Living the dream
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mackay Qld AU
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?
The COLREGS (section 23) state "A power-driven vessel of less than 7 metres (23.0 ft) whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots (13 km/h; 8 mph) must be capable of showing a white light"
To me, this can be interpreted as "any powered boat under 7 metres not planing" and the description of the lights makes no mention to being both "all round" nor required to be "constantly lit". The sticking point obviously is that this clause implies that this technically doesn't apply to a vessel capable of exceeding a 7 knot limit (i.e. planing), even if it does not exceed that limit whilst travelling at night.
My tender can only exceed 7 knots if dropped out of an airplane, so my solution is to wear one of those LED headlamps that has red, green and white lights. I use the red light to retain night vision (and try not to look to the right whilst doing so lol) and I can switch on the white torch part if I see/hear another boat nearby or when approaching my own boat (so I can see what I'm doing!). I should note that where my boat is moored is so dark that on a cloudy moonless night with a bit of breeze causing haze that it is impossible to see a boat, white or otherwise, outside of about 10 metres so their is a definite advantage to retaining as much night vision as possible.