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post #31 of 66 Old 03-07-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Cant see how these lights can work legally, when you are operating under power a 'stern' light located at the top of the mast does not meet any stretch of the definition of a stern light. Also a risky arrangement.

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how is it any different then a big power boat under 12 meters with a all round white light on the top of it's 30 foot high mast and red and green 20 feet above the water. the same as the power boat in the picture on the lower right in post #29
power boats under 12 meters are required to have the all round white light

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post #32 of 66 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
I see dozens of vessels a week down here that I would bet the farm on, that don't have AIS. From the 40 odd foot longliners who are almost all improperly lit to the 70-90 foot ex-shrimpers carrying cargo between the islands and even larger cargo vessels that are certainly not IMO compliant, expecting them to have a modern bit of gear like AIS is foolhardy, IMO..............

How quickly we forget incidents like the Costa Concordia and believe that just because it's a big fancy, expensive vessel, it is manned by halfway intelligent human beings?
I understand and agree. However, I'm not sure what point is being made. Will these vessels be any more apt at identifying a tri-color vs deck nav lights on the recreational vessel that began this thread?

All I'm saying is a law to require AIS. for all boats operating at night, is a better law than requiring proper deck lighting. I can't account for the fact that there will always be those that don't follow the law.


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post #33 of 66 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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how is it any different then a big power boat under 12 meters with a all round white light on the top of it's 30 foot high mast and red and green 20 feet above the water. the same as the power boat in the picture on the lower right in post #29
power boats under 12 meters are required to have the all round white light
I think the COLREGS rule writers just would not consider the likelihood someone would want to put a stern light 60 or 70 feet above the stern. Hey, I mean who would think of such a choice...they cant forbid every bad idea. The context for such a choice is to consider that as best I know every sailboat builder locates the 'masthead' light somewhere around the middle of the mast, not at the top.

A regulatory agent may not, or may as I can't say either way, choose to call a stern light located at the top of a sailboat illegal, but I would expect any jury would...

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post #34 of 66 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

The lights on our boat is the way it came from Beneteau and the same as all the other small beneteau models for many years. it is done on the under 12 meter models and does meet the colregs. i think it is a clever way to light a small boat and is far easier to see when at sea. this system is starting to be the norm for other manufactures as well. so much so that several light manufactures are making the mast mounted bi color lights which gets the lights up off the deck to be seen over the waves. there are several big power boats in the harbor that have their stern lights mounted higher then my 40' mast

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post #35 of 66 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

About 10 years ago, we were sailing overnight from Key West to Naples. At about 3:00 AM, southwest of Cape Romano, I saw a single light ahead. It started out red then appeared to turn yellow. This got my attention because of what a yellow light could signify (pop quiz: What does a yellow light indicate?). I kept looking at it but my sleep-deprived mind couldn't figure out what it was. A single yellow light, no other lights. We had just sailed by this location a couple of weeks earlier, so I knew that there wasn't a private buoy at this location. I woke up my wife to come on deck. Eventually we realized it was a tri-color light of a boat that was wallowing in the swell. We would alternately see the red and white as the boat rolled, making the light appear yellow. We arrived in Naples early the following day. Another boat pulled up to the city dock several hours after us and we overheard them talking about how uncomfortable their night at anchor had been. Rather than sailing overnight or heaving-to, they had anchored offshore in the shallow waters and left their tricolor light on rather than turning on their anchor light. This experience has made me very skeptical of tricolor lights. I agree with Capta.
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post #36 of 66 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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The lights on our boat is the way it came from Beneteau and the same as all the other small beneteau models for many years .... i think it is a clever way to light a small boat and is far easier to see when at sea.

Can you explain? I'm afraid that i dont have a beneteau, or even a boat from this century:-) i'm just curious about what this light configuration is.

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post #37 of 66 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

first one is when under sail


second one is under power
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post #38 of 66 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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The lights on our boat is the way it came from Beneteau and the same as all the other small beneteau models for many years. it is done on the under 12 meter models and does meet the colregs. i think it is a clever way to light a small boat and is far easier to see when at sea. this system is starting to be the norm for other manufactures as well. so much so that several light manufactures are making the mast mounted bi color lights which gets the lights up off the deck to be seen over the waves. there are several big power boats in the harbor that have their stern lights mounted higher then my 40' mast
Sounds like a cost accountant figured out how to save a few bucks by eliminating a circuit...

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post #39 of 66 Old 03-09-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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first one is when under sail


second one is under power
I don’t think the motoring sailboat shown in your pic is compliant with COLREGs. I’d never seen this picture before, but it appears to have been taken from a website for Virginia inland lakes, which are not subject to USCG jurisdiction. Moral of the story: Just because there’s a picture on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s correct.

That said, I was forced to motor in that very configuration a few years ago when my steaming light burnt out. I put duct tape over my stern light and illuminated my anchor light during my 30 minute motor into the marina.


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post #40 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

Here ia a bit of information from Marinebeam about as they say, odd but cleaver Nav light system that is installed by Beneteau on their less then 12 meter sailboats. They also say the system meets the col regs with the all round white light on top of the mast. They have decided to make the lights for the system with the improvement of adding a deck light to the red/ green mast mounted running light.
https://store.marinebeam.com/blog/be...gation-lights/

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