When I get it, we want to go out on the lake to get some sunset pictures. Of course this leaves us to come home after sunset. I was thinking of ways to make the AI more visible (for cheap!) so this is what I came up with. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.
I went down to our local Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) store. Which I believe is similar to the REI store in the states, and I picked up two of these little LED waterproof bike lights. They cost about $3.50 each. I've used them on my bike, and had them in driving rainstorms, and they always seem to work. I'm not sure I'd dunk them for any length of time, but for the price I was willing to try it.
My idea is this:
In calm water, as it gets dark, I'll place these lights on the handle of the ama, and point them up towards the sail. They mount with a simple bungee, and hold very well. It's not a solution for high speed sailing, but I think it will work for calm evening sailing. The lights provide light over 360 degrees, because of their clear casing, but the front of the light is the brightest, and they're REALLY bright. You can see these lights from over a mile away even in daylight. I think it'll make me pretty visible. The side benefit is you can stick these on your boat, or lifejacket, or anywhere else if the weather gets bad, or if you get stuck in some fog. I'd keep them on steady at night, but could make them blink if it was foggy or something.
Here's a clip of what they look like and how they would install. I'm curious to know what people think, or if anyone has tried something like this.
I have a red light that is supposed to be for a bicycle tail light but I'd have to make a green lens for a green light. Lucky for me, the legal requrements for an AI only require me to have a waterproof flashlight on board.
Here is what the manufacturer says about batteries and their life. I've used these on my bike and have to say that those numbers are probably accurate.
Two modes: steady (burns approximately 50 hours) or flashing (75 hours). Requires two CR-2032 batteries (included). Batteries are user-replaceable.
Oh I have no doubts that it'll survive in a full sink overnight. I just don't want to assume that they'll handle a day of sailing with wind and water and crap crashing towards them.
I'm not sure of the manufacturer, but you can get them at MEC in Canada. They are the store's own brand. MEC is an outdoors type of store, that requires a 5 dollar lifetime membership. It's a perfect store for paddlers, hikers, campers, cyclists, and rock climbers.