USCG approved means it has been tested and meets the visibility distance requirement. if it is not an approved type then you can not prove it does meet the requirement. someone hits you and the lawyers find out you will be liable
Not that I'm advocating using none USCG approved lights (and I wouldn't) I'm just curious, is it actually required that they be USCG approved, or only that they meet the requirements, the easiest way to be sure being using USCG approved lights?
Seems to me if your lights are not USCG approved, but in the event of an issue, if you can PROVE that they meet the visibility requirements, that would hold up in court.
Of course that means the onus would be on you to prove it, and the fault would be yours if it doesn't, where as with a CG approved light, you don;t need to bother proving it as that has been done for you.
Personally, I think the little extra cash up front is worth not dealing with proving the lights meet the specs, or dealing with officials who may question it if they boat where to be inspected or something, I'm just curious what's actually legal.
Seems like a requirement for USCG approved would be tough, as boats from other countries would have lights approved by different governing bodies, etc.
Anyway, nit-picking a bit here, just curious if anyone can site a legal requirement for an "approved" light vrs. a light that meets the requirements....