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  #1  
Old 04-18-2009
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Legal lighting configuration

Hi All,

On my boat, the running lights are on the mast head and there is a white steaming light somewhere on the mast below them.

When I bought my boat the surveyor told me that having the colored running lights above the white steaming light was not a legal configuration.

For people who mount the running lights on the mast head, how do you get a legal light config with the steaming light?
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I don't believe that there is any way to legally use a masthead tri-light when motoring.

For boats 12 metres and less under power:
(Australia)"Masthead or white all round light shall be carried at least 1 metre above the sidelights."

(US)Powerboats-Separate or combination red and green sidelights, 112.5°, visible 1 n.m., placed above hull at least 1 meter (3.3') below masthead light. Masthead: white, 225°, visible 2 n.m., at least 1 meter above side lights. White stern light, 135°, visible 2 n.m. OR, one all-round (360°) white light (should also have sidelights).

For boats 12-20 metres under power:
(Australia)"The masthead light shall be carried at least 2.5 metres above the gunwale. Combined sidelights shall be carried at least 1 metre below the masthead light. "

(US)
Separate or combination red and green sidelights, 112.5°, visible 2 n.m., placed above hull at least 1 meter (3.3') below masthead light. Masthead: white, 225°, visible 3 n.m., at least 1 meter above side lights. White stern light, 135°, visible 2 n.m.
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Old 04-18-2009
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I run with this:

Aqua Series 32 Tri-Color LED Light

from Aqua... I had the regular bulb version but lens were busted so went the next step. Keep the documentation that comes with with the purchase and you are good to go...Meets all of the requirements for mast head all around etc..BTW never confuse the steaming light which runs forward on the mast (usually coupled with the working light - mid point on the mast) with the stern light which runs / shows aft..
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Last edited by artbyjody; 04-18-2009 at 02:37 AM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarkas View Post
(US)Powerboats-Separate or combination red and green sidelights, 112.5°, visible 1 n.m., placed above hull at least 1 meter (3.3') below masthead light. Masthead: white, 225°, visible 2 n.m., at least 1 meter above side lights. White stern light, 135°, visible 2 n.m. OR, one all-round (360°) white light (should also have sidelights).
Okay my boat is 30 feet. Does this mean that all I need is a a red/green side lights on the bow and a 360 degree white light at the mast head, and this is legal under sail or power?

Or is this just legal under power?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
I run with this:

Aqua Series 32 Tri-Color LED Light

from Aqua... I had the regular bulb version but lens were busted so went the next step. Keep the documentation that comes with with the purchase and you are good to go...Meets all of the requirements for mast head all around etc..BTW never confuse the steaming light which runs forward on the mast (usually coupled with the working light - mid point on the mast) with the stern light which runs / shows aft..
Thanks Jody, I see this unit is USCG approved, but I am confused. It appears to have a white 360 degree light above the red/green, but like an inch above.

If the mast head light is required to be at least 1 meter above the colored side lights, how does this meet legal requirements?
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Also, there is a strobe on the mast head. When is this used, just for distress?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarcher View Post
Thanks Jody, I see this unit is USCG approved, but I am confused. It appears to have a white 360 degree light above the red/green, but like an inch above.

If the mast head light is required to be at least 1 meter above the colored side lights, how does this meet legal requirements?
To be honest do not know - its approved by the USCG, and they follow the ABYC guidelines [Edit it is ABYC approved] for the most part.. It could be it fits because of angle of viewing the seperation meets the viewing angle required? As long as it is approved here in the states - then I am willing to rock with it...you can always run with it and mount a proper stern light at the stern.
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As I understand it your side/stern lights must be below the steaming light, People I know with a mast head tri color also have deck level lights to use while under power. The all around light on your mast head is for anchoring>

David
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Federal Requirements and Safety Tips for Recreational Boats
Navigation Rules
Require vessels to display lights and shapes under certain conditions.
Navigation Lights
Recreational vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise and other periods of reduced visibility (fog, rain, haze, etc.). The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules, International-Inland, specifies lighting requirements for every description of water craft. The information provided is for power-driven and sailing vessels less than 65.5 feet/20 meters in length.
Power-driven Vessels
(Sail Vessel under machinery power is considered a power-driven vessel).
If your power-driven vessel is less than 65.5 feet/20 meters in length, then it must display navigation lights per Figure 1.

Figure 1
If your power-driven vessel is less than 39.4 feet/12 meters in length, then it may display navigation lights per Figure 2.

Figure 2
If your power-driven vessel is less than 23 feet/7 meters in length and its maximum speed cannot exceed 7 knots, then it may display an all-round white light, and if practicable, sidelights instead of the lights prescribed previously. (For International Rules only)
For power-driven vessels less than 39.4 feet/12 meters in length, the masthead or all-round white light must be at least 1 meter above the sidelights.
Sidelights may be a combination light, instead of two separate lights as shown in figures 2 and 5.
Sailing Vessels
If your sailing vessel is less than 65.6 feet/20 meters in length, then it must display navigation lights as shown in Figures 3, 4, or 5.


Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5
If your vessel is less than 23 feet/7 meters in length, then it should display lights for a sailboat (Figures 3,4,or 5, if practicle). As an option, your vessel may carry an electric torch (flashlight) or lightened lantern that can show a white light in sufficient time to prevent collision. (see Figure 6)

Figure 6
Vessel Under Oars
If your vessel is under oars, then it should display lights for a sailboat (Figures 3 or 4), if practicle. As an option, your vessel your vessel may carry a flashlight or lighted lantern that can show a white light in sufficient time to prevent collision. (see Figure 7)

Figure 7
Lights and Shapes
To alert other vessels of conditions, which may be hazardous, there are requirements to display lights at night and shapes during the day.
Anchored Vessels
AT NIGHT: All vessels at anchor must display anchor lights. If your vessel is less than 164 feet/50 meters in length, then its anchor light is an all-round white light visible where it can best be seen from all directions. (Figure 8)

Figure 8

DURING THE DAY: All vessels at anchor must display, forward where it can be best seen, a black ball shape. (See Figure 9)

Figure 9
EXCEPTIONS: If your vessel is less than 23 feet/7 meters in length, then it is not required to display an anchor light or shape unless it is anchored in or near a narrow channel, fairway or anchorage, or where other vessels normally navigate.
If your vessel is less than 65.6 feet/20 meters in length, then it is not required to display an anchor light if it is anchored in Inland Waters in a special anchorage designated by the Secretary of Transportation.
Sailing Vessels Under Power (Machinery)
During the day, vessels under sail also being propelled by machinery, must exhibit forward, where best seen, a black conical shape with the apex pointing down. (Figure 10)

Figure 10
EXCEPTION: If your vessel is less than 39.4 feet/12 meters in length, then it is not required to display the shape in Inland Waters.
REMINDER: If you are operating your sail vessel at night using machinery or sail and machinery, then your vessel must display lights required for a power-driven vessel. (See figures 1 or 2)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmylie View Post
The all around light on your mast head is for anchoring>David
Yes!
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