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Old 11-04-2011, 10:37   #61
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

You will be looking up.

It is almost never that dark.

It will be above background shore lights.

Look for a deck level light.

Shine a light toward the vessel.

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Old 11-04-2011, 10:38   #62
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

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Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
If you see only a single white light at the masthead it can only mean that you are seeing the white light part of a tri-color or an all round white anchor light. There are no other masthead single white lights that are not associated with sidelights or other colored lights defined in the rules.

No argument there, however, it doesn't in any way respond to the original question of burning both an anchor light and a stern light at the same time.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:55   #63
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

Unless you spend your life aboard, either cruising (not tied up in a marina) or working commercially on the water, lights at night can be confusing, misleading and, at times impossible to understand.
A common set of rules and clear understanding of same are critical to safe passage making. There are too many idiots out there who don't know what they are doing, don't understand the importance of correct lighting signals or just don't give a sh*t.
Trying to come up with lighting 'tricks' to make it easier to board from a skiff or find ones vessel in an anchorage at night doesn't lend itself to simple rules to follow.
Working vessels operating at night with deck lights along with running and towing arrays can be problematic but, hey, these guys are earning a living out there and need that level of illumination so people don't get killed or injured on deck more than they already do.
I can't count the number of times I've almost run someone down steaming with no lights and only avoided a collision because of a spotty radar return in heavy weather that just didn't 'look' right. When you work on the water, you expect incidents like that and are very aware that traveling at night, particularly in areas frequented by pleasure boaters, brings with it a whole different level of attention.
Let's not add to the confusion... Capt Phil
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:01   #64
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
... There are too many idiots out there who don't know what they are doing, don't understand the importance of correct lighting signals or just don't give a sh*t. ...
... as evidenced by some of the posts here.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:09   #65
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

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... as evidenced by some of the posts here.
I second the motion !!
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:36   #66
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

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Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
A white light at the masthead can mean only that vessel is at anchor or that the vessel is making way under sail. In either case, the rules are clear that the approaching or overtaking vessel must give way.

A single white light near deck level would be irrelevant. It could be anything including a stern light, boarding ladder light, or a cockpit light.

Stern lights and "deck lighting" have vastly different characteristics, and if you're displaying incorrect lighting (again, not trying to be a jerk) you really should be cited by the uscg or appropriate authorities for a navigational hazard.

I'm not making this stuff up, and have been on vessels where authorities have come along side and either politely requested the proper lights be displayed or that the vessel prepare to be boarded and a more thorough investigation is carried out.

Either way it's a waste of your time and that of the authorities and removes any credibility you have as a professional mariner to have to be told by a 23 year old coast guard petty officer what lights to display as he references inland/colregs rules.

If you have a professional license it's inexcusable.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:41   #67
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

This whole thread is a great example of why professional mariners are so wary of pleasure boaters. The most common theme you'll hear from a merchant skipper is that most people on the water are "unpredictable".

They'll implement their own version of rules of the road based on what they think (rather than the rules), they'll implement their own lighting system based on what they think (rather than follow the rules), and just generally be "unpredictable".

It's a shame too because pleasure boaters certainly expect predictability from everyone else. You're banking on the fact that the people who maintain navigational buoys and service harbors conduct themselves to an exact set of standards and rules which allows things to be the same as you move around the world.

If you were to go from San Diego to Los Angeles, you do not want the LA Harbor authorities to develop their own creative and neat way of navigational marks and datasets because they think they are "better". Would you applaud a buoy service team if they moved the buoys around a bit because it's "better" for whatever reason than the charted location?

What's "better" is when everyone does things the same way, and everyone learns what that way is.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:46   #68
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

Well Said, Rebel Heart... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:26   #69
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

The rules are clear. For a properly lit vessel with a single white light at the masthead only one of the two following rules will apply:

Part C - Lights and shapes

25. Lights Sailing vessels underway and vessels under oars

(a) A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit: 1. sidelights;2. a sternlight.

(b) In a sailing vessel of less than 20 metres (66 ft) in length the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.

30. Lights for vessels anchored and aground
  • A vessel at anchor must display an all-round white light or one black ball in the fore part and another all-round white light at or near the stern at a lower level than the light in the fore part. BUT if the vessel is less than 50 meters in length it may exhibit an all-round white light where it can best be seen instead of the lights foresaid.
Considering that these are the only two rules that define the possibility of seeing a single white light at the masthead -- any other interpretation would be erroneous.

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Old 11-04-2011, 12:33   #70
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

Maybe we could keep the abuse down. This is not an anchor thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Stern lights and "deck lighting" have vastly different characteristics,.
Could you elaborate on the vastly different characteristics. I am at loss to determine how a boat approaching anchorage would even know if itís a white deck light or a white stern light My stern light is about 3m from the transom that slopes down to a long platform just above the waterline..
Both would be white, both would illuminate my stern platform and tender. Both would be visible from about the same angle.
A stern light is certified to meet the required illumination level and the angle cut offs, as it should be, but if anyone is close enough to read Lopolight they are too close.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:34   #71
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

Yes Viking, and Rule 30 is equally clear:
Quote:
(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules
How can you possibly argue that a stern light cannot be mistaken for a stern light? Using a stern light to illuminate a boarding ladder - it certainly can be mistaken for a stern light when the vessel is in fact anchored.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:44   #72
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

Sorry Rebel Heart and Cpt Phil to disagree also.

Adding a stern light at anchor might get you boarded by coastguards in the USA, although this story is the only one I've heard. Indeed it might even get you chased by a US insurance company if someone rammed you, but I've never heard of that actually happening either.............

Practically, in the rest of the world, adding that extra light would be accepted OK.

Most sailors (professional and others) would more easily see the added light(s), thereby better avoid the anchored boat, and IMHO probably think 'what a sensible skipper' to light up his boat even better than the regs require.......

C'mon guys, go look at any anchored cruise liner usually issuing a million lumens of white light and then tell me those professionals would still be doing it if it was wrong...........

Cheers
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:53   #73
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

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Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
Yes Viking, and Rule 30 is equally clear:
How can you possibly argue that a stern light cannot be mistaken for a stern light? Using a stern light to illuminate a boarding ladder - it certainly can be mistaken for a stern light when the vessel is in fact anchored.
Because, for a properly lit vessel, the single white light at the masthead precludes consideration of the stern light as there is no rule that exists for a stern light combined with a single white masthead light. And, any vessel showing a single white masthead light must be assumed to be restricted in its ability to maneuver.

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Old 11-04-2011, 13:04   #74
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

Rule 30, section

(c) A vessel at anchor may, and a vessel of 100 meters and more in length shall, also use the available working or equivalent lights to illuminate her decks.

Thus, if at anchor in a sailboat or power boat, you may illuminate your decks or hull so long as you also display the proper anchor light in such a manner as to be seen and understood.
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Old 11-04-2011, 13:14   #75
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Re: Stern Light at Anchor

MOST of the time there is enough ambient lighting to see well enough to determine what's going on around you quite easily. During these conditions, the lighting issue is really not an issue. Around populated harbors there is usually so much light it's hard to see the stars. But, there are times, THE REASON FOR THESE STANDARDS, when lighting is the only way to see what is around you (if you have no radar). This is almost impossible to describe unless you've been there. It's almost vertigo time: no horizon, no moon, no shoreline, no light from land to even create silhouettes, very deceiving distances. These conditions demand correct nav lights and not some fool screwing around with inventive lighting.

Can't figure out why anyone would even question the "legality" of lights on a longline boat or commercial rig because it's obvious exactly what they are doing (although the light can screw up your night vision). The only confusion is when they are distant and appear to be islands where islands are not supposed to be.
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