Tri-color Steaming masthead light as only nav light? - Page 11 - SailNet Community

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  #101  
Old 05-28-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReefMagnet View Post
My boat is under 12m. I have a 360 deg anchor at the top of the mast, a stern light at the stern and port and starboard lights up on the bow. I wired the anchor light and stern light through a relay connected in parallel to the motor ignition switch so that when I turn the motor on, the stern light is extinguished and the anchor light lights up and vice versa when I turn the engine off. This means I only have a single nav light switch and sail / power nav light selection is automatic. An added bonus is that this arrangement also makes the front nav lights come on automatically if the motor is started with the anchor light on - keeps me legal even when jumping out of bed at 4 in the morning to drive the boat around in circles to unwrap the rode off the keel
Clever. The only problem I see is that you would be displaying motor boat lights when you are strictly sailing if you have to run your engine to charge the batteries. So you'd lose your sailboat right-of way during charging. Also, in a race, your competitors might take this to mean you are using auxiliary propulsion and therefore abandoning/disqualified. Aside from this, I can see some advantages.
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  #102  
Old 07-21-2009
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Where does one order the tri-color masthead light? There's one in Portland OR at West Marine but its very expensive -- and I don't wish to do business with West (getcha) Marine anyway.

From a guy that is mostly offshore sailing.
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  #103  
Old 07-21-2009
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Where does one order the tri-color masthead light? There's one in Portland OR at West Marine but its very expensive -- and I don't wish to do business with West (getcha) Marine anyway.

From a guy that is mostly offshore sailing.
SailNet seems to carry it:

Tri-Color Masthead Light

Try calling them directly.

If not SailNet, I expect Defender would carry it.
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  #104  
Old 07-21-2009
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A tricolor light is not a substitue for a steaming light or an anchor light.
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Old 08-20-2009
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You could also just hoist an all-round light at the masthead using a halyard. I saw this in good old boat and it works for me! Good luck!
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Needed Lighting

Perithead, like ourselves, needs no lights other than an electric torch or lantern while sailing at night as we are under 7 meters. To power, only an all around white light is required. That said, I'm putting a 360 white mast top light with side lights below. We have ancient cabin side lights that love to grab the jib sheet while racing. I am thinking of putting the 135degree side lights just above or below the spreaders on the mast itself. I've not seen this done, but it seems reasonable for visibility under any conditions. The lights are obscured now by the jib and in any case would cause it to glow the correct color on the leeward side. Any thoughts on this? BTW I did email the USCG about this very thread subject some time ago. Silence.

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  #107  
Old 09-17-2011
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I would install the red/green lower, on the bow rail if you have one ideally so as to be high enough to be seen easily and never be obscured by a sail. A stern is required as well when under sail. Under power an all round white light can take the place of the steaming light and stern light, but not under sail.

While it is true you only need a white light as you are under 7 meters as soon as you start using red/green lights all other lighting rules apply as if you are over 7 meters.
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  #108  
Old 09-18-2011
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Part of this confusion is strictly semantic.
  • A masthead steaming light in sailing terms does not indicate a light at the top of the mast, although that is permissible;
  • a masthead light (for steaming) can be on any stick at least a meter above the side lights.
  • Deck level lights can be mounted on the deck, or
  • Deck level lights can be mounted on the cabin sides at any height, as long as they are 1 meter below "masthead" steaming light.
  • Although red-and-green nav lights are often mounted on the bow in a combined fixture, this is only "permitted", not required, and is not even permitted on larger vessels.
  • The fixture at the top of the mast is known as the "tricolor" light, not the "masthead" light. See previous definition of "masthead" light.
  • Aside from the tricolor, the red and green lights are always known as side lights, whether mounted at the bow, on the side decks, or on the cabin sides.
  • The anchor light can be at the top of the mast, without regard to the proximity to the tricolor light, because the tricolor light will be off while at anchor.
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  #109  
Old 09-18-2011
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The rules are clear enough for location of lights and their visibility angles. And the rules state that they shouldbe visible from some distance which varies with boat length.

The problem with leds is that they do not emit lights withthe same spectrum of normal bulbs. Although the illumination measured with a meter is equal or mre than a filament bulb they are not visible to the human eye. If youreally want to be seen make sure your leds are accepted by your authorities. all leds are not the same and I can not spot some of the leds in sea although they are very close.
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  #110  
Old 09-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Clever. The only problem I see is that you would be displaying motor boat lights when you are strictly sailing if you have to run your engine to charge the batteries. So you'd lose your sailboat right-of way during charging. Also, in a race, your competitors might take this to mean you are using auxiliary propulsion and therefore abandoning/disqualified. Aside from this, I can see some advantages.
According to the data on the USCG website, when a sailboat is under power, an all round white light is only legal in international waters.
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