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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone actually have a red over green navigation light (as allowed for in Rule 25) to indicate a vessel under sail at night?

Am considering installing this, but have never seen one set up. Short of rigging something up myself, anyone know where you can get one? If you have this kind of set up, how did you do it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Never mind - I searched for this topic before posting, but found nothing pertinent. After posting, the thread appeared in the related topics. Apologies.
 

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While in the Navy, we memorized the phrase "red over green, sailing machine" to identify sailboats.

Honestly, I think here in the US it would just confuse people, especially powerboaters.
A competent commercial vessel watch officer would be more likely to recognize it, I think.

Edit-
Some earlier posts have SailingDog harping about a 1 meter separation between them. I found this in the COLREGS:

Paragraph (c) presents an optional display that is much less popular that the "tricolor" light but that can be employed on sailing vessels over (as well as under) twenty meters. The all-round red over all-round green light are to be used with the regular sidelights and sternlight. Annex I requires that the red and green lights be mounted vertically two meters apart for vessels over 20 meters and one meter apart for smaller vessels. This arrangement makes it difficult not to obstruct the arc of visibility of the lower green all-round light, so this option will probably rarely be seen.
The one meter separation rule seems odd when you can buy this:
http://www.perko.com/catalog/category/navigation_lights_under_20_meters/product/895/
 

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Old as Dirt!
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I finish a lot of races in the dark and that would confuse the heck out of me as to who was on what tack/jibe
From the post preceding yours:

The all-round red over all-round green light are to be used with the regular sidelights and sternlight.
In theory, the combination of the mast illumination with standard side lights should eliminate confusion. As a practical matter, probably not, particularly in any sea where the side lights might not be seen very well or at all. Accordingly, we rely upon the masthead tri-color light.

FWIW...
 

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A competent commercial vessel watch officer would be more likely to recognize it, I think.
Stress "competent". There have been a number times I have been mistaken for a fishing vessel when showing sidelights and a stern light only.
 

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Does anyone actually have a red over green navigation light (as allowed for in Rule 25) to indicate a vessel under sail at night?

Am considering installing this, but have never seen one set up. Short of rigging something up myself, anyone know where you can get one? If you have this kind of set up, how did you do it?
I have a red-over-green configuration (Nav Rule 25c) on my Pearson Ariel. I have had some unlicensed recreational boaters ask me what it meant, but everyone who holds a USCG license should recognize the configuration. After all, they had to score 90% or better on the Rules of the Road test to get their license, which includes the light configurations.

I find it VERY useful for a small vessel such as mine. When viewing my vessel from astern at night out in the ocean - devoid of a moon or city lights to illuminate my sails - there is no way to discern that mine is a sailing vessel from the single white stern light. A tri-color light at the masthead still wouldn't identify my vessel as a sailboat at a distance. The only indication that my boat is not a motor vessel is the absence of a white masthead ("steaming") light -- which would never be visible from astern.

I believe the main reason (besides ignorance of the configuration) for avoidance of the Rule 25c optional configuration is the extra power requirements of running three lights at deck level plus two more red/green lights up on the mast. But the extra visibility of the lights at elevation justifies the added power consumption - especially using LEDs, and the red/green lights on the mast can be legally turned off at the skipper's discretion.

I sail in Monterey Bay, California. There are lots of commercial fishing boats out at night, and a moonless night is very dark - no city lights. In the usual 4 to 6 foot swells, my deck-level lights are obscured by the swells about half the time. It seems to me the adage should be: the smaller the boat - the bigger the lights.

The fact that the lights have to be vertically separated by (at least) one meter probably explains why nobody makes them. I had to build my own configuration using a red all-around light at the masthead and four green (starboard) navigation lights one meter down on the mast. If you find someone who manufactures something, please let me know. I never found anything pre-made.
 

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This disucssion is news to me. This west marine link makes no reference to this:
Navigation Light Rules | West Marine

I'll say that regulations have always confused me a bit, as the perscribed solution in that link above lets you use deck level colored lights and a single stern light while sailing - identical to a powerboat.

For my first season I sailed around with the 360 masthead light on, but eventually realized I wasn't technically supposed to, despite the fact that without it, nothing defines me as a sailboat at night..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For my first season I sailed around with the 360 masthead light on, but eventually realized I wasn't technically supposed to, despite the fact that without it, nothing defines me as a sailboat at night..
asdf: What defines you as a sailboat at night is the lack of a steaming light. Rule 25c of the COLREGs gives a sailing vessel the option to show an all around red light over an all around green light in addition to the other navigation lights required. In the case of a sail boat, that would be port light, starboard light, and stern light.

To say that showing your anchor light while underway is "technically" incorrect is itself technically incorrect. Doing so is just plain incorrect.
 
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asdf: What defines you as a sailboat at night is the lack of a steaming light. Rule 25c of the COLREGs gives a sailing vessel the option to show an all around red light over an all around green light in addition to the other navigation lights required. In the case of a sail boat, that would be port light, starboard light, and stern light.

To say that showing your anchor light while underway is "technically" incorrect is itself technically incorrect. Doing so is just plain incorrect.
Yes thank you, I finally realized that looking back at my own diagram. Somehow that understanding has escaped me for a while.
 

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its always good to have the rules of the road book or the colregs little leaflets they used to sell...

in any case I agree, the smaller the boat the more the skipper should do to make his boat visible, for obvious reasons like sea state, and the smallness factor, low freeboard etc...
 

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I hope all the NEW boats i bought were built right :)

BUT my powerboats had the red/green bow with the separation to allow direction of travel to be understood with a white all around which ALSO served as and anchor light

My sailboats came with more or less the same bow lighting BUT tend to have a smaller white light on the stern a steaming light on the mast and and anchor light on the masthead


A LOT of the small powerboat white all around lights are JUST STUPID because they absolutely ensure night vision problems
 

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I've come to associate red over green with BIG sailing machines, because that's the only place I've seen them.

Since you aren't allowed a pizza pie light (mast head red/green/white combo) on an over 20 meter boat, I always figured that the big guys choose the all around red over green as a way to get some lights up high for offshore extended visibility.

My own thinking on my little craft is that the pie light is for offshore, and the deck nav lights are for near shore/harbor calmer conditions. You cannot turn the pie and the deck level nav lights on at the same time, but you do turn on the red over green with deck level nav lights...advantage to the red over green sailing machine. I can figure out what you are and where you're going if I'm near to you or far away.

Never thought about red over green on my little sailing machine, but I can't find a rule that says you cannot. Interesting idea.
 

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This disucssion is news to me. This west marine link makes no reference to this:
Navigation Light Rules | West Marine

I'll say that regulations have always confused me a bit, as the perscribed solution in that link above lets you use deck level colored lights and a single stern light while sailing - identical to a powerboat.

For my first season I sailed around with the 360 masthead light on, but eventually realized I wasn't technically supposed to, despite the fact that without it, nothing defines me as a sailboat at night..
Well that reference is there not to tell you the rules, but to advise what lights to buy from them. They would be unlikely to reference lights they don't sell would they? You should keep that in mind on all the "WestAdvisor" articles sole goal is to increase there sales. So they are going to be very slanted to the products they sell, and even likely to suggest more expensive or at least more profitable products. Don't get me wrong there is some good info there, just keep in mind it is a sales tool, not a public service. Also they do say "basic rules" so they are not discussing "optional" lights.

When it comes to making sure I am legal I prefer to go to the source of the rules.
 

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There are so many light configurations, I don't trust I can remember them all. Keeping a readily accessible graphic card of the different combinations comes in handy as well as a sound signal graphic. Can't recall ever seeing a red over green all-round sailboat combination like that. I just keep my normal running lights on although I can definitely see the logic in being identified as under sail. As far as being seen in swells, a masthead tricolor makes a lot of sense. If the price of led tricolors would come down, I would certainly install one.
 

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I thought about installing red-over-green on my boat; my research found that Lopolight make 180 degree green sp in theory an all-round red at the top with a green on each side of the mast 1 m down would work. Stacking the red with their 180 white anchor light would make a very neat - but expensive - installation.

I'd probably do it ... if I sailed more at night.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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This disucssion is news to me. This west marine link makes no reference to this:
Navigation Light Rules | West Marine
Go to the source: 33 CFR 83.25(c).

I'll say that regulations have always confused me a bit, as the perscribed solution in that link above lets you use deck level colored lights and a single stern light while sailing - identical to a powerboat.

For my first season I sailed around with the 360 masthead light on, but eventually realized I wasn't technically supposed to, despite the fact that without it, nothing defines me as a sailboat at night..
Not quite. A sailboat under sail can show sidelights and stern light. A powerboat shows sidelights, stern light, and masthead light (a 225 degree forward facing white light); a sailboat under power shows that same steaming light although it is usually not at the masthead per se but about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the mast.

A sailboat under sail may show the red over green all around lights in addition to the deck level sidelights and stern light. I've seen an all around red at the top of the mast and greens on either side of the mast a couple of meters down. At a distance of just a few boat lengths it looks like all around red over all around green.

Alternatively a sailboat under sail can show a single tri-color light at the masthead. The red over green shall not be shown with the tricolor.
 
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