Tri-color Steaming masthead light as only nav light? - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 02-04-2008
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I find that when I'm in an area where deck level lights are more visable, I am almost always under power. Otherwise, I use the tri-color, even if motor-sailing. For myself, I choose the light best suited for the situation. For instance, when I came into Tampa Bay under sail, I was using the tri-color, but when I heard a tug coming up from the rear, I also turned on the deck level lights to make sure they saw me.
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2008
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The aquasignal 10 Watt (all you really need) fixtures are really cheap and don't draw much power. I can't see why anyone would steal those. As stated already, you can't JUST have a tricolor for all practical purposes, unless you only plan on sailing at night. I also second the comment that tricolors are difficult to see against a coastal backdrop and in close proximity. If you really don't like the hassle of figuring out what lights you should have on, there is a rotary switch available:

Quote:
I don't see anywhere in the Collision Regulations that stipulates that the lights have to be at deck level when under power.
But the steaming light is required, and does have to be above the level of the running lights.. kinda hard to satisfy that requirement with a tricolor
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
I find that when I'm in an area where deck level lights are more visable, I am almost always under power. Otherwise, I use the tri-color, even if motor-sailing.
not legal
Quote:
For myself, I choose
no.. you don't choose, you follow well established rules
Quote:
the light best suited for the situation. For instance, when I came into Tampa Bay under sail, I was using the tri-color, but when I heard a tug coming up from the rear, I also turned on the deck level lights to make sure they saw me.
So the tug captain saw TWO boats where there should only have been ONE. Not only that, now the range of the first boat he saw just changed.. You created confusion (at best annoyance) on his bridge. Never never never run your tricolor and deck lights, or anchor and tricolor, or anchor and deck lights at the same time. Not only is it not legit, but it is dangerous. I have served aboard ships and on the bridge at night.. If everyone follows the same set of rules accidents are far less likely.

I have seen enough messed up light configurations to consider it more of a pandemic problem than a minor issue or annoyance. This is important stuff, potentially life or death.. you don't see airplanes or cars inventing ways to light themselves as they see fit? You don't see radio stations deciding to use blue instead of red for antenna farms? no?
The one and only light on this fine skiff:


I apologize for the beating..

Last edited by sailboy21; 02-04-2008 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 02-04-2008
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The rule doesn't state that the steaming light has to be above the sidelights although that makes sense. On most small boats the verticle difference is very little, in fact many combine the steaming light and overtaking light into one all round white light normally carried aft (if they are under 12m). That all round white light could also double as the anchor light.

As for what is best seen by other boats, Small low boats on calm days see lower lights but ships see the higher ones. I was once called by a ship while enroute to Hawaii on a sailboat. They told me that the only light they could see was the all round red over green at the mast head. (all round red over green, sailing at night). The lower running lights were obscured by the sail and sea because of the heel of the boat and the sea state.
My vote is for bright lights as high as practicable. Keeps the glare away from you and puts the lights in the face of big ships.

Gaz
PS Good on ya Sailboy. You are absolutely correct.
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Last edited by Plumper; 02-04-2008 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 02-04-2008
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I would discourage anyone from having the masthead tricolor as their only light. I almost hit another guy from our club that was running a tricolor on a moonless night. Even after I passed him and knew exactly where he was, he quickly disappeared again.

I'm sure a tricolor is a great thing in the open water where the deck level may be below the waves, but in confined waters I would pass.
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Old 02-04-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
The rule doesn't state that the steaming light has to be above the sidelights although that makes sense.
Just to flesh things out a little (Inland Rules):
33 CFR 84
(g) The sidelights of a power-driven vessel shall be placed at a
height above the hull not greater than three quarters of that of the for-
ward masthead light. They shall not be so low as to be interfered with
by deck lights.

(d) The masthead light, or the all-round light described in Rule
23(c), of a power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length shall
be carried at least one meter higher than the sidelights.


Definitions:
(a) “Masthead light” means a white light placed over the fore and
aft centerline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of
the horizon of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from
right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the ves-
sel.
(b) “Sidelights” means a green light on the starboard side and a red
light on the port side each showing an unbroken light over an arc of
the horizon of 112.5 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from
right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on its respective side. In
a vessel of less than 20 meters in length the sidelights may be com-
bined in one lantern carried on the fore and aft centerline of the ves-
sel.
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2008
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Well, alot of mixed opinions I guess. But I am still not sure what to do.

What I understand to be correct, would be just to get a Masthead light to shine towards the back of the boat, and just get the red/green bow lights?
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2008
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You are right. I stand corrected, the steaming light or all round light must be one metre above the sidelights.

Sorry.

Gaz
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Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
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Old 02-04-2008
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Perithead,
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Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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Old 02-04-2008
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Perithead,
You should just read the rules. They are clear and you may learn what other boats show which is probably more important.

Gaz
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There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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