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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-30-2018, 11:39 AM Reply   
Hey if you don’t have a flashlight for the boat, you should. I have been playing with flashlights specifically “for the boat” for some time now. Now I know everyone has a favorite brand or what ever but my question is how many of you have sourced a flashlight specifically for Boating?

What I have found is you want a flashlight that doesn’t blind you when you use it to navagate. Example typical flash light you turn it on and it floods the inside of the boat with light, most boats have a light colored interior and at night your eyes have adjusted down to low light and the flash light most of the time binds you. What you need is a “spot light” you need beam that leaves the boat in a very narrow beam so none of the light or very little of it comes in contact with the interior of the boat.

This makes it way easier to see and doesn’t blind you. So most traditional flash lights are not gonna get the job done. What your looking for or should look for is a Spot light or penciled beam or Spot light. #2 the best flash light is one you use and can get to all the time. So yes big bulky flash lights are great but when your navigating at night and you see something that looks odd you don’t have time to fumble or look around for a big bulky light. #3 most of the time your driving and with one hand on the throttle and or one on the wheel leaves you a hand short. So a small manageable light is a plus. #4 a small manageable light fits on most dash boards where you can get to it and see it in a hurry. So it you notice a theme here. You want it manageable and you want to be able to access it fast. And that brings me to my last point. #5 the on off switch. Most lights these days have a tail cap switch, and most tail cap switches doubble as the way you toggle threw the “modes” if you don’t know what I’m taking about, most lights have 3-4-5 different modes SOS Flash Dim, blah blah blah all useless IMO. You don’t need all that crap for this light. You need to be able to grab it and quickly turn it on. You don’t need to toggle threw 5 different modes to get to the one you like. A simple On and Off switch on the Stock NOT the tail cap works best. It’s much easier to drive and turn the light on and off when the on and off switch is on the body of the light Vs a tail cap switch. So IMO stay away from lights with tail cab switches. #6 “18650 Battery’s”. If you don’t know what a 18650 is your living under a rock no but seriously they are awesome battery’s and they power most high powerd lights so look for a light that uses a 18650 battery. Get a multi bank Battey charger so you can recharge all your flashlight and AA and AAA battery’s and be done with stupid throw away alkaline batteries. If your feeling bold You can slowly switch over all your AA to lithium rechargebales while your at it.

Any ways here is a look as my Fav flash lights.

The Big Daddy in the right is the BLF GT. Do a you tube search it has a beam of almost 2 miles its no joke: (spotlight runs on 8 “18650”) $300 + battery’s.

The one in the center is a Mini version of the BLF GT. It’s called the GT Mini (spotlight runs on 1 “18650) $50 on Amazon

The one on the far left is the SD-4 (spotlight) runs on 4 AAA $50 Amazon
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-30-2018, 11:44 AM Reply   
So the 2 smaller lights are what I can recommend for a boat light. With the winner between the 2 going to the “Mini GT”
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-30-2018, 11:47 AM Reply   
Is is a multi bank Battery Charger. It will pretty much charge any size battery you would use around the house and in a flashlight. And here is a 18650 battery. These are pretty much the best recharable 18650’s you can buy. They are made by Samsung.
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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-30-2018, 12:01 PM Reply   
Another great thing on both GT lights is the “Lit” On off switch. Easy to find in the dark. And you can program it off if you like.
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Old     (fullspeed)      Join Date: Oct 2005 Location: Santa Cruz County CA       10-30-2018, 3:48 PM Reply   
Grant, I would look into this flashlight by Streamlight it has all kinds of settings to the brightness you like. It is 3500 lumen and the batteries are USB charged. I bought it for work purposes, but now I just keep it at the lake house. It would be my go to flashlight.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-30-2018, 5:00 PM Reply   
Full speed: streamlight makes cool stuff: What’s the beam pattern on that light? Looks like a normal flood flash light. I say that because the head is rather small for a spot. Adjustable or Zoom lights have a small head but the have a porjectore style lenze.
Old     (fullspeed)      Join Date: Oct 2005 Location: Santa Cruz County CA       10-31-2018, 5:56 PM Reply   
it is a flood light for sure and not a beam. It lights up the whole shore line at far distances. It is not a flashlight you would use walking your dog with, unless you want to blind him. You could use the flashlight at lower the brightness if you went into through the program modes. I do like the weight of the light, it feels solid and well made. For $116 I think it is a steal. I have had several streamlight flashlights over the last 22 years as a correctional officer and they take a beating for sure. I use the Strion LED for work and I am on my third one. The batteries seem to go bad before the LED burns out. Strion is plenty bright for cell searches and fits nicely on my duty belt, but for the boat it wouldn't light up the shoreline like the Protac.5x.
Old     (Surfer101)      Join Date: Oct 2015       10-31-2018, 8:51 PM Reply   
Fenix flash lights are another super high end brand to consider. My dad sells them and they’re top notch.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       11-01-2018, 6:46 AM Reply   
I have a small but extremely bright Fenix I use for gator hunting. What an awesome light. The problem with lights at night is that they reflect off the boat, stainless or any non-dark surface. If you can get the light out front or up high your visibility will increase without the blinding reflection.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-01-2018, 10:57 AM Reply   
Hey Guys: do you happen to have links for the lights your talking about. It’s great to say brand X is a great light but because each brand makes so many different lights unless we know what light your talking about it’s kind of a lost point. And to keep it on subject, Personally I’m only Intrested in spot lights for boating to keep it apples to apples.

Srock: I agree 100% pushing light out and in front of the boat is Key. I don’t know if any other beam pattern besides a spot that does that. I ended up giving away my flashlights that are a flood pattern. I have found that floods just don’t work for boating. And Spots work for pretty much everything.

And for people that dont wanna spend money on a quality light I have found that these cheep $10 Amazon Zoomable T-6 lights work awesome for the $, I have been threw a bunch of these and found that this light is the most reliable for the money. Again stay away from the versions with the tail cap on/off switch they all fail after prolong use.
Old     (SangerTom)      Join Date: Aug 2010       11-01-2018, 5:58 PM Reply   
Thanks Grant - appreciate you sharing
Old     (wombat2wombat)      Join Date: Sep 2018       11-02-2018, 7:37 AM Reply   
Searching around for enough LED on my boat so I can see at night & be able to load on the trailer in the dark. What wattages should I be looking for? Night surfing is not an issue, don't want to get banned from my lake, just want to be able to stay out longer & safely load.

OR, is a really good flash light the way to go?
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       11-02-2018, 8:04 AM Reply   
Grant makes a good point on spots versus flood. I don't find flood lights useful as the light bounces off all surfaces reflecting back into the boat and the non-concentrated beam doe not pick out objects. The concentrated beam of a spot puts the light were you want it and not where you don't want it.

Some lights have a scroll from dim to bright to flashing. If you use the light a lot, it is nice to have a setting switch and an on off switch so you don't have to scroll through options. Many times at night I just want a flash of light to confirm channel markers so the switch works best.

As far as links if you purchase any Fenix and have a great light. You will spend a little money, but will have a kick ass and very compact light.

Last edited by srock; 11-02-2018 at 8:09 AM.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       11-02-2018, 8:19 AM Reply   
I also have one of these for hands free use. It's bright and works awesome if you need extended periods if light.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-02-2018, 11:48 AM Reply   
Wombat, are you asking about a “LED light bar” for Docking and Loading your boat on the trailer, well that my friend is a completely different topic/subject, & frankly Led light bars you have just as many if not more options then flash lights. Personally light bars get very little use because in my opinion they blind you and reflect and in my opinion. You can see better with the light bar turns off then on For navigating. Docking and loading the boat, light bars work awesome other then that they are only used to anoy other boaters, (please don’t be that dumb ass driving down the middle of the lake with your light bar on)

True story. We were going to check out the “light the night” boat party. It seemd like every other dumb a$$ leaving the party wanted to show he had a light bar you could see and be annoyed by the on coming glare from these idiots light bars from far away. On this particular occasion I had the big a$$ flash light I posted pics of with me. I would flash my small docking lights at these dumb a$$’s to kindly ask them to turn off the light bar and stop blinding everyone as they were coming at you. I guess the only “International sign” of turn off your light bar idiot is having a equally blinding light shined in your face. That right 2 seconds of the death ray shined in your face from 1/4 mile away seems to bring these idiots to the idea “hey I think I should turn off my light bar”
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