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Old 02-08-2010, 09:52   #1
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Effects of Heeling on Masthead Tricolor

As part of my refit, I need to decide on either a tricolor masthead light or three separate fixtures for my running lights. To me, the advantages of a tricolor masthead light are lower power consumption and greater visibility (due to its height above the water). The disadvantages would seem to be length of wire (cost), running wire through the mast, and changing bulb(s). Using an LED fixture, you could user smaller guage wire (helping to reduce cost a little) and bulb changes would be infrequent.

However, my biggest concern is this--is the visibility of a masthead tricolor reduced when the boat is healed over? It seems like if you were on a port tack, with a good bit of heal, the light from the red sector would shine up and the light from the green sector would shine down (reducing somewhat the visibility).

Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:01   #2
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It seems to me that most people with a masthead tricolor also have conventional nav lights, and opt to use the former when offshore but the later when in inland waterways, around harbors, et cetera.

(It should be noted that it's not appropriate to run both sets of nav lights at the same time, lest your port lights be interpreted as red over red, which means vessel not under command.)
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:31   #3
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Increased visibility is a matter of perspective. Recreational powerboaters rarely look up. Even though you're a cruiser, you'll still frequent ports that have them.

Either have both sets, or just the lower set but I wouldn't only have a top tri-color light.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:45   #4
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If you're under power you can't use the tricolor anyway. You need both or at the least the deck level lights.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:59   #5
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Wait a minute I can/have steamed with a tricolor and a lower fwd white steaming light. I think your right I should be using the lower rail lights when Im steaming. I dont think healing effects the light that much. From the deck I can see them illuminated and thats a pretty steep angle. usually we use the rail lights on the bay when we get outside the tricolor goes on
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Old 02-08-2010, 13:23   #6
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yeah, hows it go? red over white (looking at your port bow) fishing at night?
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