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Old 28-02-2012, 14:54   #121
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

We always use both when required by colregs. We do not have insurance.
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Old 28-02-2012, 16:20   #122
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
The light reflecting off the sail actually makes it more visible. I am the only person I have ever seen flying a day anchor signal and have only ever seen one sailing vessel fly an inverted cone.
I think the entire topic is a waste of time since all sailors (except 2) seem to ignore these rules
Most of the masthead lights I've seen are only about 10 watts - visible from at-best 2 miles away. If you place a sail in front of that lamp, the visible distance will be drastically reduced.

The COLREGS state:
RULE 21
Definitions
(a) “Masthead light” means a white light placed over the fore and aft
centerline 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.
If a collision occurs, you can bet the attorney for the opposing side will argue that your sail obscured the light, violating the definition that it be an "unbroken light". Of course, the whole objective is to never meet that attorney, so if you feel lighting up your sail with your masthead light somehow reduces your risk of collision, then that's up to you. I won't argue against your prerogative (though a lawyer certainly will). As for me, I always have a high intensity light ready in the cockpit, which I shine on my sails whenever it appears a motorboat doesn't quite recognize that I'm under sail. "See here: I have a sail up." (That's cheating if you're insisting on standing on with the status of a sailboat while motorsailing, by the way.)

So far as the "why bother if other sailors don't know what it means" argument goes: while it would be a bad thing to collide with another sailboat, it would be a proportionally much worse experience for my 5 ton sailboat to collide with a 5,000 ton motor boat -- where I will leave only an insignificant smudge on their hull. Those of us who spent hours studying the Rules Of The Road for our Master's license (for which a score of 90% or better is required to pass) do (or should) know what all the lights and shapes mean. And those are the people who are skippering the boats that I really want to avoid meeting on the water... and later in court (if I survive).

I skipper only a 26 foot sloop. But I have compressor-driven air horns, radar reflectors, AIS class B, and a red-over-green all-around light on the top of my mast. And still, in the San Francisco Bay, it doesn't feel like enough collision avoidance. The smaller you are, the more assertive you need to be about being seen and heard...
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Old 28-02-2012, 23:14   #123
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

Marine litigation over incidents almost always has degrees of risk on both sides. I guess demonstrating an adherence to all legal aspects tends to bolster your side of an argument so a cheap added defence to use ball/cone. Sailing in Hong Kong with all the activity of a busy international port I would certainly use them. In isolated waters maybe not. Degrees of risk.
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Old 29-02-2012, 07:06   #124
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

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My masthead light is mounted at my mast head. I have never been able to fathom why sailors locate the light so it is instead a half-way-up-the-mast mast head light...
Perhaps, to allow for a second masthead (steaming) light, abaft of and higher than the forward one (Rule 23)?
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Old 29-02-2012, 11:22   #125
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

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If your boat is over twelve meters then you better have an Anchor ball or when motoring with a sail up that inverted cone should be hoisted also...
Just minor details in the rules... Though a few examples show a twenty something boat.
But it is your boat and have you ever talked yourself out of a speeding ticket on the highway??
Better have 3 anchor balls in case you run aground

Great advice as always, Gord May - Steaming light ...
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Old 29-02-2012, 13:41   #126
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

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With that arrangement, the foresail partially obscures the light when motor sailing, and the distance of its visibility is reduced at the lower height. Could this be a case of another dumb and dangerous tradition, or is it just that sailors don't know to use it when motor sailing ("being propelled by machinery")?
Usually I am motorsailing in light air, otherwise I would be sailing. I furl the headsail to prevent it from luffing. I do keep the main up and sheeted in. The masthead light is not an issue.
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Old 29-02-2012, 14:00   #127
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

That would solve the problem!
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:18   #128
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

In Holland and Germany you get a penalty when not showing the proper signs. Maybe also in other west european countries, so that's why you will see european yachts with those signes.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:25   #129
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Perhaps, to allow for a second masthead (steaming) light, abaft of and higher than the forward one (Rule 23)?
RULE 23
Power-driven Vessels Underway
(a) A power-driven vessel underway shall exhibit:
(...)
(ii) a second masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one;
except that a vessel of less than 50 meters in length shall not be
obliged to exhibit such light but may do so;
If that is the case, I've never seen a second masthead light. But if my 8 meter boat ever grows to 50 meters or more, I'll have to revert to a half-way-up-the-mast masthead light (and install a second mast for the aft light)!
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Old 02-05-2017, 18:42   #130
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

Getting ready to sail in a few months from now, looking into these issues. Not many pleasure vessels in Hong Kong carry a set of maritime signal flags, as well as cone/balls.

So how about 2 all round red lights - how many vessels have provisions for showing not under command or aground, during nighttime? Even if you are not sailing at night, you could run aground before sunset - and still be aground when it's dark.

I can't see how I can display such lights on my own vessel, as it is now. And for the various other pleasure vessels I have seen, I haven't noticed such provisions either.

For these rare events (you hopefully never will experience) - do you have a set of manual red lights you hoist? If so, they would most likely not be all-round unless you get them up to the mast head.

Just wondering ...

As for aground, I would show my anchor lights as the closest option.
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Old 02-05-2017, 19:08   #131
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

I have two all-around red lights vertically separated by two meters (read the annexes in the COLREGs regarding the vertical separation of lights). For my vessel, only a one meter separation is required, but two meters can be discerned as separate lights at two miles (that formula is also in the annexes).

I have hanked on jibs. So I am set up to hoist the lights up the forestay with the jib halyard. Running the lights near the mast would cause the mast to shadow too many sectors for my taste (the annexes allow for 6 degrees of blockage).

I also have a black ball under each light (radar reflectors painted black) -- so I don't have to wake up at sunrise to switch between day and night signals. If I'm aground, I plan on sleeping in.
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Old 02-05-2017, 19:25   #132
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Re: Anchor Balls and Inverted Cones ?

I don't think I've ever seen sailboats displaying day shapes around here. I've thought about making a set in the shop some slow winter afternoon, but my boat may be exempt anyway. I seem to recall some long-ago unhappy encounter with a water cop who snarled as he walked away, "...and where's your day shape?"
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