Join Date: Mar 2017
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Re: Spreader Lights
We like our LED spreader lights. They come in handy at anchor or at a dock, especially if you are entertaining guests or working on a maintenance project. Headlamps are fine but it's a lot nicer to brightly illuminate the entire deck.
A situation in an anchorage one night about a decade ago, before we had spreader lights, convinced us to install spreader lights. A very drunk couple was having a loud, vicious argument in their dinghy, which apparently had run out of fuel about 100' away from their large trawler. Eventually, the woman dove into the water and swam to the trawler. As soon as she climbed aboard, she fired up the engines, apparently intending to ditch the guy. At that moment, every boat in the anchorage turned on all of their lights. This woman was blind drunk, so everyone was trying to be as visible as possible. I looked out with a twinge of jealousy at the boats that had bright spreader lights. She immediately put the engines into gear and took off at full throttle, with the anchor still down. When the rode came taught, the snubber either came free from the chain or simply parted, and the chain began to free-spool. At this point, she must have realized something was wrong; the engines immediately shut down. The guy paddled the dinghy to trawler, climbed aboard and went inside the cabin. They weren't seen or heard from for the rest of the night, and neither one of them checked their anchor rode. Luckily, it was a calm night so there wasn't much stress on the anchor and their chain held. If she had succeeded in getting underway, it could have been a deadly scene in that anchorage.