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  #11  
Old 08-28-2013
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

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Originally Posted by sawingknots View Post
I know its hard but the best thing is just write these fools off as such btw my hats off to tow/tug captains,they only light you up as briefly as possible
If you are showing proper navlights there is no reason to light you up at all...?
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

Keep in mind that most of the powerboats are traveling a lot faster than 15 knots. My son's boat cruises at 30 knots and is capable of going much faster. Therefore, skipping across the bay at 30 knots and not lighting up what is around you once in a while is akin to driving down I-95 at 70 MPH in the middle of the night with no headlights on. If you were driving down I-95 at 5 MPH with no headlights on it would be a piece of cake - but at 70 you would be in deep $hit if the guy in front of you had no visible lights.

Secondly, 99.9 percent of the boaters I've encountered in the past 6 decades couldn't tell you how far away a boat is while traveling at night. The perception of distance in pitch, black darkness, even when seeing a boat with full running lights, is out the window. So, just because this guy lit yo up doesn't mean he's doing something to piss you off - he's just trying to get home safely without running into a very slow moving sailboat.

Many years ago, Sea Ray used to have a headlight option for their boats. I know of a couple charter captains that had them installed and they were the best thing since sliced bread for weaving your way through unlighted day markers, unlighted buoys, avoiding pound nets, and weaving through the minefields of crab pots. They didn't leave the lights turned on, but instead, just flicked them on from time to time to light up the unseen objects in their area.

Think about it,

Gary
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

Gary,

I remember that option and seeing a -lot- of boats with headlights or as they called them "docking lights". Seemed to me like the best thing out there as most powerboaters are used to driving cars. It gives them a bit of familiarity with what they are used to
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Old 08-28-2013
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Keep in mind that most of the powerboats are traveling a lot faster than 15 knots. My son's boat cruises at 30 knots and is capable of going much faster. Therefore, skipping across the bay at 30 knots and not lighting up what is around you once in a while is akin to driving down I-95 at 70 MPH in the middle of the night with no headlights on. If you were driving down I-95 at 5 MPH with no headlights on it would be a piece of cake - but at 70 you would be in deep $hit if the guy in front of you had no visible lights.

Secondly, 99.9 percent of the boaters I've encountered in the past 6 decades couldn't tell you how far away a boat is while traveling at night. The perception of distance in pitch, black darkness, even when seeing a boat with full running lights, is out the window. So, just because this guy lit yo up doesn't mean he's doing something to piss you off - he's just trying to get home safely without running into a very slow moving sailboat.

Many years ago, Sea Ray used to have a headlight option for their boats. I know of a couple charter captains that had them installed and they were the best thing since sliced bread for weaving your way through unlighted day markers, unlighted buoys, avoiding pound nets, and weaving through the minefields of crab pots. They didn't leave the lights turned on, but instead, just flicked them on from time to time to light up the unseen objects in their area.

Think about it,

Gary
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it say something in the colregs about SLOWING DOWN in reduced visibility? Isn't the dark considered "reduced visibility"? Especially in a confined, busy channel.
Any power boater doing even 20k in someplace like the Chesapeake is kinda risking their own life and the lives of others out there? Where are the LEO's when they are needed?
On the other hand, when I was much younger and not such a nice (wise) person, I would reciprocate as some have mentioned above. Once it WAS a LEO and only a whole lot of humble pie kept me from being arrested, because it is definitely illegal to shine a light intentionally at another boat as reciprocation for their actions.
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Last edited by capta; 08-28-2013 at 08:56 PM.
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

Gary: it wasn't like we were anywhere in danger of being in close proximity. They were already just about abeam me and probably 200 yards off. If they couldn't tell I wasn't *traffic* then they have bigger problems.
And capta beat me to it: if it's so dark you can't see, you shouldn't be bombing down the Bay @ 30 knots anyway.
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

A powerboater could navigate the bay at 20+ knots without a spotlight if he was competent and wanted to. GPS and your eyeballs should be all you need to navigate and there is no law against slowing down or changing course if you aren't sure about the running lights on another vessel.
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Old 08-29-2013
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

I have owned powerboats and run them at night at speed. I NEVER used a spotlight or those illegal "docking lights". Yes - they are not legal running lights and are very confusing. I hate it when I see what looks like two stern lights and need to figure out what exactly the boat is really doing. I don't think I even HAD a spotlight on the boats 99% of the time. The idiots that wave the lights around blind me, they blind themselves, and can only see a few boatlenghts ahead of them at most since their night vision is gone. I took pains to have my panel lights dim and my 360 degree white light shielded form shining in the cockpit. I even had a not-really-legal switch to change to a sailboat stern light for going 6 knots up the very dark creek filled with unlit moored boats that led to my slip. I wanted less light for BETTER vision, not those fsking "docking lights". Speaking of which, I have never - not ever - not in 4 different countries - sail or power - ever ONCE needed a light to approach a pier at night. Docking lights my a##
Can you tell I hate those things!
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it say something in the colregs about SLOWING DOWN in reduced visibility? Isn't the dark considered "reduced visibility"? Especially in a confined, busy channel.
Any power boater doing even 20k in someplace like the Chesapeake is kinda risking their own life and the lives of others out there? Where are the LEO's when they are needed?
Interestingly, at least according to the folks in Florida who've drawn up the regs applying to Manatee Zones (the 'contribution' of boating industry lobbyists is apparent, here), full darkness apparently does not constitute much of an impediment to visibility...

Yeah, this modest speed reduction is all that is necessary, to be able to spot manatees at night :-)





Florida's Manatee Zones feature some of the dumbest regulations you'll ever see posted anywhere... Most have nothing to do with manatees, of course, but everything to do with waterfront real estate... Amazing how often new Manatee Zones crop up in areas of new development, one has to presume manatees are highly attracted to waters bordered by pretentious McMansions...

Minimum Wake enforced during the daytime, but after dark you're good to go...





I certainly agree with your bigger point - any boater who requires the continuous use or a searchlight to identify other vessels, judge distances, etc., is running at an excessive speed to begin with...
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  #19  
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it say something in the colregs about SLOWING DOWN in reduced visibility? Isn't the dark considered "reduced visibility"? Especially in a confined, busy channel.
Any power boater doing even 20k in someplace like the Chesapeake is kinda risking their own life and the lives of others out there? Where are the LEO's when they are needed?
On the other hand, when I was much younger and not such a nice (wise) person, I would reciprocate as some have mentioned above. Once it WAS a LEO and only a whole lot of humble pie kept me from being arrested, because it is definitely illegal to shine a light intentionally at another boat as reciprocation for their actions.
You are right, the relevant rules are..
Quote:
Rule 6 - Safe Speed

Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account:
(a) By all vessels:

(i) The state of visibility;
(ii) The traffic density including concentrations of fishing vessels or any other vessels;
(iii) The manageability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
(iv) At night, the presence of background light such as from shore lights or from back scatter from her own lights;
(v) The state of wind, sea and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards;
(vi) The draft in relation to the available depth of water.


Quote:
PART C - LIGHTS AND SHAPES
Rule 20 - Application

(a) Rules in this part shall be complied with in all weathers.

(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.

(c) The lights prescribed by these Rules shall, if carried, also be exhibited from sunrise to sunset in restricted visibility and may be exhibited in all other circumstances when it is deemed necessary.

(d) The Rules concerning shapes shall be complied with by day.

(e) The lights and shapes specified in these Rules shall comply with the provisions of Annex I [to these Regulations | of these Rules].
Source Navigation Rules Online
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Old 08-29-2013
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Re: WTH is up w/ the spotlight?

We once ran up the Chester River at 45 knots and had dinner in Chestertown. We lingered over-long and it was a cloudy dark moonless night when we left again. The banks of the river are pitch-black farmland and forest. Many of the navaids are unlit as well.'

Instead of playing spotlight commando and blinding ourselves, we went home at 6 knots
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