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OK so I am studying more about nav lights and the USCG rules. In one of their documents it states: A black ball day shape must be displayed by ALL vessels when anchored during the day.

True or false and if true, I see a ton of vessels not displaying this. My sailboat is 26' if that matters. I understand the other nav rules fine and the all around anchor light at night but just have to wrap my head around the anchor ball rule and the inverted cone rule.

Keep in mind I am new to sailing, bought an O'Day 26 and fixing it up this year and will launch next spring. I have the mast down now and was thinking about changing out the mast head light to LED. I have already replaced all 5 lights in the cabin to LED and installed a new fuse panel.

Oh and regarding the all around light, my bow and stern lights are on the rails but an all around light by rule is supposed to be a meter higher than those lights--really? If so that means I buy a 3 foot long removable all around light to be within this ruling when anchored at night.
 

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Day shapes are not used much, at least around me. In fact I have never seen one. I know there are those around here that say they use them, I just have not seen it.
 

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In admiralty court, if another boat crashes into you when you dont have the proper dayshape (anchor ball) aloft, you are assessed more contributory damage penalties (percent) towards the cause of the mishap. Case law in admiralty court seems to support such - AFIK.
 

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My understanding of the anchoring day shape is this;
Anchored; Ball > 7m (not in channel) > 20m (in anchorage).
 

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When the situation required it I just slipped a scotsman in to a big garbage bag and hoisted up the forestay a ways. Although under 20 m I was often anchored in unusual places for scientific sampling as part of the working charter.
 

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Hey,

Around here (Long Island Sound) I almost never see day shapes. Never on small boats when anchoring. Just this past weekend I did see a commercial fishing boat (around 50') displaying a day shape for fishing. I was impressed. Then, when I got back to the marina, I saw two other fishing boats with the same day shape - but these boats were tied in a slip.

No dayshapes used around here.

B
 

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Day shapes are a hoot . When anchored (day time) you must display a black ball if you are 20 meters or more . As for your all around white light ( at night ) yes you need one . It can be mast head , it can be your steamer and stern white light or this . https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=colregs+anchor+light&tbm=shop&spd=10346875300852990465
PS .Please verify this , but I think I'm at least pretty close .
The way I read it:

(b) A vessel of less than 50 meters in length may exhibit an all-round white light where it can best be seen instead of the lights prescribed in Rule 30(a). Vessels at Anchor

I don't see how the stern light and the steaming light would work because the stern light is on the same switch usually with navigation lights and to have the navigation lights on when anchored would be a violation.

Also the where best can be seen clause would certainly be litigated if someone hit you. Probably better than nothing if your anchor light was out and you covered the red and green.

But as was said before the courts assign more blame whenever it can be showed you did even the slightest thing wrong.
 

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OK so I am studying more about nav lights and the USCG rules. In one of their documents it states: A black ball day shape must be displayed by ALL vessels when anchored during the day.

True or false and if true, I see a ton of vessels not displaying this. My sailboat is 26' if that matters. I understand the other nav rules fine and the all around anchor light at night but just have to wrap my head around the anchor ball rule and the inverted cone rule.

Keep in mind I am new to sailing, bought an O'Day 26 and fixing it up this year and will launch next spring. I have the mast down now and was thinking about changing out the mast head light to LED. I have already replaced all 5 lights in the cabin to LED and installed a new fuse panel.

Oh and regarding the all around light, my bow and stern lights are on the rails but an all around light by rule is supposed to be a meter higher than those lights--really? If so that means I buy a 3 foot long removable all around light to be within this ruling when anchored at night.
Go to the source Navigation Rules Online

Rule 30 is the one covering this. Navigation Rules Online

The international part of the US version says (same in the Norwegian version:)
30 (e) A vessel of less than 7 meters in length, when at anchor not in or near a narrow channel, fairway or where other vessels normally navigate, shall not be required to exhibit the shape prescribed in Rule 30(a) and (b).
Then you have all the US changes that is only valid for "Inland"

Seems many small boat skippers think it's an arduous task to hoist an anchor ball...
But it makes it easier for others to see that you are anchored.
It should not be necessary to use binoculars trying to spot your anchor chain.
 

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Technical details found here http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/Annexes/CGNAVRULES_20141118_Annex_1.pdf
6. Shapes
(a) Shapes shall be black and of the following sizes:
(i) a ball shall have a diameter of not less than 0.6 meter;
(ii) a cone shall have a base diameter of not less than 0.6 meter and a
height equal to its diameter;
(iii)a cylinder shall have a diameter of at least 0.6 meter and a height of
twice its diameter;
(iv)a diamond shape shall consist of two cones as defined in (ii) above
having a common base.
(b) The vertical distance between shapes shall be at least 1.5 meter.
(c) In a vessel of less than 20 meters in length shapes of lesser dimensions
but commensurate with the size of the vessel may be used and the distance
apart may be correspondingly reduced
The "Ball" in this picture is 0.3 meters in diameter, it's not easy to see with the dark background.
 
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