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Old 26-04-2012, 10:36   #1
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Anchor Light Location Cal 34

Hi everyone.

My boat has no anchor light. The top of the mast does not appear to have wiring up there. I planned to find a way to pull wire, but I notice now that some sailboats mount the light lower, and read some posts that said it might actually be preferable so as not to get confused with shore lights. Any suggestions? Also, if anyone can suggest a particular brand that would be good too.
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Old 26-04-2012, 10:50   #2
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

I think lower down is better. It is less like a star, its in the line of sight for boats that are likely to hit you and many are bright enough to illumate the superstructure. Judjing the distance from a light is difficult, much easier if you can see an, at least part of the boat.
The only problem is that it will be obscured from some angles. I mounted 2 Bebi owl lights a couple of meters above the deck, to overcome this problem. They are very bright and at least one is always visible. The owl has very low power consumption so 2 are not much extra drain. They have a photocell so turn on automattically at night.
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Old 26-04-2012, 10:50   #3
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

Some older boats just use the steaming light.
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Old 26-04-2012, 10:55   #4
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

The steaming light is not 360 degrees. It is not visible from astern, which is the most common point where there is a risk of collision from a boat approching the anchorage.
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Old 26-04-2012, 11:01   #5
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

Yeah... that's pretty obvious... any light not at the masthead is blocked by the mast from one direction.... as were all the old oil lights you hang in the rig... Then again... buzzing around a busy anchorage at night it's hard to tell the anchor lights from the stars and or city lights... But yes , a masthead light would be the norm nowdays.... from experience I would say a strong light suspended from the boom over the cockpit is much more obvious at night.... reflects off much of the boat and is readily seen, it was always easy to see those boats in the anchorage.
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Old 26-04-2012, 11:11   #6
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

Okay. So are you guys saying that hanging an LED light from the boom is legal? That would certainly simplify things for now. When I'm cruising though I'd prefer something that is not battery operated, but perhaps I can run a 12v connection from the helm or cockpit.

That will get me through the weekend. I was thinking of going to Catalina Saturday and having my first overnight trip in the boat. My steaming light is out but I won't be motoring at night yet anyway.
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Old 26-04-2012, 11:12   #7
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

A typical hanging light from the rig will be a cople of meters from the boom, so the obscured angle is only small. The steaming light, mounted on the mast is only visible from 225 degrees, leaving 135 degrees where it cannot be seen.
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Old 26-04-2012, 11:17   #8
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

Other than the boom or mast, where else would you mount it? From the stern, like on a power boat?

Also, I have spreader lights which are not working now. I realize those or for illuminating the deck, would dual Owls suspended from the spreaders not provide dual purpose? Are two lights legal? Seems like extra drain for nothing and I wonder if it would be too much light at night. I think I would prefer to look up and see stars in the sky rather than be blinded by spreader lights. Hmmm....
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Old 26-04-2012, 11:24   #9
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil View Post
Okay. So are you guys saying that hanging an LED light from the boom is legal? That would certainly simplify things for now. When I'm cruising though I'd prefer something that is not battery operated, but perhaps I can run a 12v connection from the helm or cockpit.

That will get me through the weekend. I was thinking of going to Catalina Saturday and having my first overnight trip in the boat. My steaming light is out but I won't be motoring at night yet anyway.
A single light hanging from the boom, is often used (the cat anchored next to me now has one), how effective it is depends on the boat design, size of doger etc
The best answer is to motor around the boat at night and see if it is acceptable. I came to the conclusion a single low light was not enough, but I do have a very thick mast section.
A single light in the fortriangle, above the boom height is better, but power supply, to this location is more difficult for most yachts.
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Old 26-04-2012, 11:33   #10
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

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Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil View Post
Other than the boom or mast, where else would you mount it? From the stern, like on a power boat?

Also, I have spreader lights which are not working now. I realize those or for illuminating the deck, would dual Owls suspended from the spreaders not provide dual purpose? Are two lights legal? Seems like extra drain for nothing and I wonder if it would be too much light at night. I think I would prefer to look up and see stars in the sky rather than be blinded by spreader lights. Hmmm....
Two owl lights suspended from the spreaders is an excellent anchor light, but the owls put out all their light in horizontal direction so they would not function as ordinary spreader lights.
Bebi do make another model which is a combination anchor/down light that has a few LEDs pointing down, but deck illumination would only be low, even with this model. This might still be a good solution, most spreader lights are too bright and destroy night vision, usually just when it's needed, but it does depend on what you use the spreader lights for.

The Owl consumes about 1/2 the power of many of the other led anchor lights so 2 can be used without any great power concerns.
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Old 26-04-2012, 11:34   #11
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

I have the Aqua Signal anchor light with bails top and bottom so it can hang in the rigging. It has a Dr. LED bulb in it that draws 0.1 amp.


You can have two anchor lights, but fore and aft with aft lower.
As you are less than 50 meters long you only need one.
You may use deck lights to further illuminate your boat.

From:
Navigation Rules Online & 31

(a) A vessel at anchor shall exhibit where it can best be seen:

(i) in the fore part, an all-round white light or one ball;
(ii) at or near the stern and at a lower level than the light prescribed in subparagraph (i), an all-round white light.

(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 paragraph (a) of this Rule.

(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.


Lights cannot be obscured more than 6 degrees, except anchor lights.
You can use 2 lights to make up 360, but placed so they look like one light.


From:
ANNEX I: INTERNATIONAL POSITIONING & TECHNICAL DETAILS OF LIGHTS & SHAPES

All-round lights shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts, topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6 degrees, except anchor lights prescribed in Rule 30, which need not be placed at an impracticable height above the hull.

If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b)(i) of this section by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be used suitably positioned or screened so that they appear, as far as practicable, as one light at a distance of one mile."
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Old 26-04-2012, 13:05   #12
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

Under 12 meters and you can combine your steaming and stern light into one white 360 at the top of your mast.
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Old 26-04-2012, 13:32   #13
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

Having had a few near misses at night, I mounted my anchor light on the back stay a few feet above the boom, to clear the mainsail cover. Mine is fancy, as its a led bulb mounted in a clear spice jar and zip tied to the stay. Yes I am such an uptown girl....

Its far easier to see from the water and lights up the super structure nicely too. No complaints from the coasties, who zoom around at night either...
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Old 26-04-2012, 14:24   #14
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Re: Anchor Light Location Cal 34

From US Coast Guard Navigation Rules, International & Inland:

RULE 30 Anchored Vessels and Vessels Aground

(a) A vessel at anchor shall exhibit where it can best be seen:
(i) in the fore part, an all-round white light or one ball;
(ii) at or near the stern and at a lower level than the light prescribed in subparagraph (i), an all-round white light.

(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 paragraph (a) of this Rule.

......

When anchored where there are likely to be other vessels buzzing about, particularly dingies, I usually hang a bright anchor light in the forward triangle of the boat, between the mast and the forestay, about 10-15' above the deck.

Otherwise, I just use the masthead anchor light.

Bill
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