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Rafiki 37
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 360 degree red and a 360 degree green LED series 34 lights from Aqua Signal, that I would like to use as the red over green option on my mast.

Has anyone else done this? I guess I can't use metal as it would screw with the radio reception...

I looked at the 2 180 degree lights but the only ones I could find were horrendously expensive so went with the 360s.
 

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Here's how it's normally done. On one side of the mast (the fore in this case) alongside it, not above it. It's not like one can hold a perfect course and it will always be behind the mast and it shines through the sail to some degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's how it's normally done. On one side of the mast (the fore in this case) alongside it, not above it. It's not like one can hold a perfect course and it will always be behind the mast and it shines through the sail to some degree.
I'll probably end up doing this rather than trying to build a mount on top of my sail. Thanks!
 

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I'll probably end up doing this rather than trying to build a mount on top of my sail. Thanks!
The colregs found here http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/navrules.pdf Can give you some input.

Here is some quotes.

RULE 25
(c) A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in
paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they
can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red
and the lower green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction
with the combined lantern permitted by paragraph (b) of this Rule.
ANNEX I
i)
(i) When the Rules prescribe two or three lights to be carried in a vertical
line, they shall be spaced as follows:
(i) on a vessel of 20 meters in length or more such lights shall be
spaced not less than 2 meters apart, and the lowest of these lights
shall, except where a towing light is required, be placed at a height
of not less than 4 meters above the hull;
(ii) on a vessel of less than 20 meters in length such lights shall be
spaced not less than 1 meter apart and the lowest of these lights
shall, except where a towing light is required, be placed at a height
of not less than 2 meters above the gunwale;
(iii) when three lights are carried they shall be equally spaced.
9. Horizontal sectors
(b)
(i) All-round lights shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts,
topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6
degrees, except anchor lights prescribed in Rule 30, which need
not be placed at an impracticable height above the hull.
(ii) If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b)(i) of this section
by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be
used suitably positioned or screened so that they appear, as far as
practicable, as one light at a distance of one mile."
so it's easy to do a small test to find out how far from the mast you need to place the light so you get the obstructed sector < 6 degrees

While browsing the US pdf version of the international rules i found this illustration :)
 

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The difficulty in mounting these lights is one reason they're so rarely seen. Also remember that the red over green combo must be used WITH the side lights and stern light on deck, not instead of. That makes a minimum of four bulbs burning, and five if you have the separate side lights. All this with the engine off. You're not a sailing vessel if the engine is engaged. They might make sense on a 100 foot tallship, but I don't see any use for them on a normal sized yacht. If you want to be visible from a greater distance, go with the tricolor light at the masthead. Only one bulb burning then.
 

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The difficulty in mounting these lights is one reason they're so rarely seen. Also remember that the red over green combo must be used WITH the side lights and stern light on deck, not instead of. That makes a minimum of four bulbs burning, and five if you have the separate side lights. All this with the engine off. You're not a sailing vessel if the engine is engaged. They might make sense on a 100 foot tallship, but I don't see any use for them on a normal sized yacht. If you want to be visible from a greater distance, go with the tricolor light at the masthead. Only one bulb burning then.
With modern led lights the power consumption is reduced significantly.
boats with LOA less than 20 meters can use a combined starboard/port light.

The benefit with deck level lights combined with red/green in the mast is that you are more easily spotted both short and long distance.

You can off course alternate between deck level and tricolor but not both at the same time..
 

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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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Found some pictures of my lights on from about 1/8 to 1/4 mile away.. Blurry picture of the night shot but I didn't have my Sony, only my phone.

Better pictures to come when I finish my breaker panel.

Night Sky Darkness Light Lighting
Vehicle Boat Water transportation Watercraft Skiff


Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk
 

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I'm still looking for a supplier of red or green lenses for a reasonably sized 180° fixture. I don't like how far the lopo lights stick out.

I'd really like something like the Perko 1331 or Perko 0170MM0 with green lenses. I can live with a regular 360 red if I need it.

I asked Perko about just supplying the colored lenses for their existing white light enclosures. They wanted $1500 per light for USCG testing and refused to even answer me on the subject of whether or not the sidelight lenses would fit in the enclosures above.

At this point I feel like finding someone with the necessary fabrication skills and putting together a kickstarter to build and test the fittings. I know I'd pay for this, particularly if the red light had a white anchor or anchor/steaming light attached as well.
 

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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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Remember you cannot use those lights when under power.
I know. :)
I'm still looking for a supplier of red or green lenses for a reasonably sized 180° fixture. I don't like how far the lopo lights stick out.

I'd really like something like the Perko 1331 or Perko 0170MM0 with green lenses. I can live with a regular 360 red if I need it.

I asked Perko about just supplying the colored lenses for their existing white light enclosures. They wanted $1500 per light for USCG testing and refused to even answer me on the subject of whether or not the sidelight lenses would fit in the enclosures above.

At this point I feel like finding someone with the necessary fabrication skills and putting together a kickstarter to build and test the fittings. I know I'd pay for this, particularly if the red light had a white anchor or anchor/steaming light attached as well.
It doesn't bother me how they stick out, they aren't going anywhere and I don't plan on stubbing my toe on them anytime soon..

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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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My worry is about things like a flogging spinnaker halyard or even the main halyard if I do something stupid. I have a knack for breaking things.
I understand, I think that being so high up, the angle from the sheaves being so extreme it wouldn't be much a issue. And they are round so the line should pass right over. Unless, somehow, a bite in the line passed over it just right it may grip it in such a way to pull on it.. But I think it's a long shot.

They do make 360* lights, which I was going to use on a pole, but my mast is already tall and didn't want the extra height and windage.

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Dr. LED is coming out with red and green LED bulbs that fit in the Perko festoon-bulb enclosure I posted above:

https://www.doctorled.com/store/nav-LED-bulb/Single-color-Nav-bulb/31mm-Green-Festoon-Star-(12V)

https://www.doctorled.com/store/nav-LED-bulb/Single-color-Nav-bulb/31mm-red-Festoon-Star-(12V)

To install them on my mast with no additional height added, I'd get four of the colored bulbs and four of the clear enclosures and then mount them in pairs on the port and starboard sides of the mast with the required vertical separation. That beats paying Perko $3k for certification.

The new bulbs are only available next year though.

I think using four of the same fitting will lend itself to a better matched appearance than using a 360° red at the top of the mast.
 

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What do you perceive as the advantage of Red Over Green vs. the readily available Tricolour lamps?

Tugboat envy?

When I desire maximum visibility I have two bright all-around white lights I often use. One is aft on the backstay, LED, where it lights up the sails and is very visible in all other directions. Perfectly legal. The other is my masthead anchor light, also LED. It's all-around white. Some may gripe that it is not legal while sailing, however the rule seems to be concerned with confusing lights. From any distance a white light is confusing only to the feeble minded. From aft it might be taken for a stern light. From elsewhere perhaps as a bow light. Neither presents any big, or dangerous, change in the collision rules. Witness the many white lights aloft on ships and work boats...indeed so many that it can take some time to find the navigation lights. (Lights us the Windex nicely, too. That's what I'd tell the cops and nosy armchair captains.)

Bright, high, white lights are the best thing for small craft. They clearly say, if nothing else, "I am here, please go elsewhere."

The Red over Green would seem to be for old sailing ships that can easily fit the necessary pole.
 

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What do you perceive as the advantage of Red Over Green vs. the readily available Tricolour lamps?
I sail in an area with lots of smallish power boaters and also quite a bit of big, big, big ship traffic.

I'd like to be visible to both, particularly if I'm somewhat restricted in maneuverability based on wind direction under sail.

If it were kosher to run a tricolor plus bow lights, I would do that instead. I want a high up light and a low down light at the same time.

I'm not telling anyone else that they need to have these very optional rule 25(c) lights. To each his own.

I don't understand why people try to dissuade the few of us that want these. There are such comments on every thread I've found on this topic. It derails the discussion and obscures the real questions and answers about how to build these, perhaps foolish, lights. I do wish folks who choose to post to these threads would focus on answering the technical questions posted instead of always arguing for alternatives.

aloof: I'm not saying that you specifically are trying to dissuade us, and I do appreciate your backstay light comment.
 

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No worries. I think Red over Green would be nice to have. It's just problematic in practice as people find. Unless obscured by a spinnaker, of whatever, a big ship can see low lights as well as high ones because they are very much looking down at you. Small powerboats....well...they may not see or understand lights at all...heh.

Consider adding superbright white LED lights in various places. I like them high only because it keeps them out of MY view. On top of the spreaders is a good place. Or each side of the mast. More the better. Lighting up the sails is better than a pin point lamp as it gives a much better idea of what is there...vs. stars, city lights, etc. Such decorative or utility lights can be used without concern for the rules.
 

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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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What do you perceive as the advantage of Red Over Green vs. the readily available Tricolour lamps?

Tugboat envy?

When I desire maximum visibility I have two bright all-around white lights I often use. One is aft on the backstay, LED, where it lights up the sails and is very visible in all other directions. Perfectly legal. The other is my masthead anchor light, also LED. It's all-around white. Some may gripe that it is not legal while sailing, however the rule seems to be concerned with confusing lights. From any distance a white light is confusing only to the feeble minded. From aft it might be taken for a stern light. From elsewhere perhaps as a bow light. Neither presents any big, or dangerous, change in the collision rules. Witness the many white lights aloft on ships and work boats...indeed so many that it can take some time to find the navigation lights. (Lights us the Windex nicely, too. That's what I'd tell the cops and nosy armchair captains.)

Bright, high, white lights are the best thing for small craft. They clearly say, if nothing else, "I am here, please go elsewhere."

The Red over Green would seem to be for old sailing ships that can easily fit the necessary pole.
Well the biggest advantage that isn't "perceived" is the fact that I have more lights lit that are legal, both high and low. Tugboat envy? I don't even know how to respond to that.

Some thing I can say in response to your post is that you should read the light rules again.

To correct your sentence, "Bright, high, CORRECT lights are the best thing for small craft." They have prescribed light rules for a reason.

- from a real2nd mate unlimited oceans 1600ton captain from his armchair on the ship
I sail in an area with lots of smallish power boaters and also quite a bit of big, big, big ship traffic.

I'd like to be visible to both, particularly if I'm somewhat restricted in maneuverability based on wind direction under sail.

If it were kosher to run a tricolor plus bow lights, I would do that instead. I want a high up light and a low down light at the same time.

I'm not telling anyone else that they need to have these very optional rule 25(c) lights. To each his own.

I don't understand why people try to dissuade the few of us that want these. There are such comments on every thread I've found on this topic. It derails the discussion and obscures the real questions and answers about how to build these, perhaps foolish, lights. I do wish folks who choose to post to these threads would focus on answering the technical questions posted instead of always arguing for alternatives.

aloof: I'm not saying that you specifically are trying to dissuade us, and I do appreciate your backstay light comment.
Exactly, if anything aloof is being the "nosy armchair captain" for telling us were doing it wrong and we're silly for doing something legal but extra.

I actually work out here and tricolor lights are just not enough. Period. I know what is seen easily and what isn't, I'll go the extra mile to do that.

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