Spreader lights are possibly one of the coolest lighting accessories for sail boaters. The mast provides the perfect platform for illumination on deck and it can make sailing at night a much safer and pleasant experience.
Ship to Shore offers spreader lights from Rigid Industries, Dr. Led, Lumitech and Sea Dog Line. The lights I chose operate at 18 watts each which equates to 1.5 amps at 12 volts, 18 AWG wire will work for both lights in this application.
Parts & Components / Procedure
I will be using a low profile Sea Dog Cable Cam for the thru-deck seal and grommets where the wire enters and exits the mast to prevent chafe. I will split the primary duplex wire with step down but connectors to power both sets of lights. They will bolt onto my spreaders with a couple 5/16 mounting holes and the included hardware. I chose my favorite low profile Cole Hersee switch to control the lights and a dimmer.
My strategy for running the wire inside the mast is as follows. Halcyon's mast has no access hole at the moment, so I will drill an access 1 inch in diameter about 6 inches above the foot of the mast. I will drill a 5/16 pilot hole for the wire just below the access and file it by hand to fit the grommet exactly (I don't have a 3/8" drill bit). I will then run a wire snake down from the exit hole at the spreaders and feed the wire back up. Practice makes perfect installing the tiny grommets around the wire. I have found that placing them in some warm soapy water before installing makes the whole process much easier; the grommets I bought are quite stiff and hard to fit. It was also necessary to cut them along one edge to slip them over the wire and seat them in the mast. The wire is supported on the spreaders by several cable clips in sequence with moderate tension on each, the rest of the wiring is also clipped down to the spreaders.