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Old 02-27-2011
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We ditched the spotlight in the early '80s because it kills night vision. The most that we'll use while underway is a micro LED flashlight (to see the telltales), and that is very sparingly. The helmsman turns his head when the trimmer spots the sail.

Once your eyes acclimate to darkness (about 30 minutes) it's amazing what can be seen, even on cloudy night without a moon. I've spent quite a bit of time on a Navy ships and white light on the bridge is forbidden.

My wife and I have a running joke that you can tell power boater is operating at night because the spotlight is shining all over creation ... and into our eyes. No need to actually see what type of boat - if there is a spotlight, it's a powerboater.

In all seriousness, make the spotlight last on your acquisition list. I suspect that someone will jump down my throat for saying that, but we've found that a normal flashlight serves very well when we need it at anchor or in the slip.
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