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Old 11-10-2009, 19:41   #16
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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I would like to install a led anchor light near the stern of my yacht (instead of at the masthead). It is difficult to fit a light that has 360 degree visibility, but I can install 2 lights on some existing ss poles that would ensure at least 1 was always visible. From some angles however, both anchor lights could be seen. Are 2 anchor lights legal?
Technically as I understand it, and was confirmed by the USCG, it's 354 degree visibility. The COLREG's are a little unclear about this. The light itself must be a 360 degree light but the visibility of it must comply with the CFR paragraph below:

Here's the COLREG's wording:

(e)"All-round light" means a light showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360 degrees.

It does not make clear that the "light" itself need to be visible to all 360 degrees just that the light itself needs to be showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360.

"CFR 33 Title 84.17 Horizontal Sectors:


b) 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, and the all-round white light described in Rule 23(d), which may not be obscured at all."

and

"(c) If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b) of this section by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be used suitably positioned or screened to appear, as far as practicable, as one light at a minimum distance of one nautical mile."

You can always revert to the 345 degree rule but beyond that anchor lights do not have to be placed any higher beyond the hull than "is practicable". Meaning it could likely be obscured by a mast and still be totally legal if it was not practical to climb to the top of the mast to place an anchor light if using say an oil lamp.

To get a more detailed understanding of the COLREG's, when it is not totally clear, I usually revert to the Code of Federal Regulations which are the "rules behind the rules"..

I have an anchor light mounted to my radar pole on the stern. I have at least 358 degrees or more of visibility with it as I have circled in my dinghy at night and can hardly find a break in the light. Not only that it lights up my bimini and boat around it so it can be seen very well as you get within 1/8 of a mile. I still keep one at the mast head too but rarely use it as I feel much safer with the radar pole anchor light.

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Old 11-10-2009, 21:22   #17
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I have an anchor light mounted to my radar pole on the stern.

Jus tinkin' but you actually might have a great idea.......
If the anchor light and VHF aerial were down the blunt end on the davits / Radar mast etc, then not only are they simple to maintain, we don't need to have all that wire up the mast (see lightning threads). With wireless wind instruments the only wire up the mast would be steaming lights / deck lights.

Only cons would be reduced VHF range, but who really needs max range when we have EPIRB too?

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Old 12-10-2009, 03:55   #18
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The only time I don't like too much light is when a power boat shines lights into the water overnight. I feel it attracts the small fish to the light and the bigger fish eat them...
Some animals, such as the deep-sea jellyfish, Atolla wyvillei, use their bioluminescence to "scream" for help. Once an animal is caught in the clutches of a predator, its only hope for escape may be to attract the attention of something bigger and nastier, that may attack and eat whatever is about to eat it. This amazing light show is known as a bioluminescent "burglar alarm" display.
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Old 21-10-2009, 22:32   #19
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In a pitch-black night I prefer anchor light at top of mast. On approaching the boat the light rises into the sky giving a better indication of how far away is the vessel. In installing an anchor light at deck level consideration must be given of the “Value of nominal range”. A navigation buoy for example, whose light is often at a higher level than deck level of a small sailing boat, normally gives 1 nautical mile as the “Value of nominal range”.
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Old 22-10-2009, 01:58   #20
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I've seen people using strobe lights - very attention-seeking, consume little power, definitely not covered by COLREGs
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Old 22-10-2009, 03:13   #21
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I've seen people using strobe lights - very attention-seeking, consume little power, definitely not covered by COLREGs
Iknow this has been beat about a bit but I dont think strobes should be used for anchoring.
I like the solar deck light idea
Rule 36 - Signals to Attraction 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. [Intl]



and

The distress signals for inland waters are the same as those displayed in the table above with the following additional signal:

Rule 37 - Inland only
A high intensity white light flashing at regular intervals from 50 to 70 times per minute.
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Old 22-10-2009, 15:48   #22
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I've seen people using strobe lights - very attention-seeking, consume little power, definitely not covered by COLREGs
Another reason given for not using strobe lights is that if the strobe is in phase with the swell, waves, it may not be seen at all.
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