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Old 26-12-2015, 11:53   #16
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Re: running lights on pulpit

I like being able to switch between a masthead tri-color or strobe, and port & starboard pulpit lights, mounted on stainless baffles that eliminate aft reflections.
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Old 26-12-2015, 12:08   #17
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstevens View Post

One of the disadvantages of the bi-color is that it uses a single festoon bulb for which there are no LED replacements that meet the minimum specifications for navigation lights.

John
Technically any replacement of the original incandescent bulb in a nav light invalidates it's approval.

Having said that there are certainly festoons designed for nav light replacement.
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Old 26-12-2015, 12:50   #18
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Had an interesting comment from a friend who is a Mate on Large Ships and also a keen yachtie re the visibility of Masthead tri colours versus Deck mounted Nav lights.

From their elevated position on a ships bridge they find the tricolour to be difficult to see and very difficult to estimate an accurate distance.

If I see a ship coming towards me, I will always switch on my steaming light to give them a better chance of seeing me!

Having worked on big ships for many years i'm paranoid about keeping well away them because i know the standard of lookout that is kept.

I think an AIS is one of the most important pieces of equipment that should be on any cruising yacht.
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Old 26-12-2015, 15:21   #19
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Re: running lights on pulpit

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
bicolor on bow is great for daysailng and coastal sailing, HOWEVER, they are not visible as red and green unless you are directly abeam em. the best location for running lights is 10 ft off water, and as far apart as possible so you can be SEEN and identified.
are ypu able to place a little higher so that the lines donot contact them?? or relocate the lines to avoid problems,. are you able to place the lights in your shrouds, one each side of boat.
if you donot intend to sail in open water, this is probably not a problem, unless you desire others to be able to actually see you.
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Old 26-12-2015, 15:44   #20
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Quote:
Had an interesting comment from a friend who is a Mate on Large Ships and also a keen yachtie re the visibility of Masthead tri colours versus Deck mounted Nav lights.
Slight thread drift warning!

I've been thinking about this for a while, for I've heard similar statements from several professional ship mariners. I've been an advocate of masthead tricolors since they became available, but as a small boat sailor I've been viewing them from a near sea level point of view. From that level, they are indeed more visible than deck level lamps for they are never obscured by intervening seas. From the lofty position of the bridge of a merchant vessel, the view into the valleys between seas is much better, so the visibility oof deck level lights is also better. That's easy to understand! And if ship watchstanders judge distance to a light by the downward angle of the line of sight, then having the light 60 feet in the air would surely distort the mental computation. So, I'm prepared to believe that deck level lights could be better observed by ships crews.

Now I'm wondering just who I should be most worried about colliding with at night, and thus who I should be "aiming" my night lighting at? In my experience, ships are pretty easy to see at night, so that when I encounter t hem, I am able to take avoiding action if they don't seem to be avoiding me. Before I had active AIS, that was not an uncommon event... not the way it is supposed to be according to COLREGS, but what I observed over years of sailing. Whether this was due to their lack of vigilance or my masthead light I dunno, but when I judged that they were not altering course, I would do so, and it worked in practice. Thus, I didn't worry too much about s hips in the night.

But what about other yachts, fishing vessels and other smaller vessels? They are all too often poorly lit, and not that easy for me to see, and to avoid if I am the give way vessel. Thus I would like to give them the best chance of seeing me that I can, and for another small, low lying vessel, my masthead light is, I think, the most easily seen arrangement, and that is what I have chosen to display at sea. I'm quite willing to hear other opinions on this...

With the advent of AIS, my feelings are even stronger, for (at least in theory) big ships all are so equipped, and thus they need not depend on visual contact to be aware of my presence. We've done a few passages with active AiS now and I have observed ships apparently altering course to avoid us. We still watch them carefully when CPAs are small, but I feel far less anxious than when I depended upon them seeing us! But again, smaller vessels don't ALL have AIS, so their being able to see my lights is more important, and I think this supports use of the tricolour.

I'm interested to hear what both merchant seamen and other offshore cruisers think about this philosophy.

Jim
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Old 26-12-2015, 15:54   #21
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Re: running lights on pulpit

I had Port and starboard lights on my pulpit, but after drowning them in heavy seas for days, eventually salt water got in and shorted them out

Since then I moved them back to my cabin sides where they work very well away from the constant spray of the sea. Do not have an issue with glare on my boat.
Even the best sealed lights will get some penetration from salt water if pounded and submerged long enough.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 26-12-2015, 16:14   #22
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Thank you for all the discussion.

Shroud location will not work due to overlapping jib. I run an asymmetric spinnaker from the anchor roller and remain concerned about fouling on a forward position bicolor. I only have a single forward tube but the transverse tube and plate is an interesting idea
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Old 26-12-2015, 16:43   #23
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Re: running lights on pulpit

How 'illegal' are 1' LED strip lights (brighter than original lamps) these days? Have a set of red, green and white, and they can be positioned on the pulpits where the visibility meets regulations.
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Old 26-12-2015, 16:49   #24
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Re: running lights on pulpit

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Originally Posted by Skuzzlebutt View Post
How 'illegal' are 1' LED strip lights (brighter than original lamps) these days? Have a set of red, green and white, and they can be positioned on the pulpits where the visibility meets regulations.
You will not get the visible sectors correct.
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Old 26-12-2015, 16:51   #25
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Re: running lights on pulpit

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Originally Posted by Skuzzlebutt View Post
How 'illegal' are 1' LED strip lights (brighter than original lamps) these days? Have a set of red, green and white, and they can be positioned on the pulpits where the visibility meets regulations.
One significant problem I see with this not been able to contain the light into the required arcs of visibility.

For instance, the port / stbd lights should only show an arc of 112.5 degrees from the centreline - no more and no less.
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Old 26-12-2015, 17:04   #26
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Having worked both coastal and offshore commercially, there have been many times that I have been on watch and not seen sailboats with a pulpit mounted set of running lights until the last minute.
Those who have running lights in their shrouds about 10 feet off the deck are most noticeable. Mast head tricolors are fine but sometimes difficult to determine rate and direction of travel or course. Steaming lights on the leading edge of the mast are very helpful in IDing those under power at night. When visibility is compromised by rain, fog or spindrift, you need every thing you can going for you.
I do agree with a previous poster that watch keeping is sometimes not the best on many offshore vessels. Phil
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Old 26-12-2015, 17:06   #27
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Slight thread drift warning!

I've been thinking about this for a while, for I've heard similar statements from several professional ship mariners. I've been an advocate of masthead tricolors since they became available, but as a small boat sailor I've been viewing them from a near sea level point of view. From that level, they are indeed more visible than deck level lamps for they are never obscured by intervening seas. From the lofty position of the bridge of a merchant vessel, the view into the valleys between seas is much better, so the visibility oof deck level lights is also better. That's easy to understand! And if ship watchstanders judge distance to a light by the downward angle of the line of sight, then having the light 60 feet in the air would surely distort the mental computation. So, I'm prepared to believe that deck level lights could be better observed by ships crews.

Now I'm wondering just who I should be most worried about colliding with at night, and thus who I should be "aiming" my night lighting at? In my experience, ships are pretty easy to see at night, so that when I encounter t hem, I am able to take avoiding action if they don't seem to be avoiding me. Before I had active AIS, that was not an uncommon event... not the way it is supposed to be according to COLREGS, but what I observed over years of sailing. Whether this was due to their lack of vigilance or my masthead light I dunno, but when I judged that they were not altering course, I would do so, and it worked in practice. Thus, I didn't worry too much about s hips in the night.

But what about other yachts, fishing vessels and other smaller vessels? They are all too often poorly lit, and not that easy for me to see, and to avoid if I am the give way vessel. Thus I would like to give them the best chance of seeing me that I can, and for another small, low lying vessel, my masthead light is, I think, the most easily seen arrangement, and that is what I have chosen to display at sea. I'm quite willing to hear other opinions on this...

With the advent of AIS, my feelings are even stronger, for (at least in theory) big ships all are so equipped, and thus they need not depend on visual contact to be aware of my presence. We've done a few passages with active AiS now and I have observed ships apparently altering course to avoid us. We still watch them carefully when CPAs are small, but I feel far less anxious than when I depended upon them seeing us! But again, smaller vessels don't ALL have AIS, so their being able to see my lights is more important, and I think this supports use of the tricolour.

I'm interested to hear what both merchant seamen and other offshore cruisers think about this philosophy.

Jim
Your approach to collision avoidance is very similar to mine.
I don't believe that ship watch keepers will put much effort into determining your distance off by looking at your Nav lights. If lights are the first thing they see they will very quickly refer to their electronic Nav aids ie radar/plotter/AIS to establish distance off. Nav lights indicate direction and also give an indication of the type of vessel.
I have seen how easily Nav lights on the leeward side of the bow rail are obscured by waves and therefore I much prefer a masthead tricolour when under sail.
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Old 26-12-2015, 17:53   #28
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Re: running lights on pulpit

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Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
I have deck mounted Aquasignal series 25 running lights. They are mounted port and starboard just inboard of the toerail. They are not in a terrible location, but not great either. Tend to be in the way and are nearly chafing against lines led to the mooring cleats.

I also have a masthead tricolor.

I have the pulpit off the boat at the moment. I am thinking of mounting the lights on the pulpit, probably need to get a plate welded to it. I am concerned about the lights now chafing against the sails or getting whacked by misplaced dock pilings, etc. Maybe a bicolor right at the front?

Any thoughts?
Sanibel sailor,

I think you may be able to set the light back from the forwardmost arch of the bow pulpit. It would require welding a bracket to accept it, and you'd have to figure out how to get power to it. The bicolor is a bit vulnerable way out front there, we squashed one once. Sometimes wind bursts ruin steering plans.

Let us know how you plan to approach it.

In the meantime, I'll second Jim's request for input from professional sea men, which is more visible from those high bridge decks? masthead tricolor or our low down nav lights?

Ann
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Old 26-12-2015, 18:28   #29
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Switching on the spreader/deck lights can make you instantly visible when you're unsure you've been seen.
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Old 26-12-2015, 19:37   #30
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Re: running lights on pulpit

Running lights are almost invisible at sea, even on the largest ships, unless conditions are ideal. I have mine mounted on the bow pulpit but turn on a deck light if anyone will pass closely. Just a minute or so is enough to get their attention.
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