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Old 30 January 2007, 12:06   #11
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Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
Define 'Dot approved'. Does it have to be approved when attached to the trailer or can it be removable? If it can,why not just build yourself a lighting board with Dot approved lights?
The DOT approval involves (I think) testing the light units themselves for things like on-axis brightness, off-axis brightness, stuff like that. The DOT approval has nothing to do with water-tightness or durability or any other real-world desirable factors. It just states that the light meets the brightness requirements.

I do not know what the penalty would be for running non-approved lights, but I would assume that, in case of an accident at night, it would open up a lot of liability issues (what doesn't), so its not really something that I would suggest taking lightly.

You certainly can build your light board with DOT approved lights, and I've seen a few smaller inflatables that have done just that. There is some spec that defines the heights that the various lights must be within, but I have no idea what those are, but I do recall that they would have come into play on my boat (assuming the board would be mounted on top of the tubes.)

Personally, I think I would find removing and installing the light bar to be something of a hassle. That's just me, though. I can see how it would add to the longevity of the units themselves, though.

How do you guys wire the board to the trailer (if at all)? Is it on a pigtail going to a connector mounted on the trailer, or are you just using wiring direct from the tow vehicle with the wiring separate from the trailer?

jky
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Old 30 January 2007, 12:13   #12
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The cable is wired direct on to the light board, then it trails all over the boat to the front, where it is then connected to a removable pin connector situated on the towbar of the vehicle. Its a pain in the preverbials, cos you have to make sure it doesnt flap about, chaffe the tubes, fall off, where do you put the light board while youre out on the boat etc. Would be a lot less hassle just to be able to dunk them in!
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Old 30 January 2007, 12:17   #13
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Its a pain in the preverbials, cos you have to make sure it doesnt flap about, chaffe the tubes, fall off, where do you put the light board while youre out on the boat etc.

Its the biggest pain about trailer sailing.
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Old 30 January 2007, 12:21   #14
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You certainly can build your light board with DOT approved lights, and I've seen a few smaller inflatables that have done just that. There is some spec that defines the heights that the various lights must be within, but I have no idea what those are, but I do recall that they would have come into play on my boat (assuming the board would be mounted on top of the tubes.)
I think most people in the UK mount the trailer board on the trailer rather than at tube height (normally using some extension poles which ensure it is behind the engine.) A few people seem to mount it on the A-frame - although I am not sure if that is technically legal (I think we too have an upper height limit).
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How do you guys wire the board to the trailer (if at all)? Is it on a pigtail going to a connector mounted on the trailer, or are you just using wiring direct from the tow vehicle with the wiring separate from the trailer?
Normally they are wired direct to the vehicle. We do not have any requirement for side markers on normal rib sized BOAT trailers - which may have an impact on you.

If you invested the time you spend rebuilding your lights every year you can very quickly create a simple system where the trailerboard is fitted to the trailer but easily removable (some people here, like me, tie it on - which is time consuming - but with a little ingenuity it shouldn't be difficult to engineer a quick fit/release option).
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Old 30 January 2007, 12:23   #15
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The cable is wired direct on to the light board, then it trails all over the boat to the front, where it is then connected to a removable pin connector situated on the towbar of the vehicle. Its a pain in the preverbials, cos you have to make sure it doesnt flap about, chaffe the tubes, fall off, where do you put the light board while youre out on the boat etc. Would be a lot less hassle just to be able to dunk them in!
Vince - fit the board to the trailer rather than the transom and then your cable just goes under the chasis - easy enough to wrap around the trailer or for a quicker option use some sort of velcro tie to hold it in place.
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Old 30 January 2007, 12:57   #16
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Vince - fit the board to the trailer rather than the transom and then your cable just goes under the chasis - easy enough to wrap around the trailer or for a quicker option use some sort of velcro tie to hold it in place.
Thing I hate about trailer boards is that the cable seems to get covered in crap off the slip and then gets stuffed in the car where the crap manages to transfer itself on to my back seats. I've been looking for a bag big enough to put the whole lot in but no doubt that would collect the same crap so I would really need a big supply of them.

Its a shame we have a country full of thieves because it would be good if you could leave the board on the trailer. However I have a feeling this is a bit impractical because of the laws regarding lights and reflectors on trailers and their height and fitment etc.
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Old 30 January 2007, 12:59   #17
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Vince - fit the board to the trailer rather than the transom and then your cable just goes under the chasis - easy enough to wrap around the trailer or for a quicker option use some sort of velcro tie to hold it in place.
I find winding the cable round the trailer a bigger pain than just throwing it over the boat and feeding it down the fairlead to the rear of the car.
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Old 30 January 2007, 14:30   #18
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Exactly the issues we`re having. Hence the fit and forget idea! You should still be able to slide the 2 bars in and out to make the trailer shorter/longer, but no need to take the thing off at any time. If you were to route the cable through the trailer box section, even better.
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Old 30 January 2007, 14:40   #19
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LED lights fitted to sliding bars at back of trailer
Cables ran inside of trailer box section
All electrical connections soldered and covered with heat shrink.
Last section of cable before lights is multicore spiral that expands and contracts when the bars are moved ( Cable like keypad cable or power cable from electric razor).
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Old 30 January 2007, 15:13   #20
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Thing I hate about trailer boards is that the cable seems to get covered in crap off the slip and then gets stuffed in the car where the crap manages to transfer itself on to my back seats.
Don't you take the board and cable off before you reverse down the slip?
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I've been looking for a bag big enough to put the whole lot in but no doubt that would collect the same crap so I would really need a big supply of them.
What like this?
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