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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to the coast for the first time this weekend and need to know if I have proper lighting. The boat is 22'. has bi color on bow, rear facing white light on stern and a forward facing white light near top of mast.

Can someone put the rules in english for me? What lights do i need to run under what circumstances?

Can i get away with running just the mast light at anchor?

Why is the switch wired so that i can run just the mast light or all 3 lights?
 

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The "bi-color" and sternlight are run together under sail. Once you start the engine, whether you have sails up or not, you are now a power boat and must display the steaming[forward facing mast] light. The anchor light must be visible from all sides of the boat. You will need to add a light to be legal while anchoring. The switch is to be able to display the running[sailing] lights without the mast[steaming] light, not the other way around. It would be good for you to purchase a copy of the Homeland Security/ Coast Guard navigation rules. You will encounter a wide variety of lights displayed and will need to know what you are looking at.It also contains a wealth of info you need to know pertaining to encounters with other vessels. It is found at West Marine and other boating stores.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
so...can i be under power and have an all around light on the mast or does it have to be forward facing only?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
read subscript (e)...does this mean that i dont have to display any light at anchor? 7m=22.98ft


RULE 30: ANCHORED VESSELS AND VESSELS AGROUND

RULE 31: SEAPLANES

Rule 30
(a) A vessel at anchor shall exhibit where it can best be seen:

in the fore part, an all-round white light or one ball;
at or near the stern and at a lower level than the light prescribed in subparagraph (i), an all-round white light.
(b) A vessel of less than 50 meters in length may exhibit an all-round white light where it can best be seen instead of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule.

(c) A vessel at anchor may, and a vessel of 100 meters and more in length shall, also use the available working or equivalent lights to illuminate her decks.

(d) A vessel aground shall exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) or (b) of this Rule and in addition, if practicable, [Inld] where they can best be seen;

two all-round red lights in a vertical line;
three balls in a vertical line.
(e) A vessel of less than 7 meters in length, when at anchor not in or near a narrow channel, fairway or where other vessels normally navigate, shall not be required to exhibit the shape prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule.

(f) A vessel of less than 12 meters in length, when aground, shall not be required to exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed in subparagraphs (d)(i) and (ii) of this Rule.

(g) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length, when at anchor in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary, shall not be required to exhibit the anchor lights and shapes required by this Rule. [Inld]

Rule 31
 

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In reality at least in boats 24' and down they come with a reg/green bow and a 180 more or less white stern light with a steaming light on the mast .


I went to a LOT of trouble to add a new perko 270 deg to my masthead which would with the stern light woulg give 360 at anchor



The 10 watt bulb is pretty useless at 35' high compared to the new 3 mile steaming light i used at about spreader height which will also give 360 deg if used with the stern light
 

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In reality at least in boats 24' and down they come with a reg/green bow and a 180 more or less white stern light with a steaming light on the mast .


I went to a LOT of trouble to add a new perko 270 deg to my masthead which would with the stern light woulg give 360 at anchor



The 10 watt bulb is pretty useless at 35' high compared to the new 3 mile steaming light i used at about spreader height which will also give 360 deg if used with the stern light

You have mis read the rules... the Anchor light is an All-Around, 360 degree, task light... Combining separate masthead light with a stern light does not make an anchor light. Especially when they are at different heights.
there are now some solar powered All around lights that you can clamp to your bow rail to use as an anchor light.
 

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I may not read the rules RIGHT BUT that's How they build small Sailboats ?


Now on small powerboats they have a nice All-Around light on a stick on the stern right about eye level that is even more useless because it might be a great anchor light BUT as the only stern light it pretty much screws your night vision
 

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This is were I would advise that everyone read the rules...
That All around light on small power boats is both a masthead light and a stern light... It is, to me, most annoying and blinding. So when possible I will change that $%^&* light for a 135º stern light and a 225º masthead light forward. This change is legal and will keep from losing your night vision, recommended. You then can use that all around light as an anchor light that can be taken down and stowed until you need it.:D

you can attach a kerosene or Coleman lantern, or battery powered, to your fore stay and haul it up to above head level (so you don't bump your head) and That will work great as an anchor light. Many sailboaters use this method. One less switch to mount and wires to run. Keep it Simple. And this does.
 

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Good advise Boasun

BUT they make the dam canvas so high the stupid light on a stick cant be seen all around when you cover-up for the night :)

I know its asking a LOT but you would think they would just build mass produced boats so you could use them at night :rolleyes: and take all the lawyer speak out of the light regs :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
so rule (e) states "A vessel of less than 7 meters in length, when at anchor not in or near a narrow channel, fairway or where other vessels normally navigate, shall not be required to exhibit the shape prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule."

what does this mean? What do I need being that I am under 7m?
 

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What you need to be legal and what you need to be seen are two separate things. The solar powered yard lights used by many are not bright enough to be seen at a legally required distance but are more visible to the 15knot plus dinghy zipping through your anchorage than your legal masthead anchor light.Safety is not an area to be trying to save money on a boat. The shape referred to in the rules is the daytime equivilent to an anchor light. While not required on smaller vessels, I would still want others to know of my vessel's status.
 

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So, for my T23 (22' 7"), I can use a 360 deg light on top of the mast ("where it can best be seen instead of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule")?
 
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