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A fairly paranoid, silly thread- my apologies. Most of the anchorages in our area are mouths of creeks which are frequented very early in the mornings by fishermen, crab potters, and duck hunters (when in season). Do you get nervous when overnighting in these areas? Some of these boats are in a hurry, and I am not fully confident in an anchor light for visibility on a foggy morning.
 

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Sailor
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I try to stay away from the channel or the rum line that the Watermans boats take. Additionally, I make sure that I have my anchor light on and away from floats or fishing gear for the Waterman. Barring that, I think I am as safe as anywhere else.

Tod


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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You can always get some deck level lights, like the solar powered sidewalk lights. Most of them aren't going to be looking 40 feet up in the air for anchor lights.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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You definitely do want to light up your cockpit and you definitely don't want to do it with solar powered garden lights that will at best be dim in the early morning and most likely dark.

Get the brightest white LED light you can find and run it in your cockpit. That way it is in the eye line of the guy running at speed through your anchorage. Rambler got T boned up in St Maarten and was almost certainly not showing a cockpit light.

Now I am not advocating their use BUT I live on the hook and see a wide variety of unusual lights used AND by far the most eyecatching light is the flashing neon strobe.

Avoid at all costs the current French fad of using two colored garden lamps that cycle from Red to Green every few seconds.
 

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We run a cg approved led at the mast top. We also place good solar garden lights at bow, stern and both sides.
Bow light is especially good.
Long days and short nights mean the lights are still on at dawn.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Turn on the "all around white light" on the top of your mast (aka the anchor light), AND run one of these up hanging from the backstay;


Your boat will meet CG regulations, and be visible by stinkpotters.
 
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Turn on the "all around white light" on the top of your mast (aka the anchor light), AND run one of these up hanging from the backstay;


Your boat will meet CG regulations, and be visible by stinkpotters.
X2. And they light up the cockpit nicely. Even on Solstice in Alaska this light was bright even when it was not totally dark. I like that the auto on sensor isn't so dark sensitive as to need it pitch black.
 

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You CAN use those garden lights just put in regular AA batteries. They'll be bright well into the next day. Beware that they are NOT rechargeable so you must shut them off during the day. If you used rechargeable AAs (from home) you'd be all set. If you slide a short length of 1" PVC pipe over your life line stanchion the post for the light should slide right in. The ones that I use will slip right into the winch socket.

Now, keep in mind that a mast light is a requirement, rail lights are an embellishment. Pretty, nice to have, not required. During the day, you are supposed to display a black ball along your forestay. Never seen it, but you're supposed to.

Don
 

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Turn on the "all around white light" on the top of your mast (aka the anchor light), AND run one of these up hanging from the backstay;


Your boat will meet CG regulations, and be visible by stinkpotters.
I have one of those. The top of my mast is 62 feet off of the water. That's quite a ways to have to look up to see it when you get too close to my boat.
I run a line from my fore stay to my mast and hang my portable anchor light (just like the one in the picture) from it.

It has made me fell better several times when I heard a power boater going through my anchorage wide open.
 

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Turn on the "all around white light" on the top of your mast (aka the anchor light), AND run one of these up hanging from the backstay;


Your boat will meet CG regulations, and be visible by stinkpotters.
yup, some sort of deck level lighting is a must, when anchored where traffic might be a concern...

Really a shame Bebi is no more, Michael's lights are awesome. If anyone ever comes across a Bebi Owl on eBay, buy it. Hotwire still has some of Bebi's old stock around, one might check with them:

Bebi LED lights ? svHotwire - 727-943-0424 | svHotWire

i have the Bebi anchor/warm cockpit combination light, it's fantastic. Hung from the backstay or topping lift, it has the added advantage of affording some measure of security when the boat is left at anchor, anyone boarding and going into the cockpit is gonna be illuminated pretty clearly. With one of these lights suspended over the mainsail cover, someone would have to be blind not to see your boat...

The original Davis megalights were pretty lame, but the newer LEDs are now pretty bright.. Sorry, but I cringe whenever I hear someone recommending solar garden lights, and always envision people going out to Harbor Freight or Walmart to buy theirs :) Some might be up to the task, but most of the ones I see others using are essentially worthless, often going dim before I even turn in for the night... Seems after a few days of overcast or gloom, even the best are gonna start losing their punch. For such an important bit of lighting, I really think you want something plugged into the boat's 12v main, especially considering these lights draw virtually nothing in the way of amperage, anyway...

northoceanbeach mentioned spreader lights... Mine are halogens instead of LEDs, so they're gonna draw more than I'd like... I think spreader lights are generally a bit of overkill for most situations, but in the event of fog, such lighting can be perhaps the most effective lighting of all...

I have one of these Aqua Signal bow/foredeck light combos...





This winter, I replaced the original PAR-36 floodlight with an LED version. The added brilliance/intensity is amazing...

I turned it on one night in some heavy fog, and walked down to the end of my lagoon to see what I could see... It looked like a scene out of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, or something :) Couldn't see anything clearly, but there was this amazing orb of light surrounding the vicinity of the boat, it would be unmistakable to anyone that there was something ahead... The PAR-36 LEDs have a surprisingly modest draw, so next time I'm anchored in a place like Newport, or Nantucket, when the fog rolls in at night, that thing is definitely gonna be on...
 

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Don, the garden lights I've seen all use commodity grade 600mA NiCd batteries. Which are "good enough" cheap and robust. But you can easily pick up 1800-2000mA NiMh batteries and a charger for them. Make sure they are fully charged before you put them in when you retire for the night, and they will last 3x-4x longer than the originals, well into the daylight. And still be rechargeable, and still function (for shorter periods) from the solar cells.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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I replaced my spreader down lights with LED versions. Of course run the anchor light on top of the mast but the spreader lights light up the entire boat. Reboot is much more visible than when I used a couple of garden lights and uses next to no power (BTW I bought cheap LED fog lights from AutoZone - saved about $200 over the "marine" versions. So I can replace them 6 times if necessary before I break even on cost.) It also makes it easier finding Reboot on the way back from the bar.
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With respect to strobe lights - white ones are a "mayday" under inland rules. Yellow ones make you a submarine operating on the surface! From the US Coast Guard Navrules site:

14. Can I use Strobe Lights to be more visible at night?

For any other lights beyond those specifically defined within the Navigation Rules they should be such lights as cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules, or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out (Rule 20).

Displaying a strobe for "higher visibility" would confuse other vessels as to your navigational status (many aids to navigation use a strobe or flashing). Also, lights provide direction and aspect information to other boat operators. For example, if while operating my vessel I see a red light on my starboard side I know I am the give-way vessel (Rule 16, 17). The use of a strobe light could overwhelm a vessel's navigation lights and cease to provide such crucial direction and aspect information to other boat operators.

Also, Rule 36 of the International Rules addresses signals to attract attention and for the purpose of [that] rule the use of high intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided. Rule 37 of the Inland Rules addresses strobes in regards to distress signals so that when a vessel is in distress and requires assistance she shall use...a high intensity white light flashing at regular intervals from 50 to 70 times per minute.

Since strobe light use is to be avoided (International waters) or used as a distress signal (Inland waters), it cannot be used to routinely mark vessels operating on the water.

NavRules Frequently Asked Questions for reference
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Don't forget that your dinghy (if left in the water overnight) runs the risk of being run over too! I try to keep it on a short leash or alongside. Alongside sometimes results in it bumping all night which is not good for sleeping.

Fair winds and following seas :)
 

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When I'm in a busy anchorage, say a Georgia river that is used by Shrimp Boats, in addition to the traditional anchor light, and a couple of garden variety cockpit LED lamps I hang a Coleman LED battery operated lantern from the bow pulpit. I sleep better with a bright light about 5' above the water.
 

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You know if your solar powered "garden" light isn't lasting till daybreak ................... you are a cheap SOB who should have spent the $30 for a good unit!
 

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In my mind, there is no such thing as too much lighting at night, when you are trying to stop a drunk on a go-fast, from hitting you at 70 MPH.
 

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Would make me a little unsettled also. Anywhere else you can go?
 

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Quoting from the Colregs :

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

That suggests that not only is illuminating the decks allowed, it is encouraged.
 
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