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post #11 of 39 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Steaming light

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Steaming and navigation/running lights, if the engine is running you are a powerboat, just like the guy in the Skipjack drift fishing nearby.
The transmission must be engaged to be considered a power driven vessel.
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post #12 of 39 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Steaming light

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Originally Posted by capttb View Post
Steaming and navigation/running lights, if the engine is running you are a powerboat, just like the guy in the Skipjack drift fishing nearby.
From Rule 3 - General Definitions.

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(c) The term "sailing vessel" means any vessel under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used.
My take on this is that "propelling machinery" does not include a power plant that is in neutral. "Propelling Machinery" for mine is gearbox engaged, propellor turning.

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post #13 of 39 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Steaming light

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Okay, this is a test:
Sails are down, you are drifting with the wind and current, the autopilot is engaged, the engine is running, the transmission is in neutral, it is nighttime, youre having dinner in the cockpit with cockpit lights on. What navigation lights do you show?
Nasty

I would not do that myself. I would have my sails up and be hove-to, sailing lights on (sidelights and sternlight or tricolour).

You are underway , but you are not undersail (not sailing vessel), not propelled by machinery (not power-driven), not NUC or RAM.

I think that the courts may have decide.

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post #14 of 39 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Steaming light

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From Rule 3 - General Definitions.



My take on this is that "propelling machinery" does not include a power plant that is in neutral. "Propelling Machinery" for mine is gearbox engaged, propellor turning.
I actually sought legal opinion, professional opinion and called the USCG. All agreed.

I think it was posted to CF, but I think I kept the emails.

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post #15 of 39 Old 09-26-2012
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Hah... if I was that big I don't think I'd be worrying about being seen. 27 ft sloop, and "all those extra lights" consists of one masthead steaming light, the original subject of the thread I thought...
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Re: Steaming light

OK, I'm in a 20ft open power boat, they don't have 'steaming' lights, but are under power, so why do WE need to have one? Why would you not be a 'power boat' with sails down? Am I being stupid on this? If so I'm sorry, but I just don't see the difference between a sailboat under power with sail down, and running on power only. Help.
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post #17 of 39 Old 09-26-2012
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Nope, you're exactly right. If you're operating under power at all - even motorsailing - you're a power boat. The lighting difference is, a sailboat shows a white running light visible from the back third of the vessel. A powerboat shows a white light visible 360 degrees. On sailboats, this is often a white "steaming light" on the masthead.
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post #18 of 39 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Steaming light

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Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
Okay, this is a test:
Sails are down, you are drifting with the wind and current, the autopilot is engaged, the engine is running, the transmission is in neutral, it is nighttime, youre having dinner in the cockpit with cockpit lights on. What navigation lights do you show?

IMHO, you are technically "underway". As an underway vessel you are required to follow the ROR.

As to whether you show the lights of a sailboat or those of a power boat, I would suggest that even though you're engine is not engaged, it is running and you should probably display your steaming light.

Technically, you are not sailing. To claim stand-on status over a power driven vessel you'd have to be " under sail" . In reality, you are no different than a power boat that is drift fishing.

You should probably not have your cockpit lights on, since they are not navigation lights. I understand that in practice, vessels like party boats, fishing boat, cruise ships, work boats etc often have more lights on deck than navigation lights... I think as long as the lights can't be confused as Navigation lights...you'd be ok though. But, I think your steaming light should be on.

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Last edited by Tempest; 09-26-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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post #19 of 39 Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Steaming light

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Originally Posted by Stearmandriver View Post
Nope, you're exactly right. If you're operating under power at all - even motorsailing - you're a power boat. The lighting difference is, a sailboat shows a white running light visible from the back third of the vessel. A powerboat shows a white light visible 360 degrees. On sailboats, this is often a white "steaming light" on the masthead.
White steaming (masthead) light on a sail boat is 225 degree aimed forward.


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Re: Steaming light

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Originally Posted by Stearmandriver View Post
My theory on this is, I don't so much care at night if other vessels can tell whether I'm under power or sail... I just want them to see me. So whether sailing or motoring, at night I use every exterior light I've got. .... I'm aware it's not technically correct, but sometimes common sense is called for over the books - especially in reduced visibility, light yourself up as much as you can. Only negative I can see is another vessel not knowing that you, under sail, have right of way... ..l.
This is very bad practice. You're setting the circumstance where a powerboat to starboard will believe you are the giveway vessel, while you believe otherwise. should a collision occur, you will be largely at fault, maybe 100%. Maybe you don't care about at fault but a damaged or sunk boat, or injured friends, is inconvenient.

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