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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 24' sloop over a year ago and I am considering getting rid off all the wires. All I really have are Running lights,Cabin lights,motor light and a dept finder that only works half the time. I sail in the chesapeake bay so I was thinking about using battery clamp down lights and lanterns in the cabin. This would cost me less then a new marine battery not to mention some of the wires are house wires. Another option I am trying to figure out is using a 9 volt with a switch.
 

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What would you do for running lights. You are required to have them if you are sailing or motoring after dark.
 

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why rip it out, replacing a minimal wiring job like you have would only take a day or so. where on the chessy are ya
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was going to use running lights you clamp down they work of 2 D batteries. My boat is a 1968 lapworth some of the wires are old and rusted others are house wires ( couldn't this be a fire hazzard). I am on the Rhode river.
 

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I doubt those are bright enough to be legal on a boat the size of yours.
I was going to use running lights you clamp down they work of 2 D batteries. My boat is a 1968 lapworth some of the wires are old and rusted others are house wires ( couldn't this be a fire hazzard). I am on the Rhode river.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why do you think There not as bright there the same light bulb? My motor light is even brighter. By the way is there a law on how bright and where could I find those regulations.
 

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From the USCG website:

RULE 22
VISIBILITY OF LIGHTS​
<!-- #EndEditable --> <!-- InstanceBeginEditable name="main page content region" --> The lights prescribed in these Rules shall have an intensity as specified in Section 8 [Intl] of Annex I to these [Regulations / Rules] so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges:
(a) In vessels of 50 meters or more in length:
  • a masthead light, 6 miles;
  • a sidelight, 3 miles;
  • a towing light, 3 miles;
  • a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 3 miles.
  • a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]
(b) In vessels of 12 meters or more in length but less than 50 meters in length;
  • a masthead light, 5 miles; except that where the length of the vessel is less than 20 meters, 3 miles;
  • a sidelight, 2 miles;
  • a sternlight, 2 miles;
  • a towing light, 2 miles;
  • a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
  • a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]
(c) In vessels of less than 12 meters in length:
  • a masthead light, 2 miles;
  • a sidelight, 1 miles;
  • a towing light, 2 miles;
  • a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
  • a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]
(d) In inconspicuous, partly submerged vessels or objects being towed;
  • a white all-round light; 3 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think my lights may met these regs. I guess I could have a safety check. I am right next to campletts my boat is docked at blue water marina. I can re wire the boat but I still would have to buy a battery and wires for just a few lights is it worth it. If you are really hungry just stop by and we can catch a rockfish it's trophy season.
 

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the battery is cheap, a simple 75 amp hour deep cycle at wally world is only 50 bucks or so. wire is pretty cheap too, 100 foot real from maine sails link in another thread is 39 bucks for 18-2 wire here

and if you dont have a panel this panel would do you boat perfectly. a position for a main, running lights, anchor lights, interior lights, and a bilge pump with a spare.

a simple charger in the house to keep it charged. this would not let you live on the hook but you could get away with an over nighter when you got stuck out. now this is not just a min amount of stuff but stuff that would be nice to have

as for rock fish ummm

edit yes it is worth it, it can give you another hour of sailing most days legally
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I figured the cost of lighting my boat my way at $30.00 because I already have most of the lights in the cabin. Your numbers are at $90.00 not including tax and panel box. If I leave all the working lights then later I could re wire the way I want. Could I wire my motor light and nav lights to a 9 vlt. with a solar charge?
 

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Not and have them be legal. The boat's running lights are designed to operate on a 12 VDC system... running them off of 9 VDC will leave them out of spec and likely endanger you as well as be illegal. :rolleyes: Anyone who knows anything about electricity should realize this.

Could I wire my motor light and nav lights to a 9 vlt. with a solar charge?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry I don't know alot about electricity, I was just reasoning that if some one made a portable light it would meet code. This maybe out of date but one of my books read " Vessel less than 20 gross tons ( under 40') portable R & G lights ready to show in sufficient time to prevent collision.
 

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lapworth here is a running thread about legal lights. you might want to read it.

as for the flash light looking running lights for dingy's yes they might work, but only when under power.

there is a lot of misstatements here on lights, alot of people argue the USCG certified lights are the only ones legal. that is not true, it just means that the USCG has looked at and tested them and found them to be bright enough ( and proper viewable angles ) . there are other lights that are bright enough but the CG has not tested em. if i where to strap a 250 watt halogen to my mast as a steaming light, and it had the right viewable angles it would be legal even thou the CG has not tested it.

the catch comes in when you use a light that is not certified and something happens. the other person may try to blame it on your lights, you are then behind the 8 ball and need to prove the lights you used where bright enough

as for the electric end trying to run a 12 volt bulb on 9 volts would probably barely light the bulb.

if you dont want to spend as much you could build your own switch panel for around 20 bucks to control the running lights. as you only need 3 switches, running, steaming and anchor. if you dont have a motor you dont need the steaming, and if you dont have an anchor you dont need the anchor light. but i would not want to stop all the extra possible use i could get out of the boat by not having the extra lights. you are a short sail to annapolis, you might someday want to go up and anchor for the night for a romantic dinner. with the wife if you have one.
 

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lapworth there is a running thread about legal lights. you might want to read it.

as for the flash light looking running lights for dingy's yes they might work, but only when under power.

there is a lot of misstatements here on lights, alot of people argue the USCG certified lights are the only ones legal. that is not true, it just means that the USCG has looked at and tested them and found them to be bright enough ( and proper viewable angles ) . there are other lights that are bright enough but the CG has not tested em. if i where to strap a 250 watt halogen to my mast as a steaming light, and it had the right viewable angles it would be legal even thou the CG has not tested it.

the catch comes in when you use a light that is not certified and something happens. the other person may try to blame it on your lights, you are then behind the 8 ball and need to prove the lights you used where bright enough

as for the electric end trying to run a 12 volt bulb on 9 volts would probably barely light the bulb.

if you dont want to spend as much you could build your own switch panel for around 20 bucks to control the running lights. as you only need 3 switches, running, steaming and anchor. if you dont have a motor you dont need the steaming, and if you dont have an anchor you dont need the anchor light. but i would not want to stop all the extra possible use i could get out of the boat by not having the extra lights. you are a short sail to annapolis, you might someday want to go up and anchor for the night for a romantic dinner. with the wife if you have one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
O.k. it's raining so I'll get down there today and salvage what wires are good and buy a new battery. Thanks for all the ideas I was just trying to get around all these wires.
 

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lapworth here is a running thread about legal lights. you might want to read it.

as for the flash light looking running lights for dingy's yes they might work, but only when under power.

there is a lot of misstatements here on lights, alot of people argue the USCG certified lights are the only ones legal. that is not true, it just means that the USCG has looked at and tested them and found them to be bright enough ( and proper viewable angles ) . there are other lights that are bright enough but the CG has not tested em. if i where to strap a 250 watt halogen to my mast as a steaming light, and it had the right viewable angles it would be legal even thou the CG has not tested it.
And this is one of them... since the USCG actually doesn't test lights ever.. they're not responsible for doing so. USCG certified lights means that the lights are tested by independent testing laboratories and found to meet the USCG set standards.... not that the USCG has tested and certified them.

the catch comes in when you use a light that is not certified and something happens. the other person may try to blame it on your lights, you are then behind the 8 ball and need to prove the lights you used where bright enough as for the electric end trying to run a 12 volt bulb on 9 volts would probably barely light the bulb.
Using non-certified lights is fine, until you're involved in a collision. At that point your liability can be increased by the use of non-certified lights. That also means that if you are not at fault, you can be FOUND partially or wholly at fault if you have uncertified lights.

Using 12VDC lights on 9VDC power is a good way to guarantee you'll get borked in court... not only are they not legal, they're also far more likely to cause an accident. The brightness of a light is one way people tend to estimate how far away they are... running 12 VDC lights on 9 VDC means they will be far dimmer than they should be, and may fool someone into thinking your boat is further away than it really is. If the boat you fool is a high-speed ferry or powerboat, the chance of that turning into a serious problem for you is pretty good.

if you dont want to spend as much you could build your own switch panel for around 20 bucks to control the running lights. as you only need 3 switches, running, steaming and anchor. if you dont have a motor you dont need the steaming, and if you dont have an anchor you dont need the anchor light. but i would not want to stop all the extra possible use i could get out of the boat by not having the extra lights. you are a short sail to annapolis, you might someday want to go up and anchor for the night for a romantic dinner. with the wife if you have one.
As for using small battery powered lights, like those meant for dinghies, as long as you keep the batteries fresh, they should meet the whatever requirements they are designed for.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Point well taken, I don't want to trick people hitting me. But the regulations are sometimes hard to interpit. I looked at the other light page and still see all the same codes no one ever mentions watts,amps or volts. They just mention hight,color,distance,ect.. I'll keep looking but don't worry if you see me on the bay I'll be up to code. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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glad to help... as for the wiring... I'd recommend you read Maine Sail's page on wiring a boat... :D

Point well taken, I don't want to trick people hitting me. But the regulations are sometimes hard to interpit. I looked at the other light page and still see all the same codes no one ever mentions watts,amps or volts. They just mention hight,color,distance,ect.. I'll keep looking but don't worry if you see me on the bay I'll be up to code. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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lapworth,

I jsut rewired my boat this winter. Your boat wiring project will be an easy one. Remember, around Annapolis the bay is very busy at dusk and night. There are alot of big and fast boats out there. This is not an area you want to cut corners on. If you need any advice, or want to discuss the project, PM me.
________
ZOLOFT SIDE EFFECT
 
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