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post #2 of Old 04-01-2004
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Require Navigation lights

Doug, you would benefit by picking up a copy of the free USCG brochure: Federal Requirements and Safety Tips for Recreational Boats. It will outline by length all the safety, navigation and other requirements you should honor when using your boat, and would serve as a good (tho'' basic) checklist for you. These can sometimes be found at a WM check-out counter, from any USCG Aux, or perhaps buried somewhere at This would be a far better reference than someone''s website, and I''d suggest you carry it aboard for future reference.

Nav light requirements for smaller vessels according to my (now dated) copy are:

When power driven and <12M in length, you should display an all-around white light OR a 20 point steaming light and a 12 point stern light AND, if practicable, port & starboard sidelights (combined or separate). It''s probable that, for your boat, sidelights are quite ''parcticable'' to rig and, in any event, wouldn''t you want to indicate your heading to another vessel, if possible?

When sailing, you are allowed to choose: either display the same stern and sidelights or a silly little flashlight ''in time to prevent collision''...which, if it occurs, will probably be claimed by the other party was not shown in sufficient time, as proven by the collision.

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