The Bow Thruster Project - Part 14: Yet More LED's & Upkeep

Today we've been back at the marina working hard to tick off further jobs on our list!

We left the house and headed straight for Screwfix to pick up a new little something for Bandit! Last night I decided to order a pack of blue 3w 15mm LED lights. There are ten in the pack and cost me 30 quid. We've installed six to the underside of the bathing platform today.

Overall, the process wasn't too hard, albeit a bit time consuming. We did have an issue whereby there are two strengthening beams running from the transom to the very rear of the bathing platform. Strangely, they were both in different placed and not central to the platform. They were both shifted to the starboard side which was strange and messed up our plans for the lights a bit. Never mind, I spent about five minutes tapping the underside of the platform with my knuckles and finally measured out the six holes. To finally check that I wasn't about to drill into the wood beams in the platform, we drilled a little 2mm hole at each point. All six holes went straight through and didn't hit anything so it was then time to drill the 12mm holes for the lights. We drilled them all, pulled the cabling through for each light and then used a generous amount of Sikaflex to ensure no leaks would occur. Even if they did leak, it would only run into the bilge. But better to do it properly...

After all the lights were in, we ran all the cabling. Probably the most time-consuming part of the whole job as everything had to be moved out the way and all the access panels were removed to run the wiring through the boat and to the bulkhead opposite the galley where our Blue Sea Systems switch panel is. An hour later and it was all hooked up. I flicked the switch, climbed off the boat and got behind the boat to find each one working. Couldn't have asked for anything better. Then it was time to reassemble everything and tidy up.
6 new 15mm blue LED lights
A bit of Sikaflex needs tidying up as it's smudged

We haven't seen Bandit's new lights yet but we might pop down this evening to have a look at them in the dark. She's out of the water at the moment so the real test will be when she's back in. We're hoping that they provide a nice glow under the platform. Being 3W each, they are quite bright so it should look good. Very excited to find out!

My next job was to install our new Eltrim actuator bellows which arrived from seabridge-marine yesterday. They went on perfectly and the four hose clips were done up tight to ensure they didn't slip off. Now we can be confident that the trim tabs are in good working order and the bellows should last us another 3 years. Great!
New Eltrim actuator bellows
Lastly, we took our two aft propellers from the duo-prop drives to be rubbed down and sprayed. The two forward props have been sent off for reconditioning and will return painted black. We thought we'd just paint them black this time but usually, we would spray them silver or a bronze colour.

Looking nice and shiny


  1. Installed new Eltrim actuator bellows and hose clips
  2. Installed six new 3W blue LED lights to underside of bathing platform
  3. Took two aft propellers home for rubbing down and painting

It must also be said that this will be the last trip to the marina for 2016! See you next year, Bandit! Here's to a good 2017 with some great boating adventures!


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