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post #41 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

Have had occasion to buddy boat with sistership at night. Not unusual night. 1-2 meter waves and moderate wind chop on top of that. Deck lights not visible most of the time. When spreader lights went on indistinguishable from steaming light. When steaming light went on indistinguishable from stern light. No fog but light rain at times. No moon and full cloud cover. Our landfalls where different. I added him as as target on both radar and AIS. He disappeared repetitively on radar, marpa, arpa. He disappeared on AIS much quicker than our usual ~16m.

In current cruising grounds unless itís an international ship few have AIS. Local vessels of all sizes rarely have radar reflectors and many are wood so are poor targets. Thereís usually 5-8í. Those technologies are of little to no help. You use your eyes.

We rarely use our deck lights. Always use our tricolor instead. Exception is calm seas under power. Flash spreader lights if we think another vessel hasnít seen us and will get close if they donít answer on vhf. We assume the vessel wonít change course so basically ignore burdened/ stand on and just do what makes sense to avoid getting close.
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post #42 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

Would suggest the bene system is inadequate. On prior boats have had the deck lights fail or the tricolor. Nice to have belt and suspenders on a boat system. It maybe next to impossible for fix those lights if underway in even moderate conditions.
Would note going to windward under sail deck light may not be visible to one of the boats at all or only rarely. Having only a red and green up front can present difficulties.

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Last edited by outbound; 03-10-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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post #43 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
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/
It would seem that motor sailing the mid mast red or green would be obscured by the sail. And it might obscure the mid mast *steaming* light as well.

I think having nav lights mounted on the pulpit is not bad at all. For one I can tell if they are working because I see some *reflected* light . Additionally they are easier to service for a single hander than going aloft.

You can also get a feel for the direction a sailboat is going by the relationship of the deck mounted nav lights because they are separated. A tricolor loses the relationship and perception of direction.

Legal or not their system would be confusing.

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post #44 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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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.

It's Compliant for Power driven vessels under 12 meters. Rule 23, Page 49 Of the " Rules" same for Inland and International. While the CG doesn't actually illustrate a picture of a sailboat in that configuration it would meet the Rule if under 12 meters, and under power. So you were completely legit for those 30 minutes.

Last edited by tempest; 03-10-2019 at 10:10 AM.
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post #45 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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It's Compliant for Power driven vessels under 12 meters. Rule 23, Page 49 Of the " Rules" same for Inland and International. While the CG doesn't actually illustrate a picture of a sailboat in that configuration it would meet the Rule if under 12 meters, and under power. So you were completely legit for those 30 minutes.
I think intense discussion of the legality of this arrangement is pointless, operating a sailboat in a crowded harbor at night relying on a stern light located at the top of the mast would be simply cuising for an accident. But aside the keyboard lawyering and apply just a little common sense..


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post #46 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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I think intense discussion of the legality of this arrangement is pointless, operating a sailboat in a crowded harbor at night relying on a stern light located at the top of the mast would be simply cuising for an accident. But aside the keyboard lawyering and apply just a little common sense..


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Perfectly sound argument here. It can be very daunting trying to make your way through a crowded mooring field or anchorage and most are not looking up to tell if a vessel is motoring. And being confused as to whether the white they see is anchored or not.

When out away from other boats and you see lights which don't make sense... the danger may not be there and is less immediate for sure and you have time to sort out what may be going on.

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post #47 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

if someone sees a white light ahead, with no red or green. The first take away should be that you're the Give-Way Vessel.

If you're proceeding through a crowded "anchorage", why wouldn't you also be looking up, as that's where the anchor lights would be.

And, now we've just been told that Bene. is making sailboats with that exact nav. lighting configuration.

If it's a designated Mooring field, you may not see any lights, as they are not required. in either case, I'm @ Idle speed, looking at boats.

My common sense tells me it's not that big a deal.

Last edited by tempest; 03-10-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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post #48 of 66 Old 03-10-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

Never trust navigation lights to tell the whole story. Sight; hearing; all available means. Rule 5 gives the list in that order.

First step to determine risk of collision is bearing drift. Is it left; right; steady? Fast or slow changes in bearing? Take a bearing or sight over the compass or point the bow toward a significant light* or well-defined part of the superstructure. (* white mastheads lights are brighter, higher, and should be visible for at least five miles on vessels >12 meters and two miles on vessels <12 meters).

Wait two to three minutes. Repeat (make sure that you shoot the same exact spot as before). If you have time, wait two to three more minutes and take a third bearing. Now, you have three successive bearings (or at least two if you have no time for a third).

Look at the bearings. Do they change to the left, to the right, or are they steady? Are they at least three degrees apart or are they less than three degrees apart (fast vs. slow). Use AIS and/or radar to confirm/verify if you have time. In low visibility, you may need to make an assessment based on electronics alone.

Take action as necessary to avoid collision. Do it early and make it substantial.

Last edited by tellemark32; 03-10-2019 at 02:44 PM.
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post #49 of 66 Old 03-14-2019
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Reminds of my experience as a pilot, that is airplane pilot. There was a great resistance to mandatory equipment that would allow aircraft to know where other aircraft were in their vicinity. But it was finally required...and it is a good thing.

AIS is relatively inexpensive...it should be mandatory for any vessels over a certain size.
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post #50 of 66 Old 03-14-2019
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Re: Masthead tricolors

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Originally Posted by Pilot2 View Post
Reminds of my experience as a pilot, that is airplane pilot. There was a great resistance to mandatory equipment that would allow aircraft to know where other aircraft were in their vicinity. But it was finally required...and it is a good thing.

AIS is relatively inexpensive...it should be mandatory for any vessels over a certain size.
OK... what size? You mean AIS B or A???

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