Masthead light height - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-28-2007 Thread Starter
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Masthead light height

Is there a minimum height requirement for masthead lights. I have a 79 Cheoy Lee ketch (32') and noticed that all the other boats in the marina have their lights quite a bit higher than mine. Just curious. Thanks

David
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post #2 of 27 Old 03-28-2007
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The masthead light should be atop the main masthead . . . . Unless you're referring to the light stanchion? I don't think there is a minimum height to this regard.

Otherwise, perhaps the other boats in your marina have higher masts?

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Last edited by TrueBlue; 03-28-2007 at 08:45 AM.
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post #3 of 27 Old 03-28-2007
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No, a masthead light, under the Rules, is NOT a light atop the mainmast. It is a misnomer.

A masthead light is the light in the forward part of the vessel, along the centerline, which shows through an unbroken arc of 225 degrees so as to show light 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.

On a sailboat, it is used only when under power or when motorsailing.

To my knowledge, it's height on the mast isn't critical, so long as it's considerably above the sidelights.

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post #4 of 27 Old 03-28-2007
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Thought that was the steaming light and the masthead light was the 360 degree anchor light.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-28-2007
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A masthead light (or anchor light) is on the MASTHEAD! It's required use is when anchoring at night. AFAIK, The height of the stanchion, or staff it's attached to is not regulated.

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Hence the name Masthead.
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post #7 of 27 Old 03-28-2007
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Nope,

Per The Annapolis Book of Seamanship

"The masthead (steaming, bow) light, which when lit indicates that the boat is under power, is a white light located not at the top of the mast, as the name suggests, but partway down. (On small power vessels it may be placed at the top of a short vertical spar). On most sailboats it's about a third of the way down from the actual masthead. Showing over the same arc as the sidelights, it is turned on only when the boat is under power. "

The rule that I remember is that it must be "signifigantly" above the sidelights.

At the club that I sail with, the guy that owns the (50+) boats has started to move some of the steaming lights DOWN on the mast, so that he can replace them without having to climb the mast, or get a ladder.

Last edited by eherlihy; 09-20-2013 at 10:58 AM.
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Looks like we all jumped on this at the same time....
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Well thats just dumb, LOL.
What do they call the 360 degree anchor light on top of the mast than.
The Masthead head light.

Thanks for the clarification.
I'm still going to call them wrong. Steaming or Bow light and Masthead or anchor light makes more sense if you ask me. LOL
What do they (I) know!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy
Looks like we all jumped on this at the same time....
Guess me and tj should have let you and Bill jump first . . .

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