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post #11 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
S/V Lilo, Islander 32
 
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Re: Anchor light

I think the thought against garden lights is while they are white and all around, they do not (or may not) meet the brightness / visible distance requirements, escpecially all night long...

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Rule 22 - Visibility of Lights

The lights prescribed in these Rules shall have an intensity as specified in [Section 8] of Annex I to these [Regulations | Rules] so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges:

(a) In vessels of 50 meters or more in length:

(i) a masthead light, 6 miles;
(ii) a sidelight, 3 miles;
(iii) a towing light, 3 miles;
(iv) a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 3 miles.
(v) a special flashing light, 2 miles.

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post #12 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

USCG approved means it has been tested and meets the visibility distance requirement. if it is not an approved type then you can not prove it does meet the requirement. someone hits you and the lawyers find out you will be liable
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post #13 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
USCG approved means it has been tested and meets the visibility distance requirement. if it is not an approved type then you can not prove it does meet the requirement. someone hits you and the lawyers find out you will be liable
Right. The bottom line is that you should have a proper marine anchor light that you're willing to use. When you start talking about using a $5 home depot light, that may or may not last an entire night, for a fairly important function you've got a problem.

In this case $40-$100 for a marine LED light solves that and it's worth it. I mean hanging battery lights are fine, but why bother? Wire in a permanent LED anchor light (the OP already has an existing one) and you're done.

EDIT: Funny story, when I bought my boat the previous owner casually mentioned that the masthead light didn't work so he climbed up the mast every time he sailed at night to mount a battery one. "Be careful" he said (at least the boat does have steps).

Needless to say one of the first things I did was debug this problem. At the time my electrical consisted of one + bolt , one - bolt and a rats nest of corded wires and inline fuses. Eventually I replaced some fuses and figured out that the masthead light was labeled "windshield wiper" on the panel. For the first season "windshield wiper" was my masthead light.

So that's one extreme. Personally, after re-vamping the entire electrical I'm thrilled to have a switch I can flip to turn on the new LED anchor light - no hanging or mast climbing required. (As a throwback I labeled the unused circuit on my electrical panel "Windsheld Wiper")

Last edited by asdf38; 09-26-2012 at 04:07 PM.
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post #14 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by asdf38 View Post
A proper marine led masthead light will use a fraction of an amp. It won't be cheap but you'll never have to think about it again. An entire night will use an Ah or two.

Example:
Sea-Dog LED Masthead Light
I agree. Don't fool around and get a good nights sleep. The cost of a good LED mast-head anchor light has come down considerably, and is worth the investment.

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post #15 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by padean View Post
I agree. Don't fool around and get a good nights sleep. The cost of a good LED mast-head anchor light has come down considerably, and is worth the investment.
+2, and it is actually seen from all around and doesn't get obscured from your mast. Ours is bright enough to distinguish it from the others around it.

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post #16 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by padean View Post
I agree. Don't fool around and get a good nights sleep. The cost of a good LED mast-head anchor light has come down considerably, and is worth the investment.
+3 - how much is your boat worth?

The fore triangle light is a good spare, if the mast mounted anchor light fails.

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post #17 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by IslanderGuy View Post
I think the thought against garden lights is while they are white and all around, they do not (or may not) meet the brightness / visible distance requirements, escpecially all night long...
Agreed, and thank you for the citation. Though I will post the same section for boats UNDER 50meters here as well. My boat is smaller that yours it seems.

I would also like to add that my recommendation to the OP is to replace the bulb with a high intensity LED at the masthead and use that. LED bulbs last forever, use little electricity, and I've never found a solar light that was bright enough for me and stayed on all night. If he is concerned about USCG approval he should replace the housing and bulb. While USCG approval will go a long way towards proving that your light meets the requirement, it may not be enough in a court battle. A dirty housing, low voltage and many other reasons could make your light not visible. It could come down to witness credibility etc etc. Again though, the USCG cert would help, just don't expect it to give you a free pass from the other guy's lawyer on this point.


Rule 22 - Visibility of Lights

The lights prescribed in these Rules shall have an intensity as specified in [Section 8] of Annex I to these [Regulations | Rules] so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges:


(b) In vessels of 12 meters or more in length but less than 50 meters in length;

(i) a masthead light, 5 miles; except that where the length of the vessel is less than 20 meters, 3 miles;
(ii) a sidelight, 2 miles;
(iii) a sternlight, 2 miles;
(iv) a towing light, 2 miles;
(v) a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
(vi) a special flashing light, 2 miles.

(c) In vessels of less than 12 meters in length:

(i) a masthead light, 2 miles;
(ii) a sidelight, 1 miles;
(iii) a towing light, 2 miles;
(iv) a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
(v) a special flashing light, 2 miles.

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post #18 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
While USCG approval will go a long way towards proving that your light meets the requirement, it may not be enough in a court battle.

I think OP is Canadian; at least Georgian Bay is in Canada. USCG approval is not needed.

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post #19 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Agreed, and thank you for the citation. Though I will post the same section for boats UNDER 50meters here as well. My boat is smaller that yours it seems.
HA! Thanks, copied the wrong section. No, my boat is not that big. Although my meters skills aren't that great being one of those wierdos that uses the senseless foot / yard / mile system, I'm quite sure I'm WAY below that!

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post #20 of 73 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
USCG approved means it has been tested and meets the visibility distance requirement. if it is not an approved type then you can not prove it does meet the requirement. someone hits you and the lawyers find out you will be liable
Not that I'm advocating using none USCG approved lights (and I wouldn't) I'm just curious, is it actually required that they be USCG approved, or only that they meet the requirements, the easiest way to be sure being using USCG approved lights?

Seems to me if your lights are not USCG approved, but in the event of an issue, if you can PROVE that they meet the visibility requirements, that would hold up in court.

Of course that means the onus would be on you to prove it, and the fault would be yours if it doesn't, where as with a CG approved light, you don;t need to bother proving it as that has been done for you.

Personally, I think the little extra cash up front is worth not dealing with proving the lights meet the specs, or dealing with officials who may question it if they boat where to be inspected or something, I'm just curious what's actually legal.

Seems like a requirement for USCG approved would be tough, as boats from other countries would have lights approved by different governing bodies, etc.

Anyway, nit-picking a bit here, just curious if anyone can site a legal requirement for an "approved" light vrs. a light that meets the requirements....

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