Night sailing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-13-2011 Thread Starter
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Night sailing

I'm getting ready for my first night passage. Mystic, CT to Block Island, RI
Tomorrow night is the full moon and we leave with the ebb at 11:00PM. I will have two crew with me.
Aside from using inflatable PFD w/ tether for leaving the cockpit...

Any advise for avoiding lobster pots at night? Should be perfect weather for a sail, except, of course, light winds So we might be motoring.

The moon will be bright, we are in familiar waters, and we are safety aware boaters, but those damn lobster pots!
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-13-2011
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Good spot light

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post #3 of 23 Old 08-13-2011
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A "Full moon" is not a prerequisite for night sailing to me.

In fact I prefer a new moon as my night vision is actually impaired by the headlight of a full moon.

Just saying...
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-13-2011
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Essential tool for a night sail in pot infested waters is a shaft line cutter.

One of these hand held spot lights is also good. Shine on sails if about to be run down.
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-13-2011 Thread Starter
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I don't get out much at night, so last night I went for a motor around the harbor at midnight. Was almost too bright, so I might have to agree with Doublender.

Too late for a shaft line cutter to be installed

I did order one of these, but, I'm starting to doubt it will get here by today, even though I was promised it would be here.

LED lighting, soundproof, Sailor's Solutions Inc.

Got the spot light.
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-13-2011
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Ordinary binoculars will show up lobster pots and other obstacles well even on a dark night.
I love sailing after dark and scan ahead every couple of minutes.
Navigation lights can be hard to pick out against shore clutter but will show up with careful scrutiny, double check their colors and sequences against the chart.
Safe sailing

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post #7 of 23 Old 08-13-2011
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If it were me, I'd be wearing the PFD and tethered whenever on deck, not just when leaving the cockpit. Crew overboard at night is deadly.

Good luck and have fun!
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centaursailor View Post
Navigation lights can be hard to pick out against shore clutter but will show up with careful scrutiny, double check their colors and sequences against the chart.
Safe sailing
As part of passage planning I have my students identify the characteristics of any light they expect to see. The Light List is a more comprehensive source of information.

This is the form we use.

http://www.swiftsuresailing.com/documents/passplan.pdf
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MITBeta View Post
If it were me, I'd be wearing the PFD and tethered whenever on deck, not just when leaving the cockpit. Crew overboard at night is deadly.

Good luck and have fun!
That is in my standing orders.

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post #10 of 23 Old 08-14-2011
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I have a night vision scope and it has made all the difference. If you are going to be navigating inshore waters it turns night into day! Try to avoid looking at streetlights and other bright objects. Mine is an inexpensive one. I once used a top shelf pair of night vision binoculars that were on a yacht we were delivering from Mount Desert Island, ME to Newport, RI and having them to stand watch with convinced me of their value. No more guessing about what you are looking at out in the dark. We also have a very bright remote controlled spot that plugs into a socket I installed in the bow anchor locker. It mounts to the bow rail with a stainless mirror mount I bought at a truck stop. If I am going to be motoring in lobster pot infested waters at night I clamp it to the rail. it makes it easy to see what is out front and keeps both hands free. It also makes me quite visible!! The scope is better if two people are on board and eliminates the glare king. I like the scope for sailing single handed at night.

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Last edited by downeast450; 08-14-2011 at 06:52 AM. Reason: content
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