Re: Do you use dinghy lights?
Buy a pie plates, mount it below the white light. That will cut the glare down into the boat and leave it showing all around. Might cost you two bucks.
Of course in MA waters, you may have state rules as well as COLREGS to conform to. And a lot of inflateables can break 7 knots, so there's that question as well. Either way, the big question is whether you are concerned with either safety or the cost of citations, and if you are, then the choices are fairly simple.
As to the guy with the searchlight, COLREGS section 129.a.3 is very clear on that. After the first pass of the searchlight, you're allowed to SHOOT IT OUT in the interest of preserving your might vision, which is essential to national security. A varmint rifle is good for that. Remember, section 129.a.4 also specifies that you're only allowed three shots, so make sure to practice.