No regulations for marker lights? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 42 Old 11-24-2010 Thread Starter
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No regs for marker lights?

My marina is run by the city and is suffering lack of maintenance due to budget cuts. Recently, a channel marker fell down due to rot. The marina has also failed to keep the lights working on some of the remaining concrete marker pilings. I contacted the Coast Guard and asked who was responsible for replacing the fallen marker. To my surprise they said, though it belongs to my marina, as a private aid to navigation, no one has to replace it. I looked at the Inland regs for rules regarding lighting and found very little, except that lighting on some buoys was "discretionary". Can it be that though the CG spells out vessel lighting to a "T", they have very few, if any regulations regarding channel markers and lights? This particular channel is heavily back lit by city lights, which makes for a tricky approach at night, even with all the markers and lights working. Seems to me that if you are going to operate a marina, you need to keep the channel defined.

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post #2 of 42 Old 11-24-2010
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While the marina may have a liability issue if they do not maintain their channel marks properly, there really isn't much the USCG can do about forcing them to do so. These are private marks and a private channel.

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post #3 of 42 Old 11-24-2010
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Regulations are only supported when they get you what you want. Personally, I want a regulation that sets a maximum on regulations. If there is a new one, it has to replace one we already have (or better yet, two).
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post #4 of 42 Old 11-24-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
While the marina may have a liability issue if they do not maintain their channel marks properly, there really isn't much the USCG can do about forcing them to do so. These are private marks and a private channel.
Yes, but the privately maintained channel and the privately constructed and maintained concrete markers are in the public bay which leads to the private marina. The first two markers (1 & 2) are on the Nav charts. 3-10 appear on some charts, not on others. I would think having them un lit would make them uncharted hazards to navigation at night in the bay. The Harbor master (who is generally full of BS) claims he would have no liability if a boat hit an un lit marker. I strongly disagree, especially given a record of a lack of maintenance. My bottom line is, I don't want to find out who's right!
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post #5 of 42 Old 11-24-2010
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Sailing has been around a lot longer than electric light bulbs.

Would I like everything lit, absolutely. Should it be required by law? Not so sure. Should we require sea walls by law?
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post #6 of 42 Old 11-24-2010
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You really need to dig into the CFRs on private ATNs. But it is to my understanding that the owners of the private ATNs have to maintain them.
But then in todays world your marina may not have the funds to do so.

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post #7 of 42 Old 11-24-2010 Thread Starter
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Why can't we all just...do the right thing?!

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Regulations are only supported when they get you what you want. Personally, I want a regulation that sets a maximum on regulations. If there is a new one, it has to replace one we already have (or better yet, two).
Ahhhh! We could go far afield here! Unfortunately, with human nature being what it is, it often takes regulations to make people do the responsible thing. Obviously, someone thought the markers were necessary when the marina was built (I assume they would have been specified in the permit process). I would think the marina would appreciate that the Nav aids need to be maintained as a safety issue for their tenants, but they don't. Why? As usual, it comes down to $$$$. Guess I could just go on the hook and I wouldn't have to worry about the channel or my slip fee's. Thats it!....I'm goin Libertarian!
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post #8 of 42 Old 11-24-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Sailing has been around a lot longer than electric light bulbs.

Would I like everything lit, absolutely. Should it be required by law? Not so sure. Should we require sea walls by law?
Really don't want to go off topic, but I simply can't resist! Sailing has also been around a lot longer than marinas (or concrete pilings for that matter)! In my case, my marina is in a place boats never would have been had it not been for a lot of dredging and a seawall. Some call it civilization. A seawall is not really a safety issue, so no, I don't think it has to be regulated. However, I certainly wouldn't pay slips fees without one! I get your point. You don't like regulations. In that case, a marina is probably a bad place for your boat (My marina has plenty, and I happily abide by them). Now...can we get back on topic, please? Just a suggestion, I'm not trying to regulate you .
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
You really need to dig into the CFRs on private ATNs. But it is to my understanding that the owners of the private ATNs have to maintain them.
But then in todays world your marina may not have the funds to do so.
Got the Aid To Navigation part, but what are CFRs (I'll bet the R is that naughty word - Regulation )? and where would I find them? I certainly understand the budget constraints, as they are affecting everything else in what was a really nice marina. However, when it gets down to safety, at some point wouldn't one say, maybe we can't afford a marina? BTW, my slip fees haven't gone up for years, and I don't mind if thats what it takes. However, I don't think the issues can simply be ignored and thats what the CG and Harbor master apparently want to do. Anyway, about the CFR's?
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post #10 of 42 Old 11-24-2010
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I wonder if I can state this concisely.

In my view, there's no requirement to keep lights operating.

Since it's a private ATN, then by definition it belongs to someone.

As such, the owner has some responsibility. The owner should: a) maintain it as a functioning ATN; b) remove it, or c) report it to the CG as either an abandoned or unlit ATN.

Since the ATNs seem to be marking a channel, then the owner also has a resposibility to either maintain the channel or remove the markers.

Does this make sense to anyone else?
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