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Project: "Can You See Me Now?"

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  • Project: "Can You See Me Now?"

    So for a long time now I have wanted to install a white navigation light on top of the tower pull point of my 2003 SANTE like the newer boats have, mainly because technically mine came form the factory illegal according to Coast Guard regulations. First off I would like to thank Grant West (many of you know this name) for giving me the idea and knowledge to pull this off since he did this same install about 2 years ago. Here is his original thread: http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showt...ght=innovative

    This is what you get... Innovative Lights part # 503-0100. I had to order it from West Marine. They don't keep it in stock so they will special order it from Innovative and have it shipped to you. Final cost was $82.50. ($58.99 for the light, $10.00 for breaking apart packing because they come in groups of 6, and shipping) This model has 2 pieces, the light and the transformer are separate. Part # 503-0000 has the transformer inside the light base but is about 1/2" taller.


    Here are some shots of the light base without the lens after I painted it to match the tower.




    With the lens...



    Now to the fun part of hacking up the tower. Here are the holes I drilled to allow the wiring to pass through the tower legs. I prefer to drill the holes in the inside of the tower legs instead of the outside... It just looks cleaner to me.



    Now comes the REALLY fun part of cutting the top of the pull point off to give a flat place for the light to mount to. I followed Grant's lead here and first wrapped the tower in electrical tape to protect from scratches, then mounted a hose clamp in place as a cutting guild. I used a Porta-band to cut the top off. This was a bit tough given the angle I was cutting at and the weight of the tool, but it took 10 minutes (with 3 rest breaks to calm the nerves) instead of 2 hours it might have taken with a hacksaw. I then used a file to smooth out the bumps.

    Before:


    After:




    Tools of the trade:


    Holes drilled and tapped:


    Always use protection!!! There was lost of metal flying and I didn't feel like picking aluminum shavings out of my feet the rest of my life.



    Now here is the interesting part.... The pull point actually goes all the way through the tower as one solid piece so you can't route the wiring inside the hollow rectangle from the front to rear like I had hoped to do. Grant had a nice speaker enclosure to hide the wiring in, but I don't so:


    Jason
    All black 2003 SANTE
    www.wakefactory.net

    -- Southern Fried --

  • #2
    I use braided wire sleeving, mainly because I think it looks better than split loom and makes for a cleaner looking install. Here are some close ups of the sleeving and shrink wrap I use to keep frayed ends at bay.



    I ran the wiring through the upper tower and down into the legs.


    Out the bottom of the legs though a hole I drilled at the base of the tower.


    I then mounted the transformer under the dash and wired it into the white nav. light wires. (gray and black wires for 2003 SANTE) I still can have use of the original light as well, but doubt I will ever use it.


    Here are some pics of the finished install.

    Light off:



    Light on:



    I hopefully will get some time soon to take night time shots. For one little LED this thing pus off a lot of light. According to Innovative Light's literature it is rated for 2 nautical miles visibility. Overall this took me about 7-8 hours over 2 days to do. It could have gone quicker, but I'm very particular and tend to take more time when doing things for the first time. Now time to enjoy a day on the water!
    Jason
    All black 2003 SANTE
    www.wakefactory.net

    -- Southern Fried --

    Comment


    • #3
      Looks great. This is on my winter checklist as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        Very nice! I saw Grant's post and have been wanting to do this... Sorry if it has been answered, but how do you get the wires from the top of the tower to the light? I know the tow point is solid. Did you drill through the center? If so, how hard was it to fish the line?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Shooter View Post
          Very nice! I saw Grant's post and have been wanting to do this... Sorry if it has been answered, but how do you get the wires from the top of the tower to the light? I know the tow point is solid. Did you drill through the center? If so, how hard was it to fish the line?
          You have to drill all the way through the pull point. I started at the top, drilled through, then puled the wires through. This pic shows the wires on the bottom side. The wires come from the pull point (top of frame) and get pulled to the front tube to be router down the tower legs (bottom of frame).
          Jason
          All black 2003 SANTE
          www.wakefactory.net

          -- Southern Fried --

          Comment


          • #6
            You can do it without exposed wires but it's a lot harder. Instead of drilling all the way through under the pull point you just get the wires into the oval tube. You do need to open up an access hole in the oval tube near the main tower tube where you will also need to drill into the main tower tube. After you are done you will need to install a blank plug in your access hole. Grant has a write-up on the method somewhere in his towerbox archive. If you don't mind looking at the wire it's a lot easier to do it the way core-ride has done it.

            Comment


            • #7
              I ran all my wires inside the tower. It does take a little bit longer and a few extra holes to cap, but it looks way cleaner. Looks great though and you will love not having to stick the stupid pole in at night.
              2001 Super Air Nautique
              Python Powered
              100 Amp Alternator
              Dual Batteries
              Many upgrades coming...

              Comment


              • #8
                This is an awesome write-up! Grant certainly has been an inspiration to those of us who modify our boats. It's great to see that others are following his lead.
                Current Boats > 2021 Super Air Nautique G23 (On Order) -- 2020 Super Air Nautique G23 -- 2003 Air Nautique 226 -- 1981 Fish Nautique (TWIN ENGINE 1 of 3)
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                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by core-rider View Post
                  It could have gone quicker, but I'm very particular and tend to take more time when doing things for the first time.
                  Join the club.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bchesley View Post
                    I ran all my wires inside the tower. It does take a little bit longer and a few extra holes to cap, but it looks way cleaner. Looks great though and you will love not having to stick the stupid pole in at night.
                    Can you post some pics of how you ran the wiring on your boat? I thought about going all internal, but didn't like the idea of having a bunch of unused holes. I would like to see what it looks like.
                    Jason
                    All black 2003 SANTE
                    www.wakefactory.net

                    -- Southern Fried --

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The holes are easy to hide with plugs. Most hardware stores have black plastic plugs from 3/16" all the way to 1". I drilled a hole on the front of my tower all the way through the main tube and into the oval shaped tube. I just pulled a wire through that way. I then plugged the front hole. I will try and get some pictures up.
                      2001 Super Air Nautique
                      Python Powered
                      100 Amp Alternator
                      Dual Batteries
                      Many upgrades coming...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Big Like! Good job Jason.

                        Mark @ n3

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Looks Great. I have my innovative light waiting to be installed... Hoping to get to it in a couple weeks here. Anything you would have done differently if you were to do it over again?
                          2002 SANTE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mnovstel View Post
                            Looks Great. I have my innovative light waiting to be installed... Hoping to get to it in a couple weeks here. Anything you would have done differently if you were to do it over again?
                            Nope, I'm happy with it. Only regret I have is I wished I could have hidden the wire better where it goes from the front tube to the rear, but as you have probably read, the only way to do that would be to drill more holes that would have to be capped later. I would rather have less holes and a foot of wire exposed. Hopefully the new Rev410's I will be getting soon will cover that wire up a bit more too. Good luck with it and take your time, you will get great results.
                            Jason
                            All black 2003 SANTE
                            www.wakefactory.net

                            -- Southern Fried --

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