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Old 11-10-2011
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Mid-mast light

I don't want to do all the electrical work to put up a mid-mast light for motoring my sailboat at night. Do they make a battery powered clip on light that I can run up the main halyard or something like that?

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Dave
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Old 11-10-2011
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In order to make sure the light is visible across the correct arc you will need to mount it permanently. However, you should be able to use an all around white light in conjunction with your port and starboard lights as long as you turn off your stern light.
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Old 11-10-2011
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In order to make sure the light is visible across the correct arc you will need to mount it permanently. However, you should be able to use an all around white light in conjunction with your port and starboard lights as long as you turn off your stern light.
Good suggestion. Note that the all around light would have to be mounted at the mast head for this to work. So it's really the same amount of work as mounting a dedicated steaming light.

Do not mount an anchor light on a halyard, although tempting. It's really not that much work to add a light - a couple of hours at most.
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Old 11-10-2011
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[QUOTE=nickmerc;795744] However, you should be able to use an all around white light in conjunction with your port and starboard lights as long as you turn off your stern light.[/QUOTE]

This does not meet the lighting requirements. You may only use the tri-light when sailing. When steaming a sailboat becomes a motor vessel. You therefore need a forward steaming light, port and starboard lights and a stern light and you must turn off your trilight.
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Old 11-10-2011
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There's a guy near me who clips a light onto his spinnaker track. No idea if it meets the letter of the law or not.
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Old 11-10-2011
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I should also mention that I have running lights and at the very top of the mast I have a tri-light. I just thought that if I was motoring, I would need a light at the mid-mast section of the sailboat. But if what I have is good enough, maybe I'll just move on to another project.
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ebs001 is right as follows:

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sidelights and sternlight [can] be combined into a single fixture and carried at the masthead. This combined navigation light is often called a "tricolor" light. It cannot be used, however, while an auxiliary engine propels the boat, so a sailing vessel equipped with an engine must be fitted with regular sidelight and sternlight even if a "tricolor" light is used when under sail alone. The "tricolor" light may not be used when the regular sidelights are on. Display one or the other but not both.
In addition to the sidelights and stern light, a steaming light visible through 225 degrees is needed. However:

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Underway between sunset and sunrise or in restricted visibility, a powerboat of less than 164 feet (50 m) or a sailboat operating under power must display red and green sidelights, each visible for 2 miles through an arc of 112.5 degrees. The red arc starts at the bow and sweeps to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam to port; the green arc mirrors this to starboard. The boat must also display a white masthead light visible for 5 miles (3 miles if the boat is less than 65 ft. or 20 m long) through an arc of 225 degrees centered ahead, and a white stern light visible for 2 miles through an arc of 135 degrees centered behind. If the boat is less than 39 feet (12 m) long, the masthead and stern lights can be combined

Read more: Navigation Lights: Information from Answers.com
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[QUOTE=ebs001;795763]
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Originally Posted by nickmerc View Post
However, you should be able to use an all around white light in conjunction with your port and starboard lights as long as you turn off your stern light.[/QUOTE]

This does not meet the lighting requirements. You may only use the tri-light when sailing. When steaming a sailboat becomes a motor vessel. You therefore need a forward steaming light, port and starboard lights and a stern light and you must turn off your trilight.
ebs001,

I said nothing about using the tri-color. If an all around white light is used as well as the port and starboard lights it is the same thing as using a steaming light and a stern light. The all around white light covers the full 360deg arc the steaming and stern lights do.
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