Kerosene Running Lamps - SailNet Community

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Old 07-04-2002
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Kerosene Running Lamps

Are there any sources for kerosene port and starboard running lamps (similar to those used by Lin and Larry Pardey)? It seems that there are several cabin type and several archor type available, but no port and starboard lamps that I can find.

Sue & Larry respond:
We know of a couple of sources for the port and starboard running lights you're after. Unfortunately those items aren't stocked by SailNet, but you'll find a large selection available from a British online retailer at That company offers both copper and brass running lights in four, six, and 10-inch sizes. Prices range from 72 Pounds (about $115 US) to 255 Pounds (about $400 US).

If you want true authenticity, you can purchase antique running lights from a store in Dallas, TX, called Nauticals, Ltd. These guys have a selection of beautiful running lights, plus an entire collection of other fascinating nautical antiques. Dial them up at

Now just a word on the legality of using kerosene running lights. The Navigation Rules by which we all go about in boats clearly spell out and require certain luminosity and range of visibility for lights on vessels of various sizes. Although kerosene running lights will likely not meet these requirements, they have been somewhat ambiguously excluded under Annex I of the rules. Annex I states "non-electric lights shall so far as practicable comply with the minimum intensities, as specified in the table given in 84.15."

The luminosity standards are there to make sure all of us boaters see each other at night. Kerosene running lights are probably legal to use, but they likely wonít provide you with equal luminosity when compared to electric running lights.

Best of luck in your light search and we wish you safe sailing.

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