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Old 17-09-2018, 15:00   #1
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Running lights - does size matter?

Need to replace my running lights so going with LED. They are on a 53 foot sailboat, on port and starboard about 7 feet above water. I see many options out there, all at least 2nm distance and some 3nm. But Im hoping to use the existing mounting holes (2 inch apart horizontal). The only unit Ive found is a Hella NaviLED which are smaller in size than my current units - 2.8 wide and 2.09 high. They are 2nm distance. Current units are about 4 x 4.

I could instead go with the Hella NaviLED PRO units which are 3nm and 3.43 wide x 3.54 high but will require drilling new holes.

Worth noting is I also have a masthead tricolor for when offshore.

So ... at least in the case of running lights (!) ... does size matter? And is 3nm and important difference in reality? Should I just buck up and drill away?

Thanks all!
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Old 17-09-2018, 15:09   #2
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Size is irrelevant. Visibility is the only requirement. According to the USCG requirements:

Visibility Range:
>16 Ft = 1nm Sidelights, 2nm All Others
>39.4 Ft = 3nm Masthead, 2nm All Others
>65.7 FT = 5nm Masthead, 2nm All Others

If it were me, I would seal the old holes with epoxy, then gelcoat over the epoxy. You could squeeze some 5200 if you wanted to , but i'd prefer to permanently fix the old holes. I'd then buy lights of a larger size which cover the old hole pattern and drill new holes. This way the old holes are not visible.
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Old 17-09-2018, 15:13   #3
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
If it were me, I would seal the old holes with epoxy, then gelcoat over the epoxy. You could squeeze some 5200 if you wanted to , but i'd prefer to permanently fix the old holes. I'd then buy lights of a larger size which cover the old hole pattern and drill new holes. This way the old holes are not visible.


Mine are on welded stainless plates on the railing, not on glass. Still can drill new holes and either leave old ones or maybe tap them and insert a short (cut off) bolt? Or maybe there are other creative ideas for old stainless holes? I do have access to both sides of the plates.
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Old 17-09-2018, 15:23   #4
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Then, no. Size doesn't matter. Only visibility.
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Old 17-09-2018, 16:06   #5
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

FWIW when I cruise a busy harbor at night the boat has every bloody light on I have. Too many idiots. If I could get billion power running lights I would.
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Old 17-09-2018, 17:12   #6
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

I agree that the rules (2nm) are whats legal, but whats actually visible at distance is my concern. For example, this unit....


Name:   IMG_4148.jpg
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Just doesnt seem nearly as visible as...


Name:   IMG_4149.jpg
Views: 1485
Size:  13.8 KB

Yet both meet the 2nm requirement! Of those two, I know Id feel better with the larger one (but am I actually more visible???)

And this is the one that fits my holes ...


Name:   IMG_4150.jpg
Views: 1486
Size:  7.7 KB

And its like half the surface area of the larger one above.
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Old 17-09-2018, 17:32   #7
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Size is irrelevant. Visibility is the only requirement. According to the USCG requirements:

Visibility Range:
>16 Ft = 1nm Sidelights, 2nm All Others
>39.4 Ft = 3nm Masthead, 2nm All Others
>65.7 FT = 5nm Masthead, 2nm All Others
.
Stupid rule
I have almost ran down a few small boats because a) they were small and b) the lights are not bright.

ALL boats should have bright lights, more so small boats because they are small and less visible than larger boats.
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Old 17-09-2018, 18:46   #8
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

I installed the NaviLED PRO units on my boat this spring. They are big improvements over my previous Aqua Signal incandescent units. They also draw only 0.26A each.
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Old 17-09-2018, 19:26   #9
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unity View Post
Need to replace my running lights so going with LED.

Hello,


FYI, We ran across this warning from the coast guard when debating switch to LEDs.



https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/D...-16-091109-630
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Old 18-09-2018, 10:03   #10
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

I went with the Hella NaviLED Pro, don't recall if I had to drill a couple of holes but surely must have (stainless bracket on pulpit). Not a big deal.
Very happy with the result (45' Sun Odyssey) - they "fit" the look of the boat, included pigtails were long enough to reach through the pulpit and anchor well into the sail locker, so all connections are well protected. Also did the VHF test with zero noise / interference.
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Old 18-09-2018, 10:24   #11
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unity View Post
Need to replace my running lights so going with LED. They are on a 53 foot sailboat, on port and starboard about 7 feet above water. I see many options out there, all at least 2nm distance and some 3nm. But Im hoping to use the existing mounting holes (2 inch apart horizontal). The only unit Ive found is a Hella NaviLED which are smaller in size than my current units - 2.8 wide and 2.09 high. They are 2nm distance. Current units are about 4 x 4.

I could instead go with the Hella NaviLED PRO units which are 3nm and 3.43 wide x 3.54 high but will require drilling new holes.

Worth noting is I also have a masthead tricolor for when offshore.

So ... at least in the case of running lights (!) ... does size matter? And is 3nm and important difference in reality? Should I just buck up and drill away?

Thanks all!
If you want the larger lights, can you just cut a starboard base the size of your original lights, and drill it for the larger lights. Mount the base, mount the new lights to the base. They don't weigh much.
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Old 18-09-2018, 10:28   #12
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Same here. They are very bright. Just drill the holes and be done.

Many will see, few will notice.
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Old 18-09-2018, 10:29   #13
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redline452 View Post
I went with the Hella NaviLED Pro, don't recall if I had to drill a couple of holes but surely must have (stainless bracket on pulpit). Not a big deal.
Very happy with the result (45' Sun Odyssey) - they "fit" the look of the boat, included pigtails were long enough to reach through the pulpit and anchor well into the sail locker, so all connections are well protected. Also did the VHF test with zero noise / interference.

Same here. They are very bright. Just drill the holes and be done.

Many will see, few will notice.[/QUOTE]
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Old 18-09-2018, 11:28   #14
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unity View Post
I could instead go with the Hella NaviLED PRO units which are 3nm and 3.43” wide x 3.54 high but will require drilling new holes.
I think the 3nm Hella NaviLED PRO only has approval for power vessels, although this is far from clear. They also make a 2nm Hella NaviLED PRO unit (which looks identical), which is approved for sailing yachts and power vessels.

I can only guess the 2nm unit is slightly less bright, but is visable at greater angles of heel.

Hella do not document the differences between these units very well so the above is only a guess. Does anyone have any better information?
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Old 18-09-2018, 11:39   #15
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Re: Running lights - does size matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Then, no. Size doesn't matter. Only visibility.
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