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Old 08-09-2012, 07:44   #16
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

The problem with LED's is the narrow range of the frequency of light they produce on a fixed voltage. There will be a solution but only when the market justifies the research and development costs. It might be a clever bit of electronics as voltage determines the color, or it may be by pollutants in the LED material. Not my field.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:31   #17
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Re: Question... tricolor mast and anchor light

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Originally Posted by S/V Antares View Post
When I am on the open ocean under sail I use the tricolor for best visability. . When in a local waterway or harbor I use the rail mounted lights. In close quarters people do not look up.

I am not sure that folks know the tri color masthead cannot be used when motoring (Correct me if I am wrong) and cannot be used with lower set running lights.
You are correct, tricolor not allowed at the same time as deck level lights. The solution I am intending to implement is to install 3 or 4 small yellow/amber LED's at deck level and have them come on whenever the sun is down. I know that will negate the power savings of the LED masthead, but I am more interested in being seen than saving power.

The masthead tricolor is not allowed when motoring as the steaming light is supposed to be above the colored lights. My take is that when you are motoring, you don't need to conserve power anyway.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:49   #18
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Re: Question... tricolor mast and anchor light

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Originally Posted by S/V Antares View Post
I do not know the company you speak of ... however... The question is good. Masthead or deck/rail level running lights.

I installed OGM tricolor with strobe when I had my mast out a few years ago. I kept the rail (low) mounted lights as well.

When I am on the open ocean under sail I use the tricolor for best visability. . When in a local waterway or harbor I use the rail mounted lights. In close quarters people do not look up.

I am not sure that folks know the tri color masthead cannot be used when motoring (Correct me if I am wrong) and cannot be used with lower set running lights.
Yep
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Old 08-09-2012, 21:12   #19
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

Hi BoatSail,

I have just replaced my combination tri-colour/anchor light. I have an Aqua Signal Quicfits System Navigation light which cost me $US199 plus freight from WMJ marine in San Diego. The unit meets all the international standards. The wiring is easy in that the tri-colour and anchor light operate with a common earth wire.

I know that they last well as the unit I replaced was the same model, and it was 10 years old. It would probably have lasted even longer if I hadn't dropped part of it when giving it a clean.

The unit comes with standard filament bulbs, but you can replace these with LEDs if you wish to use less power.

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Old 08-09-2012, 22:46   #20
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

I am very much against masthead tricolors.
Sailing a freighter south from Riviera Beach to Brazil through the Anguilla passage I was on the port bridge wing. I noticed a red light ahead, probably a sailboat I thought. It appeared to be about 1.5 miles off, so I walked into the bridge to check the radar. Before I even got to the radar, I saw that lite passing a few feet above the bridge wing, very close to the ship.
Running out there I realized that it was a masthead tricolor and was probably only a few hundred feet from my ship when I first saw it, but I had absolutely no way to gauge that. I had almost killed those sailors, and I was sober, wide awake and paying attention (unlike many commercial watch standers). Not the tiniest part of that lite showed on any part of the boat; it was just an ethereal lite suspended in space. In retrospect, I believe they only turned it on at the last minute, which is why I didn't see it sooner.
Several times in Long Island Sound and other places I have seen apparently unlit boats sailing close at hand at night, only to find out that they had a tricolor which I couldn't see because of my bimini.
Down here in the Caribbean, we see boats w/ the tricolor, steaming lite AND running lites all on, sometimes with spreader lites as well coming into anchorages. Then many leave it on all nite, because even they can not tell when they are on.
These lights are extremely dangerous if you want to be seen as a vessel under sail, because they do not shine on anything on the boat or even the water, thereby leaving the observer no way to gauge distance to the lite.
Masthead tricolors should be illegal. Beware if you sail under one.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:08   #21
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

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I am very much against masthead tricolors.
Sailing a freighter south from Riviera Beach to Brazil through the Anguilla passage I was on the port bridge wing. I noticed a red light ahead, probably a sailboat I thought. It appeared to be about 1.5 miles off, so I walked into the bridge to check the radar. Before I even got to the radar, I saw that lite passing a few feet above the bridge wing, very close to the ship.
Running out there I realized that it was a masthead tricolor and was probably only a few hundred feet from my ship when I first saw it, but I had absolutely no way to gauge that. I had almost killed those sailors, and I was sober, wide awake and paying attention (unlike many commercial watch standers). Not the tiniest part of that lite showed on any part of the boat; it was just an ethereal lite suspended in space. In retrospect, I believe they only turned it on at the last minute, which is why I didn't see it sooner.
Several times in Long Island Sound and other places I have seen apparently unlit boats sailing close at hand at night, only to find out that they had a tricolor which I couldn't see because of my bimini.
Down here in the Caribbean, we see boats w/ the tricolor, steaming lite AND running lites all on, sometimes with spreader lites as well coming into anchorages. Then many leave it on all nite, because even they can not tell when they are on.
These lights are extremely dangerous if you want to be seen as a vessel under sail, because they do not shine on anything on the boat or even the water, thereby leaving the observer no way to gauge distance to the lite.
Masthead tricolors should be illegal. Beware if you sail under one.
If persistent misuse or disregard for legal requirements were grounds to eliminate something then cars would have long ago been banned from the road or had mandatory 25mph speed governors installed. Of course that would also argue for criminal penalties for inattentive watch-standers and charges of being an accessory to a crime for anyone catching them and not reporting them to authorities.

Given the much greater range the masthead lights are seen at and the need for this greater range tri-colors are unlikely to ever be eliminated.

Given the advent of very economical LED lighting, the better idea would be requiring yellow deck lighting on anything using the masthead tri-color or when motoring, requiring the Red over Green masthead lights when sailing with deck level running lights. Also by this reasoning it should be required that all the lights be wired thru a single selector switch with positions labelled "Sailing", "Motoring" and "Anchored" so there is no confusion about the lighting with green crew, when tired and inattentive or for whatever reason.

Contrary-wise if we are going to eliminate the tri-color because of confusion issues, we should mandate the elimination of all deck lighting on larger vessels in ANY location that MIGHT obscure or cause confusion about that vessel's running lights. Would you want to wander about deck and work on deck using only a flashlight? Also the ships running lights should be situated within 3m of the waterline. I can't tell you the number of times crossing the Puget Sound at night I suddenly realized a ship was right by me with the running lights lost in the residential and city lights up on the hills around Seattle.

The reality is none of these solutions are particularly likely, practical or needed. People that can't afford the costs of extra charging and battery capacity for extra lighting know they are running marginally higher risks, those that ignore the lighting requirements altogether may get what they have coming, as may inattentive watch-standers. Darwin rules. That's sounds harsher than my somewhat more nuanced feelings, but I am not going to take the time go thru all of them.

Eliminating masthead tri-colors would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:41   #22
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

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snip
Given the advent of very economical LED lighting, the better idea would be requiring yellow deck lighting on anything using the masthead tri-color or when motoring, requiring the Red over Green masthead lights when sailing with deck level running lights. Also by this reasoning it should be required that all the lights be wired thru a single selector switch with positions labelled "Sailing", "Motoring" and "Anchored" so there is no confusion about the lighting with green crew, when tired and inattentive or for whatever reason.
snip.
One of the safety arguments in favor of a masthead tricolor is that it does NOT light the deck, which is better for the watchstander's night vision.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:50   #23
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

Well, I'm still going to use mast head tri all of the time, and by keeping watch I will ADD deck level nav lighting to identify my boat a little better when anything starts getting close, but since I'm usually at the bottom of the speed ladder, one rung up from anchored, it's my responsibility to get out of the way of any and all commercial vessels. The Solent is largely restricted by draught, and the commercial stuff runs at 18kts, the ferries even faster, at times it's like a badger crossing the motorway getting across that narrow channel.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:37   #24
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
One of the safety arguments in favor of a masthead tricolor is that it does NOT light the deck, which is better for the watchstander's night vision.
I did not fully articulate my thoughts. My intention when I get the next boat is to mount the yellow LED decklights on the bulwark facing out so they are visible to others at deck level but only reflect back into the boat if the waves are high enough of if the boat is heavily heeled.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:46   #25
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

We researched this and decided on the Luna Sea Mast head light.

We liked that it could have the wind instrument mounted on top.

Tri-Color/Anchor/Stobe LED Waterproof Navigation Fixture <p>Special Order Items Please Call 1-800-272-0170

Not cheap, but well made and designed.



We got the tri with strobe, and with a show special it was around 225.00

The spike comes off to accommodate gear on top.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:49   #26
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

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Well, I'm still going to use mast head tri all of the time, and by keeping watch I will ADD deck level nav lighting to identify my boat a little better ...
If I understand you correctly you are proposing to light your boat up in violation of national (UK) and international (IMO) requirements which adds to confusion and does not add clarity. Some really smart people worked a long time over many many years to come up with agreed lighting so that we all can figure out what we are looking at.

If you're going to sail with your tri-color that's fine. If you think someone doesn't see you adding deck level nav lights is a bad idea. Add working lights instead (spreader and/or deck lights, cabin lights, or whatever) in accordance with the rules. A spot light on sails is great.
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Old 09-09-2012, 14:35   #27
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

Well, the problem is explained above, close in people don't look up, and as we are deep into an industrial area tri's on top are invisible. Ambient light is patchy, anything moving needs all it can get. I also believe a change in the lighting is a 'I've seen you' signal and am taking avoiding action (or not) as direction f my boat is better seen with deck level lights AND mast head. Your comments noted, but basically if I'm in a collision I'm going to lose.
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Old 09-09-2012, 16:50   #28
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

Wow. I can't believe you people.
When is the last time any of you were standing 50 feet (or 125 feet on some ships) off the water at night, on a ship's bridge traveling at 18 to 20 knots, never mind the containers stacked to within inches of the bridge windows, noticing a tiny lite bobbing somewhere out there?
I was trying to inform y'all of something which you are most likely unaware, not get into a pissing match over watch stander's responsibilities, additional confusing lighting or doing something because you think that because it is higher then it can be seen farther (farther = dimmer).
Do as you wish, I really couldn't care less, but fore-warned IS fore-armed; it is YOUR life and the lives of those sailing with you if you choose to ignore reality and you really think everyone will see a disembodied little colored lite wildly waving around out there, especially in inclement weather.
As one of you commented; "I'll take responsibility" is a thought to live with.
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Old 09-09-2012, 21:14   #29
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

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Wow. I can't believe you people.[...]
So tell me, (and I'm really trying to understand your point), how are my legal deck-level running lights going to look any any different than my tricolor? Remember, I'm sailing, not steaming, so there's not going to be a masthead steaming light. Here are the running light angles:


This is the same pattern as a tricolor. I guarantee that you will see my tricolor at a much greater distance than you would my deck-level lights, which are perhaps five feet off the water.

When in a bay or port I use the deck-level lights. When offshore I use the triclor.
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Old 09-09-2012, 21:59   #30
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Re: Question... Tricolor Mast and Anchor Light

Paul
It's very simple; bow mounted running lites will shine on the water from time to time, possibly reflect a little light off the pulpit and maybe illuminate your jib a bit. All this adds depth perception so that someone looking down (not up, over the horizon at the lite like looking from a sailboat) can estimate distance.
Sorry if I sound overly sensitive on this one, but I came very close to killing some sailors (that time, don't get me started about experiences driving tugs and barges; many, many very near dead dummies) and I was very conscientious that night as I had spent six years captaining sail and power charter yachts in that area and knew they were probably around.
This is not an opinion; it happened and I analyzed and agonized the why of it all for years afterwords.
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