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Old 12-12-2013, 23:37   #1
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2 Sets of Side Lights..... Okay, or not so Much?

Hey all,

So in purchasing a 45' sailboat, I noticed that there werent any sidelights on the bow or any sternlight to be found.

Upon installing a brand new one on the bow pulpit and dingy davit, My I switched them on, and they worked wonderfully. My partner walked up and commented on the awesome looking light coming from the masthead.

Come to find out, there was a combo Red/green/white nav light already installed and wired to the 12v panel in the cockpit. Soooo.. now when we flip the nav light switch, we have the tri-color at the masthead, already doing the job it was intended to do, and the new bow and stern light that I ever so hastily installed... also.... doing their job.

So My quandary is this...

Is it okay to have them all on at once, or should I wire the new set of lights to another switch as an auxiliary set? I don't know if it against regulation to have a stern light, And green/red sidelights on both the masthead and bow...

I figure it probably cant hurt, but I couldn't find a straight answer online. Much thanks to anyone that might be able to help me sort it out.
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Old 12-12-2013, 23:44   #2
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

I'd have them separate. Offshore the mast head lites are the best and for close in work often the lower lites are better. Keep the switching separate and it will also reduce the drain on the batteries when your sailing.
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Old 12-12-2013, 23:53   #3
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

When you are flying rags a tri mast is legal.

When you are under power...ie the motor is running then you are a motor-boat=tri is not legal.

So now all you need do is separate switch em, and remember the difference between rag and stink pot.

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Originally Posted by jordiebsocal View Post
Hey all,

So in purchasing a 45' sailboat, I noticed that there werent any sidelights on the bow or any sternlight to be found.

Upon installing a brand new one on the bow pulpit and dingy davit, My I switched them on, and they worked wonderfully. My partner walked up and commented on the awesome looking light coming from the masthead.

Come to find out, there was a combo Red/green/white nav light already installed and wired to the 12v panel in the cockpit. Soooo.. now when we flip the nav light switch, we have the tri-color at the masthead, already doing the job it was intended to do, and the new bow and stern light that I ever so hastily installed... also.... doing their job.

So My quandary is this...

Is it okay to have them all on at once, or should I wire the new set of lights to another switch as an auxiliary set? I don't know if it against regulation to have a stern light, And green/red sidelights on both the masthead and bow...

I figure it probably cant hurt, but I couldn't find a straight answer online. Much thanks to anyone that might be able to help me sort it out.
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Old 12-12-2013, 23:59   #4
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

And it is against the regulations to have both sets of running lights on at the same time. It can be confusing -- for example a "red over red" means "vessel not under command" ("red over red, the captain is dead").
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Old 13-12-2013, 00:05   #5
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

Not to be done as previous posters pointed out....

Side and stern lights are OK with a red over green at the masthead, but never a tri color at the same time as side lights when under sail...

YOU DO need side/stern and steaming light when UNDER power, so you new install is very much needed...

Separately switch them and add a steaming light if you don't have one!
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Old 13-12-2013, 00:06   #6
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

> When you are under power...ie the motor is running then you are a motor-boat=tri is not legal.

And you should display a white masthead light forward
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Old 13-12-2013, 01:46   #7
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

Fantastic! So I needed to install these for when we are motoring anyway. This baby can definitely motor with her 250gal of diesel tankage. there is a switch for steaming lights already on the cockpit panel to boot. I will move the leads for the new lights to this spot and use the correlative switch depending on my prefered method of propulsion. . Thanks for all of your help everyone!!
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Old 13-12-2013, 02:00   #8
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

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Originally Posted by jordiebsocal View Post
Fantastic! So I needed to install these for when we are motoring anyway. This baby can definitely motor with her 250gal of diesel tankage. there is a switch for steaming lights already on the cockpit panel to boot. I will move the leads for the new lights to this spot and use the correlative switch depending on my prefered method of propulsion. . Thanks for all of your help everyone!!
Maybe you should have hit the steaming light switch before you put new side lights on???? Either your side lights were removed, or they are in an inconspicuous place???

Anyway.... No worries on the help! That's what this place is all about!
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Old 13-12-2013, 02:19   #9
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

Searchlight and spreader lights are optional.

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Old 13-12-2013, 05:38   #10
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
> When you are under power...ie the motor is running then you are a motor-boat=tri is not legal.

And you should display a white masthead light forward

Like Stu said, dont forget the masthead light. You still have one more light to install.
Definition from the colregs
“Masthead light” means a white light placed over the fore and aft centreline of the vessel showing
an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from
right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.


Should be placed at least 2.5 meters above the deck
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Old 13-12-2013, 07:15   #11
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

Best to see if you can separate them. I get annoyed with incorrect lights because its confusing.

I have red/green nav lights at mast top, but the LEDs interfere with the damn AIS so I dont use them... Another $100 wasted...

But mast head nav lights are good if you are in big seas and want to make sure you are seen, they are much better than deck level imho, for visibility


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Old 13-12-2013, 07:36   #12
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Like Stu said, dont forget the masthead light. You still have one more light to install.
Definition from the colregs
“Masthead light” means a white light placed over the fore and aft centreline of the vessel showing
an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from
right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.


Should be placed at least 2.5 meters above the deck
The terminology here, while correct as per COLREGS, is going to be confusing for many Americans and, no doubt, some Canadians. The white, 225 d. light you describe as "masthead" is called "the steaming light" here, and is used to indicate a vessel (in this case sail) under auxiliary power. British terms use "masthead" to mean the front of the mast, whereas on this side, "masthead" means "the top of the mast", where the trilight and the anchor light glow, the place you call "the mast top".

Confusing, no?
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Old 13-12-2013, 07:42   #13
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
The terminology here, while correct as per COLREGS, is going to be confusing for many Americans and, no doubt, some Canadians. The white, 225 d. light you describe as "masthead" is called "the steaming light" here, and is used to indicate a vessel (in this case sail) under auxiliary power. British terms use "masthead" to mean the front of the mast, whereas on this side, "masthead" means "the top of the mast", where the trilight and the anchor light glow, the place you call "the mast top".

Confusing, no?
actually the term "masthead" is often meant to be the top of mast in UK english, The term steaming light is used often by power boat users. If you said "masthead " to a englishman, out of context, it would often be taken as mast-top

Strangely the french and most Europeans view the mast top tricolour as a form of "malady anglais". I remember the amusement as all the sales people babbled to one another about this peculiar requirement I wanted on the Beneteau

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Old 13-12-2013, 10:30   #14
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

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actually the term "masthead" is often meant to be the top of mast in UK english, The term steaming light is used often by power boat users. If you said "masthead " to a englishman, out of context, it would often be taken as mast-top

Strangely the french and most Europeans view the mast top tricolour as a form of "malady anglais". I remember the amusement as all the sales people babbled to one another about this peculiar requirement I wanted on the Beneteau

Dave
Hmm. And yet I've heard "masthead" used in the context of "steaming light" and "mast top" for "where the tricolour goes". I did an RYA course in November in France (in English, mind you) and so it's fairly top-of-mind.

Now that you mention it, there was no tricolour on the top of the boat's mast (avoiding ambiguity!). Tricolours at the mast top, however, give you (on clear nights) more information at a greater distance; I see few shortcomings with having deck (running) lights and tri (sailing) lights...IF one knows the difference and doesn't sail lit up like a Christmas tree crossed with a trawler towing both nets and a barge.

I have oversized (25 W) Aquasignals on the sides of my steel pilothouse. The boat's 39 feet LOD and I could pass muster with the more typical 10W or LED lumens equivalents.

I wonder sometimes if I should go for bow lights, but then I recall that a dark foredeck is a Good Thing at night, and that if someone hits me thinking my pilothouse is my bow, the steel factor kicks in and I rescue them before looking for the touch-up paint...
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Old 13-12-2013, 10:51   #15
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Re: 2 sets of side lights..... okay, or not so much?

Might I also add, that in addition to the other comments it is good to have the deck level lights (and use them rather then the tricolor) while close to others such as in a harbor. Having your running lights closer to "eye level" makes sense when in close quarters.

Much like the issue with an anchor light up the stick.
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