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bobbymalone

headlights for the boat

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Figured this would be the best place to post, since this is where those that have headlights on their boats hang out.

I'm going to mount some headlights on a removable bracket so I can pop them on and off as needed.   Wondering if I should go with some cheapo aftermarket fog lights or if I should get some internal ballast HID offroad lights.   Clearly the HIDs are the way to go as far as brightness, but I wonder if it's really worth dropping 10X the cost for it.  Think I'll get pretty good light off the fog lights on the river?  I just need to see well enough to avoid logs and after dark I never go any faster than about 15mph and that's when the water is low enough that it isn't a debris minefield like it has been.

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Hid or led would be the way to go. Fog lights will help some, but are nowhere near as bright as a set of good lights, especially on the water. 

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Yeah, that was my worry.   I figure most of the light reflects off the water away from you rather than back at you, like how you can't see the lines on the road for carp if the road is wet.

Bring your sunglasses for when I'm coming down the river because I'm gonna burn out some retinas blasting HIDs.

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In my experience, HID is the best ability to reach out there.  I got the little 4 inchers, but I'd stick with the 7 or 9 inchers if you have room as I think the bigger reflector does a better job at projecting the light further.  If I was buying them again I'd go with bigger reflectors, but I'll make do with what I have since I already have them.  These were about $105 for the pair, so not really all that much more than fog lights.  They definitely do the job, but my friend's boat with the bigger 7 inchers seem to be better.  

As for removable brackets, I think it's a great idea, especially if you don't use your boat exclusively for catfishing.  I have mounted mine on a second trolling motor quick-release bracket, so I can take it off when we're just pleasure-boating, walleye-fishing, or tubing/skiing, etc.  Only downside is that I can't use my trolling motor and headlights simultaneously, but really I don't take my trolling motor catfishing anyway, so it's not a big deal to me.  I just mounted a 26 inch wide piece of aluminum on there and drilled holes through it for the lights.

I recently added a 126 watt LED bar (42 LEDs, 3 watts per) between the HID bulbs.  Haven't yet tested that new addition on the water yet.  Just the garage. 

Also, remember to use a relay so that these things can draw their power off of the battery without pulling it through your switch.  Most switches aren't designed to handle the current draw that they require.  A pair of 35 watt HIDs will easily draw 6 amps, and if you add in a high powered LED bar you can get another 10 or 15 amps depending how wide you go (saw a picture of a friend's 32 inch LED bar that's 180 watts, or 15 amps, just two days ago).  

Here's a picture of my setup.  I also added an anchor cleat on the front of that quick-release trolling motor bracket so that I'd have a more centered spot to tether the anchor to and reduce boat sway.

 

20150529_185712.jpg

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Where did you get your lights aanderud?  I've found some 7" HID's  online, but they"re 450 each.  I could hit alot of logs for 1K.

Anyone know where to find reasonable HID lights, or what are you guys using?

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