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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #31  
Old 05-31-2007
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I use the tricolor off and the deck lights near. Almost no one buzzing around a harbor in the dark in a PDV has a clue so I shine a light on the sails. I also found cruise ships indifferent to anything smaller and getting out of the way is the appropriate action (with any combination of lights you choose to display as long as you move it). I also found they go really fast and do not respond when hailed on VHF.
Nice to see so many here know their signals. Just don't forget almost no one else does. I include sailors. Last fall we watched a sloop sail right in front of a big tow (which was sounding the appropriate danger signal). Boy, did their ass pucker when they figured out they were about to be crushed.
Knowing your lights is a real benefit to you. Being able to identify a vessel towing behind and avoiding the cable can save your bacon. I look at it as defensive knowledge and not as any sort of insurance against another mariner.
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  #32  
Old 05-31-2007
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Well then the best thing you can do for your friends who may not know the ColRegs and Inland Rules in the USA. Is to give them a copy of the rules and express that they should study them. Or you let them go about in their ignorance and cause accidents. Now that would weight heavy on my conscientious
The book would be a great Boat warming present for the owners of a new (to them) boat.
Or to any boat owner who displays an ignorance about the rules.
Safety first, Always.
Also debating the rules and using the Rule book to back up what you say is good also. As long as those of us who go to sea keep learning and refreshing themselves on the Rules of the Road. INTERNATIONAL & INLAND!
And going into a different country's waters check the Sailing directions/Coast Pilot to see if that country has their version of the rules that read a bit differently from what you are use to.

So you can consider this debate here a good thing. For everyone is learning.

Last edited by Boasun; 05-31-2007 at 11:07 PM.
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  #33  
Old 05-31-2007
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Sailingdog-I stand corrected about power vessel requiring masthead light(must be sleep deprivation-shrimping since 0500). I agree that in a crowded harbor the tricolor is less effective than deck lights, but with the red over green all around lights AND deck lights it seems to be a safer, more visible way to go. I guess I stll don't understand your objection to them, is it just that they have to be a meter apart, or do you know of any reason why they shouldn't be used?
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  #34  
Old 06-01-2007
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jrd22,
I suspect that dog's objection is based on rigging issues. After all, there is only so much one can lash to the end of the mast. Put a VHF antenna, windex, etc... up there and then try to rig an additional three feet of lighting.

I do feel that the all-round red over green supplies the most visible lighting arrangement. Let's face it, sidelights on a sailboat offshore are about as relavent as sidelights on a dredge working the Pawcatuck river; relative to other vessels, neither one is moving very fast. The tricolor has only the advantage of height, which ain't for nothin', but only shows one light to other vessels. And, if that light is red or green, it is not seen at quite the distance the stern light will probably be seen. A sailing light display gets two all-round lights aloft and is universally recognized for what it is. IMHO, that acheives the desired goal of being seen the best possible way.

In port, the sailing lights, coupled with side lights on deck, will be more noticeable than the tricolor as well. In that circumstance it is much more likely to provoke the desired, "what the hell is that, Gladys" response, which, after all, is the most one can really hope for isn't it?

I am a little surprised that none of the light manufacturers offer mast mounted 180 degree lights. Then one could mount two of each colour on adjacent sides of the mast acheiving a 360 degree arc. That would work nicely on a fractional rig.

The Boasun's comments are probably most appropo. Have a flare up light, like one of those million candle-power lamps the cops use to burn through the vinyl of their front seats when they forget to shut it off, is very effective at illuminating the sails, and is recognized as a signal to attract attention. After that, you're pretty much relying on your radar reflector, the sidelights and size of boat dictating that your chances of being seen, in other than good weather, are not too good. Anyone who's gotten into a close quarters situation with a ship is painfully aware of the deficiencies of a two mile visibility light. Two miles is getting right on the edge of damn close, in open seas, especially when there is any doubt as to what either vessel is doing. Another strong indicator for flying a radar reflector, and maybe line drying your cookware as well. (g)
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  #35  
Old 06-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22
Sailingdog-I stand corrected about power vessel requiring masthead light(must be sleep deprivation-shrimping since 0500). I agree that in a crowded harbor the tricolor is less effective than deck lights, but with the red over green all around lights AND deck lights it seems to be a safer, more visible way to go. I guess I stll don't understand your objection to them, is it just that they have to be a meter apart, or do you know of any reason why they shouldn't be used?
I don't think that Red over Green All-around lights and deck level lights really gives you any additional visibility in most close quarter situations. In many harbors, especially urban ones, power boaters tend not to look up, and the distances at which you are visible are short enough that if they don't look up, they're not going to see the red and green all-arounds. Most certainly aren't going to recognize the significance of the two all-around lights, so there really isn't much of safety benefit.

Part of my objection is also as SA21 pointed out. There's only so much space aloft for you to put stuff, especially on a smaller boat like mine.

If they're not going to give me any real benefit, add windage and weight aloft and increase my power usage... I don't see an advantage to using them. Generally, the people who will recoginze the Red over Green all-arounds as representing a sailboat are also the same people who would recognize a tricolor or deck-level bicolor and stern light as also representing a sailboat.
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  #36  
Old 06-02-2007
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Never seen the red over green on a boat in US waters. I suspect no one would know what it meant, if you did it, making it rather counterproductive.

"Hey, Bubba, looka the christmas lights, let's go check'em out."

You know, the same guys who have the same problem at street intersections. Except now, they're drunk running go-fast boats.
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  #37  
Old 06-02-2007
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Sailing Red Over Green at Top of Mast

I do not believe that it is necessary to separate the red-over-green lights specified in Rule 25 (c) of the International and the Inland Rules of the Road.

This Rule provides that a sailing vessel, proceeding under sail, may carry IN ADDITION TO THE PRESCRIBED SIDELIGHTS AND STERNLIGHT, two all-round lights at the top of the mast, the top one of which shall be red, the lower one green.

These are not the lights "prescribed" in Section A of the Rules, and therefore do not fall under the Annex provisions re: vertical separation of lights (which mostly applies to masthead lights (NOT lights atop the mast) anyway.

In fact, many larger sailboats carry these lights in a very nice unit made in Germany. I have one on my 42' sailboat. You can, indeed, distinguish the red from the green, although their vertical separation is very little. And, they add a great deal of visibility when underway offshore. Also, as noted above, sailing vessels under sail are the ONLY vessels which may carry such lights, helping other vessels to correctly identify a vessel under sail.

The extra weight and windage are trivial on a cruising boat...not something to even think about. The only downside, however, is the extra current draw while sailing, since you can only carry these lights IN ADDITION TO the regular side and stern lights.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 06-02-2007 at 10:20 PM.
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  #38  
Old 06-02-2007
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btrayfors- where did you get your German red over green lights? I'm definitely going in install them on my next boat, 40-44'. Thanks.
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  #39  
Old 06-02-2007
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Egg On My Face - Sorry

John and other Sailnet Members...

I apologize most sincerely. In checking what I actually did purchase and install atop my mast, I found it was NOT an all-round red over green at all, but a combined "tricolor" and anchor light. In fact, according to my records (I'm not near the boat now to check physically), it's an AquaSignal Series 40 like the one here: AQUA SIGNAL NAVIGATION LIGHTS

OK, let's sort out the differences this makes from my post above:

1. The combined "tricolor" light can be carried atop the mast by sailing vessels under sail and less than 20 meters overall. Fine for me and John.

2. This combined tricolor is carried IN LIEU OF other navigation lights. Thus there is in fact LESS current draw because only one bulb is needed instead of three (sidelights and sternlight).

3. Visibility benefits are still there....high up above the water can be useful at sea.

4. No special benefits in terms of recognizing a sailing vessel.

5. No worry about "vertical separation of lights".

In sum, you can use EITHER regular nav lights when sailing, or the tricolor lamp atop the mast for better visibility and lower current draw.

The model I have also has a built-in anchor light. AquaSignal also makes a model which has a strobe light in addition to the tricolor and the anchor light.

Sorry for the confusion....too much Mt. Gay this evening, I guess :-))

Bill
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  #40  
Old 06-03-2007
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"too much Mt. Gay this evening,"
See now, Bill, you've gotten that backwards again. TOO MUCH Mt. Gay would have kept you away from the heavy machinery, including the computer, and you couldn't have posted that error.
Let's try again, until you get it right. Start with a decent sized glass, like a water tumbler. Actually, get out two of them, I'll pace you with the other one to make sure you're pouring right.
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