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post #61 of 73 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
And, again, for those who are having difficulty distinguishing masthead lights from freakin' STARS, might I politely suggest perhaps the time has come for you to refrain from sailing after dark? (grin)
I would suggest that this "trend" has been caused by owners using nav lights that do not meet the COLREGS performance criteria. I myself have seen these "stars" and it gets really annoying when someone has molested a perfectly good 2nm or 3nm nav light with a MUCH dimmer and much more blue light. It can be dangerous because it throws your depth perception, of where the boat is, way off.

All Round lights such as the Davis products, WHICH ARE NOT USCG APPROVED, also fall into this category.

I can guarantee no-one has ever mistaken our mast head anchor light as a star as it is almost always the brightest anchor light we see. We also have one mounted to the radar pole and depending upon where we are we use one or the other, or both.

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post #62 of 73 Old 10-01-2012
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Re: Anchor light

JonEisberg, as to your comment concerning those that have for a brief moment of time couldn't quite distinguish a dim light to a masthead anchor light from a distance should refrain from sailing at night, was quite harsh even with your (grin) tacked on at the end. I guess you took it to read that we can't distinguish the difference until we run smack into the so called starship. Of course all of this could have been avoided if the boat had another light visible other than the quasi star at the top of his mast. (grin) By the way love the picture of the yacht alone at anchor.
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post #63 of 73 Old 10-01-2012
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Re: Anchor light

practicality speaking here---in these anchorages we find the need for lower than masthead lighting comes from not the sailing boats anchoring and entering a harbor, but for those pangas that sped thru anchorages--these souls do NOT look UP for lighting. hence, cockpit lights--do not use blue, s blue connotes whorehouses in mexico-- but of white whatever stays on all night. go ahead and use the masthead light if you wish, but do supplement with GOOD bunch of closer to the deck lighting so these pangas donot hit your boat.
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post #64 of 73 Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by waterwks4me View Post
JonEisberg, as to your comment concerning those that have for a brief moment of time couldn't quite distinguish a dim light to a masthead anchor light from a distance should refrain from sailing at night, was quite harsh even with your (grin) tacked on at the end. I guess you took it to read that we can't distinguish the difference until we run smack into the so called starship. Of course all of this could have been avoided if the boat had another light visible other than the quasi star at the top of his mast. (grin) By the way love the picture of the yacht alone at anchor.
Nah, wasn't meant to be harsh, perhaps it's just me... (grin)

I've sailed in a few spots with minimal light pollution, and where the stars shine brightly pretty low to the horizon, but the chances of mistaking a typical anchor light with one at a distance seem a bit low, to me... I've spent nights in Elizabeth Harbor in Georgetown, Exumas, for example, in the midst of 350+ other boats, and I think it was still pretty easy to distinguish most of them from the stars... At least, not before the combination of rum drinks and sea stories being swapped really started to add up...

As Maine Sail suggests, it's possible if someone is showing a tiny, dim light, I suppose... One thing you mentioned jumps out at me, however - the fact that you were struggling a bit to look out and around from beneath a cockpit bimini at the time... I absolutely HATE having to deal with that sort of impediment to visibility at night, and can certainly understand that when poking your head out from underneath intermittently, such confusion about lights can exist...

Of course, favoring uncrowded anchorages, or holes that can accomodate only one boat, problem solved... (grin)

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post #65 of 73 Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
practicality speaking here---in these anchorages we find the need for lower than masthead lighting comes from not the sailing boats anchoring and entering a harbor, but for those pangas that sped thru anchorages--these souls do NOT look UP for lighting. hence, cockpit lights--do not use blue, s blue connotes whorehouses in mexico-- but of white whatever stays on all night. go ahead and use the masthead light if you wish, but do supplement with GOOD bunch of closer to the deck lighting so these pangas donot hit your boat.
It happened in Belize about a 1/2 mile out in front of the city back in '90, A whloe family zooming in a panga ran in to my aqquaintance's large power boat anchored out. a few of them died and the guy driving said the anchor light blended in with the stars. I've seen the effect a million times looking out over Key West Harbour at night, and if not the stars, they blend in with city light's. Best to have a low light that illuminates the deck or bimini a bit. Like Zeehag say's, it's not so much cruisers and your self but panga's and yahoo's zooming around. The dudes driving around panga's down in Honduras are amongst the worst boat handlers I've ever seen any where.

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post #66 of 73 Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by svzephyr44 View Post
Actually it has to do with COLREGS. Rule 21 defines "masthead light" which, wow, has to be on the masthead. ...
Actually, NO. This is the definition:
"(a) “Masthead light” means a white light placed over the fore and aft centerline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel." No mention of height.

On every sailboat that I have seen, this light is located halfway up the front of the mast. That is why I advise calling this light as the "steaming light" so as to not confuse the typical boater who thinks that the light at the top of the mast, is the masthead light, which it is not, the light at the top of the mast is the anchor light.

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post #67 of 73 Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Anchor light

We use a photocell light similiar to the "Guest" as jackdale describes. It came with the boat and already had a tail line attached to the bottom bail. As a newbie to the boat, the first time I hoisted it my attention was focused on it's altitude in relation to the top of the mast and didn't notice that the tail line was now out of reach! It spent the next 3 nights thumping and twisting around the mast and needless to say it held the main halyard hostage until we got back to port, fetched a ladder and untangled the sorry mess. It does work well though and by tying the tail line off on a cabin handrail it no longer bangs the mast or tangles itself in the shrouds.
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post #68 of 73 Old 10-03-2012
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Re: Anchor light

Do not neglect your masthead light. That said, while cruising we used various cheap solar led lights down low. They did not last long at first with salt water finding a way into the works. We eventually ended up putting them into clear plastic screw top containers. If I remember right we used empty peanut butter jars. They recharged just fine and were corrosion free for months. When we were really worried about night time traffic we also hung a bright 12v led bulb mounted in a caged industrial light fixture from the boom. The fixture plugged into a 12v outlet in the cockpit.
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post #69 of 73 Old 10-04-2012
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Re: Anchor light

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Nah, wasn't meant to be harsh, perhaps it's just me... (grin)
OK Jon, when is your large format, glossy coffee table book "1000 of My Favorite Anchorages" going to be available? (Christmas is coming and I am putting it on my shopping list!)
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post #70 of 73 Old 10-04-2012
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Re: Anchor light

My boat came with no masthead light (broke off) no idea where it went, but the wires are still there so I am glad this thread came up, I want low amp draw and preferably a light sensing diode to turn it off when I am sleeping it off haha.

In the mean time my buddy and I made an anchor light, bought one with no pedstal 50' electric wire from hardware store like you would make a really cheap extension cord from and cig lighter plug. Total cost was something like $15. Hooked some wire to the light and raise it up the halyard at night, works great. Once I get my masthead fixed this leaves a spare incase it breaks or if I need a job light or a million other things you could come up with.

Just for lighting and to conserve battery we got a couple cheapo walmart solar lawn lights and they worked for 3 or 4 years until they were all stepped on or swept overboard because no one put them away. You couldn't see them from far off, but they lit the deck level. We didn't rely on them they were just a nice addition so cheap was good.
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