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Old 10-10-2011, 23:26   #1
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Tri-Color Mast Light

Sheesh , just took and passed the usps boater education clasd , a.d ill be damned if Iknow tbe answer....what and when is tje diffetence between running your port and starboard and sy er n light , and runni.g the yri color mastight the wzy my boat is wired you can't ryun both . Its an either or deal . Power light is seperate switch , but tri- color and running lights are on a three way switch , running lights , trio-color , or off.....embarrassing not to know this
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Old 10-10-2011, 23:28   #2
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Teeny lil phone keyboards make for lots of typos
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Old 10-10-2011, 23:33   #3
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

The Tricolour can only be used sailing.
The lower navigation lights can be used sailing or motoring. You cannot use both together.
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Old 10-10-2011, 23:35   #4
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

Assuming that you have a sailboat, you should not run both the tricolor and the deck lights.

Tricolor should only be used when under sail only. If motor-sailing or motoring, it is deck lights and steaming light.

Bill
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Old 10-10-2011, 23:45   #5
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Thanks , I was just trying to find three difference in my text book for that class . Think I get it now . If under power , the streaming light needs to be above the running lights . Guess that doesn't work when your tri-color is at the top of the mast . And yes , its a sailboat .i was just thinking it would make sense to only have one light bulb powered when under sail , and out looks longer you have answered that this is ok , when sailing . Thanks for the quick answer
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Old 11-10-2011, 00:32   #6
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

For the practical purposes of optimum visibility, when sailing you will use the tri-color when at sea (for maximum range), and use the deck-level running lights when in the harbor (because nobody's looking up at your mast). Legally you could use either, but you choose the lights that will best be seen.
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Old 11-10-2011, 00:41   #7
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

To summarize what has been said:

Tricolor light gives you red port light, green starboard light, and white stern light (hence "tri"). Use it instead of deck level nav lights -- never together.

Never use tricolor together with your steaming light.

Use tricolor when under sail (never motorsailing) at sea -- it is visible from a longer distance and consumes less electrical power.

If close to shore, use deck level nav lights instead of tricolor.

If motoring or motorsailing, use deck level nav lights plus steaming light.
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Old 11-10-2011, 00:50   #8
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
For the practical purposes of optimum visibility, when sailing you will use the tri-color when at sea (for maximum range), and use the deck-level running lights when in the harbor (because nobody's looking up at your mast). Legally you could use either, but you choose the lights that will best be seen.
COLREG Rule 25 states that a sailing vessel of less than 20 meters in length...may use a tricolor.

Be careful about this ruling as it states "sailing vessel."

As soon as you start the engine, you are no longer a sailing vessel, you are a motor vessel.

I stand by my original post...
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Originally Posted by svBeBe View Post
Assuming that you have a sailboat, you should not run both the tricolor and the deck lights.

Tricolor should only be used when under sail only. If motor-sailing or motoring, it is deck lights and steaming light.

Bill
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:21   #9
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

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Originally Posted by svBeBe View Post
COLREG Rule 25 states that a sailing vessel of less than 20 meters in length...may use a tricolor.

Be careful about this ruling as it states "sailing vessel."

As soon as you start the engine, you are no longer a sailing vessel, you are a motor vessel.

I stand by my original post...

Bill
Bill, you will notice that I said "when sailing". Of course you're right that the tricolor is not to be used when motoring, and about the "less than 20 meters" thing.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:37   #10
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

My set up is that there is one switch which controls all the steaming lights. i.e. Port and Stbd lights, masthead white light, and stern light.
In order to use these when under sail, the masthead light needs to be disconnected from the power supply.
Another switch for the tricolour.
My preference would have been one switch per light, but I'm stuck with what came with the boat, and not much space to fit one of those fancy nav light panels
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:13   #11
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by svBeBe View Post
Assuming that you have a sailboat, you should not run both the tricolor and the deck lights.

Tricolor should only be used when under sail only. If motor-sailing or motoring, it is deck lights and steaming light.

Bill

Ah yes, this thread could go on and on! IMHO in a very practical sense when I am ocean sailing and prehaps even ocean motor sailing I want a passing vessel to know the general direction I am travelling, as I do of him!

In a lumpy sea at night, motorsailing we would both be clueless as to our individual courses if we just lit deck level nav lights as per the rule with a steaming light aloft.

I don't care if the other guy is running his motor, I just want to know generally which way he is heading in relation to me. A red and green light aloft gives me that information. I don't care if he runs his motor or if he is rowing, I just need to have directional info that we will pass safely in the night without the stress of just seeing a white light approaching without directional information to tell me all is well as we pass.

I don't want to wait 'til he is 100 meters away in 25 knots of wind and 10 foot seas looking with binocs for his deck nav lights!

Try it sometime! Just my opinion, safety first!
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:01   #12
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

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In a lumpy sea at night, motorsailing we would both be clueless as to our individual courses if we just lit deck level nav lights as per the rule with a steaming light aloft.
I dont know, in a lumpy sea, at some time you should see masthead and sidelights at some stage.
First pic you see the masthead light, seconds later you have the side light


Having both sets on at the same time, could lead to confusion, mistaken for a fishing boat perhaps
Each to is own
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:43   #13
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
My set up is that there is one switch which controls all the steaming lights. i.e. Port and Stbd lights, masthead white light, and stern light.
In order to use these when under sail, the masthead light needs to be disconnected from the power supply.
Another switch for the tricolour.
My preference would have been one switch per light, but I'm stuck with what came with the boat, and not much space to fit one of those fancy nav light panels
"Masthead white light"? Probably not at the masthead, is it? It would be an anchor light if all around visible and masthead mounted. Usually the steaming light is mounted about one-third of the way up the mast.

Your boat is set up based on the assumption that you will use deck-level nav lights while motoring or motor-sailing, and tricolor when sailing, so the steaming light comes on automatically with the deck-level nav lights. Nothing tragically wrong about that.

If you could wire up a separate switch for the steaming light, however, that would be nice -- allow you to use the deck-level nav lights while sailing if you like (or if your tricolor bulb burns out in the middle of an all-night sail).
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:53   #14
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re: Tricolor Mast Light

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"Masthead white light"? Probably not at the masthead, is it? It would be an anchor light if all around visible and masthead mounted. Usually the steaming light is mounted about one-third of the way up the mast.




If you could wire up a separate switch for the steaming light, however, that would be nice -- allow you to use the deck-level nav lights while sailing if you like (or if your tricolor bulb burns out in the middle of an all-night sail).
Thats what I meant to say, a steaming light, white in colour, shown from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on each side
Silly old me, there was me using the definition of a masthead light from the colregs
From Rule 21

"Masthead light" means a white light placed over the fore and aft centre line of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.




Its on the to do list, at the moment, the switch consists of a small screwdriver
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:57   #15
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Re: Tricolor Mast Light

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Silly old me, there was me using the definition of a masthead light from the colregs
From Rule 21
Not silly old you, silly old me! You are right! Learn something every day . . . thanks.

At first glance it seems odd that they would call it a "masthead light" -- but I guess it's from powerboats, where the steaming light would be there.
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