Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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A brilliant idea!
Lately, I've been seeing sailing vessels coming into the anchorages of the Windward Islands at night, their red and green navigation lights on the lower spreaders of their main mast.
What a great idea!
After my nearly fatal (for the sailboat) encounter with a disembodied red or green (I don't remember which) masthead tricolor light, as I ran my freighter south through the Anagada Channel I have known, without a shadow of doubt, that masthead tricolors were extremely dangerous.
Being mounted on the spreaders these running lights will give some height above the water, as a masthead tricolor does without the light being only a disembodied dot doing silly circles in the sky, somewhere ahead in the dark. Under sail, it will shine on the sails, not only indicating that what one is seeing is indeed a sailing vessel under sail (not some idiot who forgot his steaming light), but also give some indication of the size of that vessel and her speed. Under power they can be seen by another vessel as one enters an anchorage, even if there is an anchored vessel between us.
I'm going to add these lights to Skipping Stone when I drop the mast next year! I'll run my bow lights when under sail, until I want another vessel to see me, if the spreader mounted lights cause me problems with reflected light on the sails. But having the option seems to be the answer to being seen when I want to be.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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Last edited by capta; 05-24-2017 at 12:19 PM.