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Old 25-06-2007, 21:14   #16
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The all round red over green at the masthead choice, greatly increases visibility, and is unique for sailboats, but gives no directionality, thus the reason you also run your deck level nav lights...................Exactly....you get both directionality from the deck lights, plus an additonal "beacon" from the mast head red over green. The fact that some people dont know what it is is not a problem. Think about what you would see from a distance before you could see the deck lights and what your interpretation of what the boat is doing.............I wait with interest ...............(lets just say l had an argument with a profesional fisherman ...and l won !!)
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:33   #17
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btw what is story re strobe on a boat that owner is too beat to carry on at night and heaves to to get some rest ? dont believe this option is available in any regs. but could keep incapacited singlehander from getting run down .have used these in bright fog when std running lights couldnt be seen beyond 100 feet.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:06   #18
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A strobe light is a distress signal and all vessels required to stop and render assistance.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:11   #19
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Correct would be §27 COLREGS, a vessel not under command:
Quote:
Rule 27
Vessels Not Under Command or Restricted in Their Ability to Maneuver
(a) A vessel not under command shall exhibit:
(i) two all-round red lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen;
(ii) two balls or similar shapes in a vertical line where they can best be seen;
(iii)when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.

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Old 03-09-2009, 12:16   #20
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Having nav lights that meet COLREG specifications is not an option, its the law in the countries of the world who have adopted the COLREG's as law. This includes almost all the maritime nations.

Yes, a strobe is a distress signal but professional mariners know that many yachts use a strobe to attract attention. Unfortunately this is a double edged sword in that if you have a real emergency then using a strobe is going to be ineffective at getting help. On the other hand, a hand held or parachute flare will most likely get someones attention and assist in getting help.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:23   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
A strobe light is a distress signal and all vessels required to stop and render assistance.
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Originally Posted by mrohr View Post
btw what is story re strobe on a boat that owner is too beat to carry on at night and heaves to to get some rest ? dont believe this option is available in any regs. but could keep incapacited singlehander from getting run down .have used these in bright fog when std running lights couldnt be seen beyond 100 feet.
A Strobe Light has no defined meaning nor purpose, under the COLREGs.
Rule 36
Signals to Attract Attention
If necessary to attract the attention of another vessel, any vessel may make light or sound signals that cannot be mistaken for any signal authorized elsewhere in these Rules, or may direct the beam of her searchlight in the direction of the danger, in such a way as not to embarrass any vessel Any light to attract the attention of another vessel shall be such that it cannot be mistaken for any aid to navigation. For the purpose of this Rule the use of high intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided.
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Old 03-09-2009, 14:30   #22
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"the use of high intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided."

So are they saying here that a strobe should NOT be used as distress signal? I have noticed masthead lights with strobe features and was thinking of installing one.....
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Old 03-09-2009, 17:10   #23
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The approval process includes accurate lab testing which may help stick to what was envisioned in the COLREGS and what in turn was designed to give safety to mariners.

For standard housings, the bulb does not have to be approved (in the EC) but I am sure any bulb that found guilty of not giving the visibility range/spectrum or angles specs as laid out in the COLREGS could be taken as a proof against the owner in any mitygation, especially so if the insurance company steps into the process.

I can't see the approved bulbs being more expensive than the not approved ones. But I can see many poor quality ones around just as expensive as the approved, high end units. Go for the approved.

All the above is on the BULBS. Needless to say, the LIGHTS if built as proper LED units, do have to be approved on any boat longer than 7 metres.

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Old 03-09-2009, 17:27   #24
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We havent seen a yacht with a strobe yet. And quite frankly it would be stupid to the max as it would attract far too much attention. Any worth ship captain would at least come for a look and when he didnt see anyone on deck (as they are below sleeping) he would come too close to investigate.

I don't think much of mast top tri-colours but they can be seen for miles. So that would be the go....


No matter what the regs say, its prudent to do what others do


Put another way: You are just one boat in the ocean. You don't own it. So its not propper to light the joint up like a Christmas tree. Just be normal and share the waves like everyone else.

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Old 03-09-2009, 18:12   #25
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I sailed in a little flotilla off Darwin and noted that the yacht with the strobe was the most difficult to spot at night. Why - don't know - perhaps someone who understands how we see at night could answer. I have also seen tests of lifebuoy lights and the non-strobes came out on top. From these I take it the strobe does not improve our chances of being seen. I know it has also been claimed they are not legal and I agree with such a claim.

Interestingly, I have read a sailing magazine feature where it was suggested that going for stronger bulbs than the required standard is not recommended either - to avoid the difficulty of saying if we are a big boat far off or a much smaller close up. But I would much prefer to be taken for a tanker than for what I really am (;-)) - for nobody will try to run down a tanker, will they. Except perhaps the crew of the lighthouse.

So - my own take on it will be - with the tri already up there - will go and look for the brightest approved LED that fits my lamp.

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Old 03-09-2009, 19:49   #26
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Everyone here misses the main point, and it's IMPORTANT:

If you get into a collision, and the other guy's lawyer or the prosecutor finds out you have non-approved lights, you are toast. Absolute toast. Why go to jail to save a few bucks.
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Old 03-09-2009, 20:11   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
A Strobe Light has no defined meaning nor purpose, under the COLREGs.
Rule 36
Signals to Attract Attention
If necessary to attract the attention of another vessel, any vessel may make light or sound signals that cannot be mistaken for any signal authorized elsewhere in these Rules, or may direct the beam of her searchlight in the direction of the danger, in such a way as not to embarrass any vessel Any light to attract the attention of another vessel shall be such that it cannot be mistaken for any aid to navigation. For the purpose of this Rule the use of high intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided.
Strobes are used for man overboard devices so in that respect they are indeed distress signals.

I would hate to be the guy in the water who gets passed up by a boat because the skipper thinks its yet one more sailboat running its strobe. I have seen sailboats running their strobes and never thought it was a good idea because of the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" situation that it creates.
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Old 03-09-2009, 20:12   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
A Strobe Light has no defined meaning nor purpose, under the COLREGs.
Rule 36
Signals to Attract Attention
If necessary to attract the attention of another vessel, any vessel may make light or sound signals that cannot be mistaken for any signal authorized elsewhere in these Rules, or may direct the beam of her searchlight in the direction of the danger, in such a way as not to embarrass any vessel Any light to attract the attention of another vessel shall be such that it cannot be mistaken for any aid to navigation. For the purpose of this Rule the use of high intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided.
Strobes are used for man overboard devices, therefore in that respect they are as a practical matter distress signals, even though not defined by the rules as such.

I would hate to be the guy in the water grasping a horseshoe buoy who gets passed up by a boat because the skipper thinks its yet one more sailboat running its strobe. I have seen sailboats running their strobes and never thought it was a good idea because of the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" situation that it creates.

The rule makers and the manufacturers need to clearly establish what a strobe means. It has to stop being used on one hand to attract another vessel to come closer and on the other hand to discourage another vessel from getting near.

Personally, I think it is reckless use of a strobe to use it simply to let others know of your presence and to stay away. Using it that way could end up allowing someone to die who might have otherwise been rescued.
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Old 03-09-2009, 20:19   #29
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Everyone here misses the main point, and it's IMPORTANT:

If you get into a collision, and the other guy's lawyer or the prosecutor finds out you have non-approved lights, you are toast. Absolute toast. Why go to jail to save a few bucks.
I don't think that you are automatically toast. The rules are manufacturers are now required to put CG approved lights on their vessels in the U.S and that law has only been around since about 1997. There is no law about individuals putting CG approved lights on their recreational vessels in the U.S.

BUT, I believe that if you're in a collision and the lawyers find out the lights are not CG approved, then you're going to have to pay someone to prove your lights meet ColReg standards, then the extra money for CG approved lights will seem trivial.

John
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Old 03-09-2009, 20:31   #30
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The COLREG's, including it Annexes are adopted as law in the US Code of Federal Regulations. Contained in the annexes are the technical specifications of navigation lights. These laws have been in the CFR's for a long long time.
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