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ereuter 09-21-2008 11:09 AM

Dinghy lights - NH Marine Patrol Summons
I got pulled over by the NH Marine Patrol last night in Portsmouth for not having a R/G bow light on my dinghy. I had a clear all-around on the stern, which is all that the federal/international rules require if making less than 7 kts. From rule 23: "a power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots may in lieu of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and shall, if practicable, also exhibit sidelights."

I don't think that a bow light is "practicable" on an inflatable tender.

The officer said that NH law requires the bow lights on any motorized vessel. Although that's true, the NH boating regulations also state "Any motorboat may carry and exhibit the lights required by the federal requirements for preventing collisions at sea, in lieu of the lights required by this section."

This resulted in an $81 fine - more than if the boat hadn't been registered! They "did me a favor" by not citing me for not having a fire extinguisher or sound-producing device.

Despite my time being more valuable than the fine, I'm thinking I'm going to plead not guilty and take the court date.

How many of you have bow lights or (even less reasonable) carry a fire extinguisher in your dinghy?

xort 09-21-2008 11:54 AM

Was your boat CAPABLE of making more than 7 k?
The fire ext. was BS. Sound device, yes.

ereuter 09-21-2008 12:20 PM

Yes, I suppose it is with just me in it. With 2 people, forget it.

Maybe that's where my case falls apart.

ckgreenman 09-21-2008 12:33 PM

We used to carry those flashlight type suction cup nav lights on our inflatable. They work but I recommend tying some string to them since the suction cups dont always hold that well. You can also buy those mini handheld horns too.

As for the legal issue, I was under the impression that all you need for small vessel like that is a hand held white light that can be displayed in order to avoid collision. But then I think that might only apply to sail and human powered vessels.

poopdeckpappy 09-21-2008 12:40 PM


Originally Posted by ereuter (Post 372175)
How many of you have bow lights or (even less reasonable) carry a fire extinguisher in your dinghy?

We have removable bow lights, but no FE and no sound device

sailboy21 09-21-2008 12:58 PM

As for the light, sounds live they were just out revenueing. If you contest (bring your CFR's) I bet it gets thrown out. However, it probably would behoove you to get a set of those new aqua signal LED suction cup lights to avoid future interactions with the revenue man. But it is a viscous cycle. Next they will be out measuring the spacing of your registration numbers with a micrometer...
A sounds device is required. Get those cheap two pack whistles and tie one somewhere on every dingy you have. Be sure to demonstrate its use for the revenue man. They like that sort of thing.

nk235 09-21-2008 02:11 PM

I hate this sorta crap. Don't get me wrong I always try to abide by the rules and I think most of them do make the waters safer but busting someone for not having the exact light config for a particular state when technically you were correct judging by those rules you posted. I have a 10' Zodiac that came with my boat. I never even got around to putting the numbers and reg sticker on there till the end of the summer let alone carrying life jackets, horns, flares, fire extinguishers...etc. I only use it carrying adults to and from land or another boat going under 5 knts for a max distance of a mile if that. I mean if I had children or was using that to go fishing or for something more then maybe I can see making an argument for that crap to be in a tiny little dink but otherwise those "revenue collectors" can go f*ck themselves.

Also has anyone ever tried having lights on the bow of the dink at night? You can't see a thing! Ahh there I go ranting but I just get pissed off at these useless rules and more than that the people actually enforcing these rules when they really should be busting the large ass power boats that are always breaking the channel speed limit, waking other boats that are abiding by the rules, and all the other aholes out there that are actually doing things that could endanger other boaters. I would fight that just on principal alone.

gulfcoastcruiser 09-21-2008 02:44 PM

I use a white stern light only and always carry life jackets when using my 8' Trinka with a 2.5 HP outboard. I sometimes carry my handheld VHF, but usually don't. I have not been stopped yet, but have often wondered if I am in compliance. I just can't see the necessity of carrying a fire extinguisher on a boat this small, although adding a whistle to my safety gear sounds like a good idea.

sailboy21 09-21-2008 03:43 PM

fire extinguishers are not USCG required on boats with an outboard and no enclosed cabin or installed fuel tanks. That is the problem with having the local po do vessel safety checks. They think they know it all...

runner 09-21-2008 04:00 PM

Here, you have to have a fire bottle if there are flamable liquids in the boat. Trolling motor no, outboard gas engine, yes. Gas can for someone else's boat, yes. The local enforcement folks will stop you and read you out over your number spacing, size, and about whether or not the colors contrast well enough with your boat by the way!!!! :(

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