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Old 23-02-2008, 21:01   #31
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Bill- excellent explanation about why NOT to run deck nav lights and the tricolor together. I see this all the time and used to do it myself ( a long time ago) under the assumption that "more lights the better". You need to think about what someone in the wheelhouse of a ship is going to see, and how they may interpret it. The rules are not arbitrary, or optional, they have been developed over hundreds of years to avoid confusion.

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Old 23-02-2008, 21:12   #32
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.....and YEAH again... : ) see it makes sense !! Sorry I cant help with the LED lights , I had to make my own. Who knows one day I might spot another "little yacht" running the R over G and deck as well.
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Old 23-02-2008, 21:56   #33
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From a large ship’s perspective, the most important thing in collision avoidance is determining early on the aspect of another vessel when trying to determine true course and speed of the target especially if the target makes an abrupt change and you have multilateral considerations.

To be honest, in sloppy weather we view every small set of lights we see dancing out there as somewhat restricted in their ability to manoeuvre and give them a wide berth. Personally I think this all round Red/Green adds confusion when the sailboat decides to tack at a distance. I would rather see a blinking red light turn to a blinking green light (because of the seas) and note their changing relative course accordingly.

Also keep in mind in remote cruising areas that locals will probably not understand or recognise this red/green configuration and may think you are fishing and come over to take a look.

My advice is to remember KISS.
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Old 23-02-2008, 23:16   #34
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It sounds like I will have to make my own out of two all around lights,
When making your own, remember one very important point. The mast head light MUST be visable for 2miles for a vessel under and upto 12M and must be visible for 3miles for 12-20M vessels. Side lights are 1mile for the smaller vessels and 2 miles for the larger. The distance has been the one major sticking point in relation to companies producing LED nav lights. It is expensive to produce lights that bright and expensive to have the testing done and the light stamped that it meets requirements.
If your light does not meet the regs and you ever have a collision, then you are not insured.
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Old 23-02-2008, 23:29   #35
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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Bill- excellent explanation about why NOT to run deck nav lights and the tricolor together. I see this all the time and used to do it myself ( a long time ago) under the assumption that "more lights the better". You need to think about what someone in the wheelhouse of a ship is going to see, and how they may interpret it. The rules are not arbitrary, or optional, they have been developed over hundreds of years to avoid confusion.

John
John,
You are exactly right. Being rebellious and deciding for yourself which lights are best for you will only lead to chaos. What if everyone took this attitude and some people decided that the port side light should be green and not red?

It is to ones own good to stick to the law.

I see one problem developing here is that some yachtsmen were never aware of the red over green configuration and assume that because they did not know of it that this means that most everyone else out on the ocean does not know what it means either. This will probably ruffle some feathers but anyone who has sat for a license, all the way up to Master Unlimited Tonnage any Oceans, has memorized the light configurations and is very familiar with what Red over Green means. Those lights are NOT intended to show aspect...they are intended to show status. The reality is that these lights will show up before the sidelights show to an officer on the bridge of a ship because they are higher off the water and are not partially blocked by bow spray or that mist that sits right off the water when it is windy. A good watch officer will get out his binoculars and see if he can then spot the sidelights of the same vessel to determine the aspect of the vessel.

So what is better?...being seen sooner? or later after the watch officer sees the sidelights first with his naked eye instead of sooner with his binoculars?

About making your own nav lights?...dont. The frequency of red, green and yellow are a specific frequency of light that all nav lights must adhere to. This makes it easier to pick out a green nav light against a green "go" street lights for example. The bulbs are also intended to produce those frequencies of light and to produce a very precise arc by using a vertical filament....so don't mess with the bulbs either. All this stuff has to meet the IMO's rather strict standards. Look around some night and notice all the different shades of red or shades of green on shore against the color of the red and green nav aids. The tail lights of cars are almost an orange compared to red nav aid lights.
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Old 24-02-2008, 08:36   #36
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Good thoughts David, I agree completely. When I studied (at home), and got my Master (50 tons) is where I first saw the red over green, and it immediately made a lot of sense to me. By making my own, I meant using approved nav lights for my size boat (40') and fabricating a mount of some kind for them. I'm thinking it might be easier to mount the green light where my tricolor is now, and then have a seperate post with the red on top rather than a single post with both of them incorporated into it.

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Old 24-02-2008, 08:49   #37
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John,
You are exactly right. Being rebellious and deciding for yourself which lights are best for you will only lead to chaos. What if everyone took this attitude and some people decided that the port side light should be green and not red?

It is to ones own good to stick to the law.

I see one problem developing here is that some yachtsmen were never aware of the red over green configuration and assume that because they did not know of it that this means that most everyone else out on the ocean does not know what it means either. This will probably ruffle some feathers but anyone who has sat for a license, all the way up to Master Unlimited Tonnage any Oceans, has memorized the light configurations and is very familiar with what Red over Green means. Those lights are NOT intended to show aspect...they are intended to show status. The reality is that these lights will show up before the sidelights show to an officer on the bridge of a ship because they are higher off the water and are not partially blocked by bow spray or that mist that sits right off the water when it is windy. A good watch officer will get out his binoculars and see if he can then spot the sidelights of the same vessel to determine the aspect of the vessel.

So what is better?...being seen sooner? or later after the watch officer sees the sidelights first with his naked eye instead of sooner with his binoculars?

About making your own nav lights?...dont. The frequency of red, green and yellow are a specific frequency of light that all nav lights must adhere to. This makes it easier to pick out a green nav light against a green "go" street lights for example. The bulbs are also intended to produce those frequencies of light and to produce a very precise arc by using a vertical filament....so don't mess with the bulbs either. All this stuff has to meet the IMO's rather strict standards. Look around some night and notice all the different shades of red or shades of green on shore against the color of the red and green nav aids. The tail lights of cars are almost an orange compared to red nav aid lights.
I'm starting to think David_M is my alter-ego waking up in the middle of the night and "sleep posting."

Again... "what he said."
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Old 24-02-2008, 16:27   #38
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[quote=David M;137334]Green over white means "fishing tonight"

Actually, it means Trawling - which is rather different to fishing. In addition, a vessel fishing (red over white - opposite to a pilot vessel, which is white over red) or trawling (Green over white), may display additional signals for i. gear extended over 150m, ii. pair trawling, iii. shooting nets, iv. hauling nets, v. trawler's nets fast on an obstruction.

We see too many "yachties" around sailing with all round anchor lights, motoring with just a tri, etc, etc: Its bloody stupid - if you want to go out there in the dark - Read The Rules.....Tony
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Old 24-02-2008, 19:52   #39
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I guess my own personal take on this is strongly influenced by years of sailing in areas where the 3rd world commercial guys had poor training and appreciation that we in the West take for granted.

Meeting a deep sea crewed by someone like David is a pleasant relief and you can assume they have working radar and binoculars. But many times the watch keeper doesn’t even have a driver’s license and his marine license was secured through a paid “accommodation”. (Sad but true)

That is why I advise to “keep it simple”, remembering the key parts of Rule 2

Responsibility

(a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

(b) In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.

In the open sea, ship’s using radar assess between 12 and 8nm , should take action before 4nm and anything under that is considered a close quarter situation.

On a sailboat once you measure that ship on a steady bearing at 4nm YOU should be planning to take action to avoid the ship even if you are privileged.

Judicial use of a strong flashlight or spreader lights to let him know you are concerned should be done between 4 and 3nm for about 3 minutes then wait about one minute while organising your crew and then make a course change that is readily apparent.

In developed countries where every one talks to each other on VHF and Ships are properly manned and regulated, you can usually depend on the rules to be followed, but in other parts of the world I always remember Rule 2 and never expect a sailboat to be considered privileged. That's why I keep it simple!
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Old 24-02-2008, 23:24   #40
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Pelagic- My only interest in being able to have the red and green lights at the masthead while sailing at night is increased visibility over either the tri or the deck nav lights. Not trying to force any right of way issues, if I see a biggy either on radar or lights my first priority is to make sure I am out of their way. I always assume that they do not see me, figure I'll live longer with this philosophy. I don't see any downside to being able to have lights on at the masthead as well as deck level while sailing at night, except for amp draw.

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Old 28-02-2008, 22:54   #41
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...it is interesting to note, that it is still legal to run kerosine (lantern) running lights......
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Old 29-02-2008, 00:32   #42
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...it is interesting to note, that it is still legal to run kerosine (lantern) running lights......
And they don't have to meet the intensity regs either.

International Annex I

11. Intensity of non-electric lights
Non-electric lights shall so far as practicable comply with the minimum intensities, as specified in the Table given in Section 8 of this Annex.


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Old 29-02-2008, 04:43   #43
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The sailing megayachts use 180 degree lights on each side of the mast. The power requirements used to make 4 bulbs impractical for smaller yachts, but with the advent of LED's maybe it makes more sense nowdays.
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Old 29-02-2008, 11:23   #44
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And here I thought "red over red" meant "ladies and beds" and was just the local red light district. Oddly enough, I've never been able to find a statutory definition (as opposed to an opinion) of what "not under command" really means. Captain fell down drunk and the XO refuses to take an early watch? Or everyone went ashore for dinner?
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If you sight and count ten thousand sailboats at night in US waters, I doubt you will see "red over green" once. that's why the builders aren't making them, no one would know what to do with them, and no one would want to PAY for them. And then they'd complain, that adds four feet to my bridge clearance height, too. if a trained and certified master saw one, he'd probably fall dead of apoplexy on the spot--they're simply unheard of in US waters.
Wheels-
"If your light does not meet the regs and you ever have a collision, then you are not insured." Not that simple in a US court. Finding the lights were not USCG approved might raise the presumption of negligence--but that presumption could be defeated if the lights were later proven to meet or exceed the ratings, and simply had not been certified. And that's assuming the insurancy policy didn't speak further on the subject. Easier to run certified fixtures and not go there, I'll agree.

But the lighting I prefer the most is that used on commercial fisherman, the same orange sodium-vapor lights used in parking lots. "Hey, what's that?!" and you can see the entire boat from quite a ways off. A bit of a power drain on sailcraft though.<G>
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Old 29-02-2008, 11:36   #45
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David-
And here I thought "red over red" meant "ladies and beds" and was just the local red light district. Oddly enough, I've never been able to find a statutory definition (as opposed to an opinion) of what "not under command" really means.
<G>
From what I learned at the maritime academy, it means the vessel is unable to maneuver. Usually from a propulsion failure, rudder failure or being aground.

Definition - Not Under Command
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