Stern light relocation. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 27 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Stern light relocation.

Does anyone know of a reason why you can't mount a stern light at the top of the mizzen mast to eliminate any blockage issues created by stern gear (dinghy, davit, or wind vane). It will be used in conjunction with the bow pulpit lights not the tri-color on the top of the main mast.
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Re: Stern light relocation.

I think it might be a bit of a problem in close quarters boat operation. It's hard enough to see other boats nearby in the dark without having to crane one's head to find a stern light somewhere up in the clouds.
In my experience, most stern lights are bright enough to be quite apparent to other boats even if a portion is temporarily obstructed. It's not as though the view is static, as any boat seeing your stern light will be moving, therefore changing how much they can see.

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Re: Stern light relocation.

Ours is on radar pole above dinghy on davits. About 25 ft off the water.
Any further up on a mizzen mast might be confusing To other boats.


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Re: Stern light relocation.

The reason you want the light as far back as possible is avoiding glare in your eyes when sailing at night. Since a tricolor light is allowed on top of mast, stern light on a mizzen should be fine. Unless it sends light down to cockpit.

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Re: Stern light relocation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffboudreaux View Post
.....It will be used in conjunction with the bow pulpit lights not the tri-color on the top of the main mast.
This is worded a bit funny, so I'll just confirm/assume you don't mean you have both. In conjunction with bow pulpit lights, I do not believe there is any maximum height restriction for the stern light.

I like the idea of it being atop the mizzen. That has to be more, not less likely to be seen. It will still be below many large vessels. I had to raise mine to get it above the dinghy and have it attached on a support for the bimini. It washes more light into the cockpit than I'd prefer.


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Re: Stern light relocation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
This is worded a bit funny, so I'll just confirm/assume you don't mean you have both.
We have both. The tricolor on top of mast is for sailing only, so we use the bow/stern lights when motoring.

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Re: Stern light relocation.

If your lights are low to the water they are blocked by waves. If you are in the ocean at night this can be a problem.
I have no problem with lights mounted a reasonable height... because the last ship I passed had much higher lights

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Re: Stern light relocation.

Might it not be misinterpreted as a steaming (masthead) light, especially if it is well above the side lights? If it was so confused, it would appear that yours is a powered vessel underway in the direction opposite of its actual travel.

All other things being equal, I effort to cross a conflicting vessel at its stern. This practice assures that, even if I misjudge the speed of the other vessel, the only way a collision can occur is when the other vessel is powering astern (backing up). The configuration you're describing could cause me to steer toward your bow instead, increasing the risk of collision.

The vertical separation rule of thumb is lights will be seen as vertically separated at a distance of one mile for every meter of vertical separation. Placing the stern light 25 feet (8 meters) above the side lights will be seen as a white light elevated above the side lights at 8 miles (the entire range at which it can be seen at all). I can't imagine how anyone who knows the ColRegs light configurations would not interpret that light as a motor vessel steaming light on a dark night when your sails or hull cannot be seen.

Just because the ColRegs don't prohibit the configuration, that doesn't make it advisable. It will cause confusion and increase the risk of collision. Common sense dictates that your side lights and stern light should have no substantial vertical separation.

Last edited by patrickbryant; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:35 PM.
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Re: Stern light relocation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickbryant View Post
Might it not be misinterpreted as a steaming (masthead) light, especially if it is well above the side lights? If it was so confused, it would appear that yours is a powered vessel underway in the direction opposite of its actual travel.

All

No one can tell if it's mast hight or not... Because lights are on at night and the mast is dark.
Plus, if you can see the port/starboard light you cant see the stern light....

If I was Mr Col Reg I would tell all you minions that sailing boats need a better lighting system because red/green can't be seen when they're at deck level. And males have a high % of night colour blindness... (that's why I went with my last girlfriend)



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