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Old 09-21-2008
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Dinghy lights - NH Marine Patrol Summons

I got pulled over by the NH Marine Patrol last night in Portsmouth for not having a R/G bow light on my dinghy. I had a clear all-around on the stern, which is all that the federal/international rules require if making less than 7 kts. From rule 23: "a power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots may in lieu of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and shall, if practicable, also exhibit sidelights."

I don't think that a bow light is "practicable" on an inflatable tender.

The officer said that NH law requires the bow lights on any motorized vessel. Although that's true, the NH boating regulations also state "Any motorboat may carry and exhibit the lights required by the federal requirements for preventing collisions at sea, in lieu of the lights required by this section."

This resulted in an $81 fine - more than if the boat hadn't been registered! They "did me a favor" by not citing me for not having a fire extinguisher or sound-producing device.

Despite my time being more valuable than the fine, I'm thinking I'm going to plead not guilty and take the court date.

How many of you have bow lights or (even less reasonable) carry a fire extinguisher in your dinghy?
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