Do you use dinghy lights? - Page 9 - SailNet Community
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post #81 of 132 Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

I'll let you guys continue debating best practices. But it does seem that the USCG's minimum requirement for dinghies at less than 7 knots is just a 360 white light, especially for an inflatable upon which mounting the red/green lights could be deemed un-"practicable." Many of you are complaining of the 360 lights interfering with night vision, and you have proposed using plates to reduce the glare inside the boat.

As I mentioned awhile back, one highly portable, inexpensive light that would seem to meet the bare minimum requirements is this one, which Sunsail provided for their BVI dinghies:


As I recall from when I used that light, its lens focuses a very intense ring of light on a flat plane, resulting in minimal (but some) bleed into the boat. This strong directionality also focuses the intensity in a very narrow band, so that its somewhat dim light will still be viewed from a significant distance even though it does not consume a lot of battery power. When we used this light in BVI, night vision was not an issue because there was always so much stray light around from land, so I did not really get a good test of the light's bleed.

I have two emergency strobes mounted inside our inflatable PFDs right now, and I've been wanting to get a third emergency light for our "guest" inflatable PFD. The above light is just $10-11 at Defender and Amazon and is very skinny and easy to store, so I think I'm going to pick it up for the PFD. If I ever unexpectedly have to use the dinghy at night, I'll have this handy to satisfy the minimum requirement.

If I ever plan ahead of time to use the dinghy at night, I would purchase a red/green light and figure out how to velcro it onto the bow. But I'm not going to spend the money for that until I have a specific plan to use it, since I'm mostly just a daysailor.



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post #82 of 132 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
As a slight thread drift, I also checked the transient dock again for evidence of PFDs. I didn't do an exact count this time, but there are several dozen dinghies. Giving credit for any bag or compartment that might be capable of carrying a PFD as having one inside, I would say about half do.

This I find substantially more important than using running lights on a clear night in a lit harbor.
this may be do to the fact that many take their
pfd with them because the inflatable ones tend to grow legs if left in a dingy

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post #83 of 132 Old 07-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

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this may be do to the fact that many take their
pfd with them because the inflatable ones tend to grow legs if left in a dingy
I hope you're right. Although, I've yet to see anyone walking in or out with any, nor a large enough bag. Most people have nothing with them but their flip flops.


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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

Wrap up......... (I'm killing time until we get favorable current this afternoon)

I scanned the thread to tally where all are on this. Not perfect, but I included those that supported the idea of no blinding lights and those that liked the OP as being favorable. I counted those that blistered the sacrilege, called me names, or simply quoted the regulation, with no stated opinion on the point of the OP, as unfavorable.

I tried not to count any poster twice.

Favorable 15
Unfavorable 13

Pretty good conversation as I see it.

There were also 2 that were so neutral I couldn't tell and 3 thread drifts. The undecided, as it were, could very well make it a tie.

Survey and thread is now complete.


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post #85 of 132 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

why dont you guys just go out and shoot the offenders.....like her einmexico--one i shard pressed to find any gringos using running lights on dinks.
many will use bright ftw lights, and those i want to shoot... they play light up every boat in darkness and cannot seem to find their own boat for some reason.
seems pangeros dont need lights to see others well in darkness.. why not shoot them also.....
get real, folks.
dont let yourselves get run over by bigger stuff than you. at least take a flashlight to show you are there when being almost run over by someone larger than yourselfish selves.


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post #86 of 132 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

Part of the issue here is the commercial products for lighting dinghies tend to be not very good and not very durable at best. I'll post my LED contructions when I get a chance.
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post #87 of 132 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

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Part of the issue here is the commercial products for lighting dinghies tend to be not very good and not very durable at best. I'll post my LED contructions when I get a chance.
I don't know, I've enjoyed superb service from these portable lights from Aqua Signal over the years, they've never missed a beat...

by comparison, the ones I've see from Attwood and Innovative Lighting seem a bit less robust, or waterproof...

Like anything else going in a tender, always helps to keep them cleaned and protected from the elements as much as possible, remove the batteries when stowed long term, etc...


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post #88 of 132 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

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I don't know, I've enjoyed superb service from these portable lights from Aqua Signal over the years, they've never missed a beat...

by comparison, the ones I've see from Attwood and Innovative Lighting seem a bit less robust, or waterproof...

Like anything else going in a tender, always helps to keep them cleaned and protected from the elements as much as possible, remove the batteries when stowed long term, etc...


We have those. One is at the bottom of the lake at Edgartown. After that, I put a lanyard on them. The suction cup onto the top of the engine only works for X minutes, where X is not a large number.

The other ones we have are all rusty inside where the contacts are. Been meaning to clean them up -- maybe some On&Off will remove the rust -- and apply dialectric grease. We just don't seem to need them that much, and I haven't found the time to tinker with them.

Lesson learned: remove batteries as Jon said. Also apply dialectric grease to help prevent rusting innards.

Does anyone know if hypalon glue will work on velcro loop patches? Our registration (soft) plate came off the port side and the dinghy's a bit ugly there now. (Port side registration is now roped on, fore and aft.) So I need to get some of the (expensive!) glue again anyway.

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Last edited by Bene505; 07-10-2013 at 02:16 PM.
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post #89 of 132 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

These are pretty awesome, mine came with a used achilles I bought. Scroll down to NavLights.



They are easy on/off, simple and bright. The all around white comes with a 160 degree shield, to keep light out of the boat.

Everything breaks down to less than 8" long (I don't have the long flagpole, just the short mount) and will fit in a small bag.

I am not affiliated, of course.




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post #90 of 132 Old 07-10-2013
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Re: Do you use dinghy lights?

For clarification, I did not call you a moron, I said "making yourself sound like a complete moron". I believe there is a difference, nonetheless you interpreted that I did, my apologies to you Minnewaska.

I understand your frustration, but don't believe one should run dark in the circumstance you described.

Cheers,
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