part of each day checking that your electrical system is performing the way you want it. One way cruisers reduce the power they use is to switch all their bulbs over to LED bulbs. Typically for the same amount of light, an LED uses about a third the amount of power. In Tampa I changed the lights in the salon and our night light but no where else. The night light which is LED and our anchor light run about 10 hours a day consuming about 10 Amp-hours (1 amp for 10 hours) or about 10% of our overall consumption. Every night when I would check the battery levels, shutdown the fridge and start the anchor lights, I would cringe as the amps would climb above one even when we weren’t really “doing” anything. I would look up longingly at the top of the mast thinking about all the power I would save with an LED bulb but I was nervous about going up there to change it.
Once we got back to Florida I decided it was time, the wind was light and we had dug out the bosun chair I had made in Key Largo, which looks like a playground swing and the harness out of the lazarette. Leah stepped up to the winch and heroically lifted me to the top where I was able to look at the anchor light and the other mast top fittings which we might remove to reduce our height to get through the Okeechobee Waterway. I removed the anchor light cap to determine what kind of bulb it was.
The view from up top was amazing! I could see the whole bay and to the ocean. I took some pictures (of course) then headed back down the mast.
About a week or two later we had the new light bulb and after a great supper we decided let “get-er done” so I hooked up the swing. This time I used a prusik knot on the safety line to create a loop to put one foot through. This allowed me to use one leg to assist Leah on the winch, which made her job way earlier. Thanks Shannon from Shell for the tip to use this knot.
At the top of the mast I changed out the light bulb and then Leah lowered me back down. Another project done.