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Old 07-15-2007
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Seeing the sails at night....

Did my fist dark spooky night sail with little background light. Gusty winds were kicking our asses. By the time I could feel which way the winds were coming from, I had been spun around or put into irons. I could not see crap and didnt want to turn on the spreaders as I needed my night vision to get into the harbor.
Has anyone put up red mast illumination lights? Like a red spreadder light but facing up from the deck? Any other low power draw suggestions?
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Old 07-15-2007
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I just use a flashlight, as needed.
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My masthead light lights up the wind vane
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I don't recommend using any colored lights, since they may confuse other boaters as to what you are.

A flashlight, if really necessary, is probably the best idea, with a red filter to preserve your night vision.

However, after you've sailed at night a while, it gets pretty easy to tell what is going on with the sails using your other senses—like hearing, and by feeling the change in the motion of the boat.
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Ive spent lots of time on the water in the dark, just not under sail. And like I said, it was gusty. Id have a tough time getting a flashlight on the jib too. Hummm?
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Old 07-16-2007
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Just need more nocturnal time under sail then....

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcard
Ive spent lots of time on the water in the dark, just not under sail. And like I said, it was gusty. Id have a tough time getting a flashlight on the jib too. Hummm?
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Old 07-16-2007
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red light could be mistaken by others to be your port light.
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Old 07-16-2007
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Not if it's pointing up in the air and on the sail.
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You need to be set up to sail at night as you are in the daylight. And much depends on the size of you boat. On a yacht, I would assume that there are light navigation instruments, including wind instruments. We have sailed at night and in very low visibility and I rely on the instruments to be tell me what going on. For wind I have a both apparent wind angle and apparent wind speed, as well as true wind angle and true wind speed. This is especially important when sailing in high wind speeds before the wind.

To trim the sails I rely on a flash light shining on the tell tales, which is critical when sailing any upwind course.

Sailing we use a tricolor which serves to illuminate the windex at the mast top which is yet another way to read the wind.

In addition, we always uise radar with a guard zone when sailing in poor visibility or at night.

You can never have too many redundant information sources when you are making navigation decisions.

jef
sv shiva
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Old 07-16-2007
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Quote:
Ive spent lots of time on the water in the dark
Better spend it ON the water rather then IN the water I suppose!

I think it is also important to wear a brightly coloured life jacket -- and most importantly, a life harness if/when you ever need to go on deck.
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