Illuminating a way to “go green” while you sail the ocean blue
Story and Photos by Josie Koler
Reynold Steckley has lived on a boat for 33 years, and there are three things on which he can hang: building homes, electronics and LED lighting.
“I was a homebuilder. Electronics was a hobby to me. When I retired, I got into this. My LED research started in 2002 and sales of AquaSignal® began in 2003. Now, LED is my specialty. Period. It’s what I do!”
Below his restored 32-foot houseboat “Ericka” in what was meant to be a stateroom is Steckley’s workshop nicely equipped to wire the boating world for the future. He spends hours programming software for intricate machines to make the parts for LED lights he’s patented as AquaSignal®. LED lighting draws one-tenth of the current an incandescent light of the same current would draw. The result: his cruising clients conserve notable amounts of electricity and extend their time on the open ocean.
“That’s what makes this concept so popular! Incandescent lights run down the batteries. This saves them from having to use up all their energy on lights while they’re out on the ocean.”
Steckley makes five navigation lights – stern, port, starboard, anchor, and steaming -where he’s docked at Safety Harbour Marina down from the world-famous Hogfish Bar & Grille. He retrofits the AquaSignal® lights and wires the components he’s made together. Ninety percent of his clients are sail boaters since powerboats run on generators; but, he can take any vampire-sucking vessel to one that floats in green harmony with the world.
“You can spend ten times as long on the water. I want people to know I’ve landed in Key West. Stecktronics is on the island!”
The LED lights are U.S. Coast Guard certified for vessels up to 65’ and provide two nautical miles of visibility.
Reynold. “In the long run, the savings will be worth your money,” indicated LED expert, Reynold Steckley. “I can turn an entire sailboat around to save energy on the water.”
On an Unrelated Front:
Bare Sole Sandals Celebrates Three Years
The Lower Keys independent sandal boutique in the Lower Keys offering footwear, accessories and tropical gifts is celebrating a milestone. Bare Sole Sandals is now three years old.
Recently, the store expanded its gift and Florida Keys and Big Pine Key t-shirt lines. In April 2008, the company launched it’s website baresolesandalsstore.com allowing customers to get their “sandals from paradise” from any location.
Owner Michelle Beighley remarked, “These first three years have affirmed just who our customer is. Our niche is footwear that fits the Florida Keys way of life that is comfortable, fashionable and affordable.”
The store has a large inventory including brands like Switchflops, Fitflops, Skechers, Yellow Box, Sanuk, Ocean Minded, Onex, Island, Taos, Born, Orthaheel, Sole and Columbia.
To commemorate the anniversary on January 22, the store will host a Customer Appreciation Wine Party from 4–7 pm. The store is located at MM 30.