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Old 04-12-2016, 10:36   #1
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Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Hi!

Two Swedish electricians mounted some kind of flashing device on the mast before they set off in their Hallberg-Rassy, around the world.

They used it many times for two purposes mainly:
1. To scare off would be thieves.
2. To be more visible during night sailing.

I am looking to fit something similar. Currently the mast is on the hard, horisontally and I've removed the mast top.

Lots of stuff on eBay. It's not something I want to spend major bucks on, but it should last a few years at least, without malfunctioning. I will mount an on/off switch at the helm.

I am open to suggestions! What stuff to get, please?
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:51   #2
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Found these two:
White + Red 4 LED 4W Strobe Emergency Flash Warning Light Car Hazard Lamp IP65 | eBay

and

Xmas 6803 30leds/m RGB Magic Dream Color Flash LED Strip IP65 133P 12V | eBay

The latter, I could wrap it around the mast top a few times. Perfect for celebrating christmas aboard as well.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:07   #3
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Are you aware that high intensity white light flashing at regular intervals from 50 to 70 times per minute is an international distress call?
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Old 04-12-2016, 14:38   #4
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob666 View Post
Hi!

Two Swedish electricians mounted some kind of flashing device on the mast before they set off in their Hallberg-Rassy, around the world.
...
2. To be more visible during night sailing.

I am looking to fit something similar.
Read COLREGS!
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Old 04-12-2016, 14:43   #5
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

What Paul and Stu said. Don't do it.

It will attract people trying to rescue you and will NOT deter any kind of thief. In fact it will just make is easier for them to find you.

It will also annoy the hell out of any other boater in the area.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:18   #6
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Is it not the case that a flashing light is only a distress signal in US inland waters?
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:26   #7
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

An interesting point. If you use an illegal navigation light such as this could you be in the following position;

A tanker sees your flashing white masthead light.
Deck crew mistakes it for a cardinal marking a reef, they expect to see a westerly cardinal for the reef you are anchored off but, seeing your continuous flashing white light assume they are out of position and seeing a northerly cardinal instead.
Tanker executes and emergency turn and drives onto the reef
Tanker is lost, value $15 million
The reef is destroyed by the resulting pollution triggering an international cleanup effort costing $15 million and your picture is on the front cover as the idiot who caused it bringing shame on your family and your friends to desert you.
You try to run for it but your engine is clogged by the oil spill and you wash up on the reef as well.
You are sued by the tanker owner for the cost of the vessel, cost of recovery, lost business and their cleanup liability.
Your vessel is arrested for breach of regulations and due the damage cause and the public outcry at the loss of a valuable tourist attraction the court decides to make an example of you, 5 years in a harsh 3rd world jail.
Your insurance is invalidated by the classic clause that you where not operating your vessel in a sea-manlike manner (by allowing incorrect nav lights to show).

But yes, you where more visible!!
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:36   #8
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

One of my (many) pet peeves are the boats with flashing lights, including masthead, and especially the many blue lights many boats have in the cockpit which make me think there is a police boat about! We have a combination light on top of the mast which has a strobe light for emergencies if we are concerned about being seen in an emergency on a dark night, yes it is more expensive but!
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:54   #9
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Most effective LEGAL way to increase visibility at anchor is to fit a 10 watt floodlight either to the stern arch or the spreaders. uses about 10a/hr per night, makes you clearly visible, tells others you are anchored, complies with regs, easier to service than masthead lights, does not get lost against shore lights or stars, deters thieves by making there boarding visible, makes a useful working light, costs less than $20 and available at any hardware store store. (the ones made as yard or work lights work great but if you want something bigger and brighter look at truck lights)
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:05   #10
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithw88 View Post
Is it not the case that a flashing light is only a distress signal in US inland waters?
I don't know if that is the case or not however I'm certain that certain that a flashing light is not a legal running light for any kind of vessel in the world
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:27   #11
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I don't know if that is the case or not however I'm certain that certain that a flashing light is not a legal running light for any kind of vessel in the world
Almost, a flashing blue light indicates a police or emergency service vessel, a yellow is a hovercraft.
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:21   #12
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

I feel ashamed of my countrymen doing this.

Anyway, I've decided not to. However, all sailing mags in Sweden think you shouldn't have your anchor lantern on top of the mast, as nobody will see it and fast leisure motor boats have run into sailing boats at anchor in that case.

So will move that one to the arch on the aft of the boat.

Cheers
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Old 05-12-2016, 14:59   #13
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I don't know if that is the case or not however I'm certain that certain that a flashing light is not a legal running light for any kind of vessel in the world
It's simple enough.

Can a flashing light be mistaken for a light buoy or beacon, light house or other aid to navigation? Of course!

"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 06-12-2016, 03:37   #14
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob666 View Post
I feel ashamed of my countrymen doing this.

Anyway, I've decided not to. However, all sailing mags in Sweden think you shouldn't have your anchor lantern on top of the mast, as nobody will see it and fast leisure motor boats have run into sailing boats at anchor in that case.

So will move that one to the arch on the aft of the boat.

Cheers
This would potentially put you into trouble. An anchor
light is an all round white light in the fore part of the vessel. I know
some of us might sound pedantic, but this thread makes me glad
I have spent time doing various courses, and this as well as the all-too-frequent
occurence of strobe lights flashing away in anchoring zones, also makes me inclined to support compulsory licenses.
However, the authorities should take some blame: it is not easy to download COLREGS as the IMO has the copyright; so each of us should find our own way to get a copy. But no vessel should be at sea without this document in my opinion.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:23   #15
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Re: Ultimate low-cost IP65 flashing light

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithw88 View Post
This would potentially put you into trouble. An anchor
light is an all round white light in the fore part of the vessel. I know
some of us might sound pedantic, but this thread makes me glad
I have spent time doing various courses, .
If you speak to people of spend their time living on the hook, you'll find that lower anchor lights actually work much better weaving your way through an anchorage than something way up the top of the mast. For our little short boats it doesn't really matter much if it's fore or aft as long as it's there and quite bright. So Bob666, good call, get a bright LED and mount it lower down. Mine's attached to the underside of the anchor ball. Worth leaving the one up the top of the mast as well, good to have some choice.
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