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post #30 of Old 05-31-2007
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Originally Posted by jrd22
Sailingdog- What I was saying was that when you see just red and green deck lights there is no reason to suspect that it is a sailboat, is there? So why wouldn't you be mistaken for a power vessel, exact same lighting. That makes the argument for the red over green.
Wrong... Might want to read the ColRegs again. A power vessel, including sailboats under power, is required to show a masthead light, which is defined as:

Masthead light" means a white light placed over the fore and aft centerline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel, except that on a vessel of less than 12 meters in length the masthead light shall be placed as nearly as practicable to the fore and aft centerline of the vessel.
A sailboat under sail only is required to show sidelights (red and green) and a stern light... hence the allowance for a tricolor. If you see a red or green light without a white steaming (masthead) light... then, why would you assume it isn't a boat under sail????

If you also have a masthead tricolor on, which according to the rules I don't think is legit(not positive on that, anyone have a copy of the rules handy? )
AFAIK, it is either deck-level sidelights and stern light or a tricolor... not both. Both would be a violation of the ColRegs. BTW, the red over green all-around lights can only be used with deck-level lights, not a tri-color.

I would hope most people would conclude "sailboat" though. What would you think if you saw deck lights and red over green vertical lights? Even if you did not know what it was you would know it was something "different". As far as the meter seperation, that's about the same height of most VHF antennas so overall height wouldn't increase, and with LED lights and aluminum tubing I'm sure I could put something together that was very light weight and low wind resistance, so I don't see the big problem there. Different strokes for different folks I guess, I'd rather be identified as a sailboat, and if more of us start using red over green, it will be commonplace and well known.
The other problem you will run into is that in many crowded harbor-type situations, many boaters—especially those on small powerboats—don't look up at all... and probably will not see the red and green vertical lights on the mast...

If they knew what the deck lights were supposed to be... they would know that a plain red or green sidelight, without a steaming light, is a sailboat under sail...

Expecting them to know that a red over green and deck-level lights are for a sailboat, when they don't know a sidelights and a stern light alone are a sailboat is pretty ridiculous.


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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 05-31-2007 at 10:32 PM.
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