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Hinterhoeller HR28
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The USCG refers to various "occupation Lights" for commercial vessels. Categories include RAM (restricted in ability to maneuver), NUC (not under command), Pilot, etc., etc.

They also allow a Red Over Green top-of-mast lamp for a sailing vessel. I have never seen this displayed on the Great lakes, and don't know where one would buy such a unit.

Maybe the Masthead TriColor is more popular, but I know that if a TriColor is lit, the USCG requires that the regular sidelights and sternlight must not be displayed simultaneously. However, they do allow a red-over-green to be on at the same time. So you can legally run the red-over-green Occupation lamp at the same time as the regular sidelights and sternlight.

In the interest of being seen at night (especially when heeling, or the sidelights are obscured by a large Genoa), and particularly when racing, or when on large seas, or near shipping lanes, the red-over-green occupation light seems prudent.

Does anyone have a source where these can be purchased?
 

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Telstar 28
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Most people don't use the red over green since they have to have a meter or so separating the two lights. It also requires running two more bulbs... with the associated electrical drain. If visibility is an issue, why not just use a masthead tricolor?
 

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Hinterhoeller HR28
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Valid points. I wasn't aware of the 1-meter separation requirement. I wonder if I can verify the exact requirements easily?

My reasons for considering the Occupation lamp are:

If running LED's, power drain is a non-issue.

The red-over-green is legal on all sizes of yachts -- the tricolor is not.

More lights means more possibility of being seen.
 

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Paul,

Rule 25(c) allows any sailing vessel to carry, in addition to sidelights and sternlight, red over green all-round lights.

Annex I para 2 specifies the vertical positioning and spacing of lights. On a vessel less than 20 meters vertical lights must be spaced at least 1 meter and the lower light must be at least 2 meters above the deck.

Bill

BTW, the tricolor is legal for vessels under 20m in length. Is yours larger?

B.
 

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Hinterhoeller HR28
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bill,

No, my current vessel is in the "under 12 meter" category. But some of the boats I have delivered are indeed too long to legally run a tricolor.

Too bad that they require a full meter of spacing; That would get to be awfully clunky on a 30 footer's mast -- both windage and weight aloft would be real issues.
 

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Telstar 28
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Unfortunately, that then requires FOUR Bulbs and fixtures, and is a pretty big electrical draw, especially on a smaller boat.
We've had more than a few discussions about the "red-over-green sailing machine" light configuration. Most recently a week or two ago:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gener...cation-lights-nav-lights-sailing-vessels.html

As I mentioned in that thread, I have seen them implemented with pairs of 180 degree lights on each side of the mast. It is fairly straightforward.
 

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Unfortunately, that then requires FOUR Bulbs and fixtures, and is a pretty big electrical draw, especially on a smaller boat.
It could be implemented with low-draw L.E.D.s, along with converting the deck lights to same. It would probably be less total power draw than with the typical deck-level incandescents. But I'm speculating a bit. Has anyone done the math on this?

Even if the power draw were marginally greater, I still feel it's a better solution than the either/or alternative. You'd still have the option of running with just deck lights to conserve power if necessary.
 

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Telstar 28
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True... LEDs change a lot of things, but finding LEDs that are USCG certified for this use is a problem.
 

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Probably the best/most efficient way to implement it would be with a single red at the top of the mast, and a pair of greens on either side of the mast 3-5 feet below the masthead. Gets rid of one bulb, anyway, as well as a bit of wiring. The red could be capped with the all-round anchor light, too.

Any vendors listening?
 

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I am in the process of replacing my nav lights with LED's I have Aqua slignal series 25 fixtures. Dr LED has coast guard approved (2nm visbility) LED "bulbs" that work well with colored lenses. If you go with 2 pairs of lights each side of the mast, you could use stern light fixtures (white lens) and the colored LED's for the red and green lights. The power draw for these LED's is 0.11A each at 12 VDC. You could light yourself up like a Christmas tree for less power than running just one incandescent light.
________
married woman Cam
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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I agree with what JohnR has said and if there was an LED fixture available for the red over green I'd put one on. Visibility would be increased tremendously, especially in a crowded harbor with lot's of shore lights. The use of LED's should make it possible to have a very light weight unit at the mast head even with a meter separation and with very low current draw. Short of making my own I am not aware of any commercially built units, and I have searched.
 

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Probably the best/most efficient way to implement it would be with a single red at the top of the mast, and a pair of greens on either side of the mast 3-5 feet below the masthead. Gets rid of one bulb, anyway, as well as a bit of wiring. The red could be capped with the all-round anchor light, too.

Any vendors listening?
My only comment is that is a very untraditional method of lightning (red over green). Would it be easily recognized as a sailing vessel by 99% of the people out there?? I don't know. It was like when we ran a black ball up. Law enforcement stopped by to make sure we were allright... they did not have a CLUE what the black ball meant. I only run it up now because the Sea Ray lawyers DO know what the black ball means!!!

Brian
 

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Im with Dad, how many people out there see a red and green simultanously and don't think they are bow on to another sailboat, and at a distance how are you going to be able to determine if it is in fact one light "Over" another light. I think I would be one of the ones making that mistake.
 

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especially in a crowded harbor with lot's of shore lights.
I disagree, in a crowded harbor, you're line of sight is not 50' up in the air, this is the same reason I don't like tricolor masthead lights in congested waterways.
 

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My only comment is that is a very untraditional method of lightning (red over green). Would it be easily recognized as a sailing vessel by 99% of the people out there?? I don't know. It was like when we ran a black ball up. Law enforcement stopped by to make sure we were allright... they did not have a CLUE what the black ball meant. I only run it up now because the Sea Ray lawyers DO know what the black ball means!!!

Brian
I know what you mean about the Sea-Rays --- we hoist our anchor ball for exactly the same reason.;)

But it's not the Sea-Rays I'm worried about on a dark night off-shore -- it's the ships.:eek: My hunch is they know exactly what red-over-green means. But we could ask Sailaway.:)

I disagree, in a crowded harbor, you're line of sight is not 50' up in the air, this is the same reason I don't like tricolor masthead lights in congested waterways.
That's the beauty of red-over-green -- it is used in conjunction with the deck lights so there are no issues in crowded harbors when eyes are generally focussed lower.

I think what JRD22 is saying is that a second elevated set of lights improves overall visibility not just off-shore but in congested areas where there can be background clutter. Any legal light combination that improves visibility should be helpful on balance.
 

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Telstar 28
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Be aware, based on information I got recently from Maine Sail, per a discussion he had with someone at Dr. LED, the only LED replacement bulbs/fixtures that are USCG certified from them are the AS 40 Anchor light fixtures. Their website does not make it very clear, and I was under the mistaken understanding that more of their product line was USCG certified for use in AS 25 fixtures. THEY ARE NOT. If you were going to go this route based on information I posted earlier, it is my mistake.

I am in the process of replacing my nav lights with LED's I have Aqua slignal series 25 fixtures. Dr LED has coast guard approved (2nm visbility) LED "bulbs" that work well with colored lenses. If you go with 2 pairs of lights each side of the mast, you could use stern light fixtures (white lens) and the colored LED's for the red and green lights. The power draw for these LED's is 0.11A each at 12 VDC. You could light yourself up like a Christmas tree for less power than running just one incandescent light.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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Sailortj, you are right, from a small boats perspective you are not looking 50-60' up. From the bridge of a ship or even a large harbor tug though it's a different story. Those little lights on deck or the little tricolor at the masthead tend to disappear quite easily. As far as someone not knowing what the red over green identifies, I would rather have them see me and not know what I am than to not see me at all. What about all the sailboats that run both the deck lights and the tricolor simultaneously - easily identified as someone that doesn't know what they are doing I guess, but causes a lot of confusion.
 

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Sailortj, you are right, from a small boats perspective you are not looking 50-60' up. From the bridge of a ship or even a large harbor tug though it's a different story. Those little lights on deck or the little tricolor at the masthead tend to disappear quite easily. As far as someone not knowing what the red over green identifies, I would rather have them see me and not know what I am than to not see me at all. What about all the sailboats that run both the deck lights and the tricolor simultaneously - easily identified as someone that doesn't know what they are doing I guess, but causes a lot of confusion.
Jrd,
Thanks, now, do you know how many people we see in my neck of the woods that think the steaming light is supposed to be on all the time while under sail? I don't think I have been very succesful at convincing them that it is only required for while under power only.
 
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