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Old 05-11-2010, 08:16   #16
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Mark,

You can get a good LED anchor light with a photo switch for $40 now. Not a bad price.
LED Anchor Light-Waterproof & Rugged for Marine RV and Offgrid Use
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:29   #17
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I was in the wake of a cruise ship leaving Key West last week and they had a plainly visible (and quite strong) yellow strobe on the weather deck. Either there was a submarine between me and the cruise ship, or they had a construction themed disco party going on the fantail!

I'm one of the garden pathway light fans and have one strapped to each stantion when anchored. those cheap little lights, really outline my boat well.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:36   #18
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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Doug, thanks for that. I had this nasty feeling that something would rule out this usage, and I think your rule quotation pretty well knocks the idea in the head... at least for a white light. But how about one of some color that is not used on nav aids? Say purple, for instance... could that be reasonably "mistaken for a light specified in the rules" ?
Or a set of LED's spelling out "Eat at Joe's"? Or whatever...

Whaddya think?

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Part c of the same section says this:
(c) A vessel at anchor may, and a vessel of 100 meters and more in length shall, also use the available working or equivalent lights to illuminate her decks.


I know some people have been using garden solar charged LED lights hung around their boat to illuminate their decks. Until everyone does it, it's distinctive, but at this point now that your deck is lit up it should be easier to identify.

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:38   #19
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But the good news is I have been able to string together lots of the corroded Chrissy leds to make a fair string
It may not be legal but at least Santa can find you!

Over the years I've had lots of different anchor lights including kerosene lanterns, lawn lights and even occasionally one of those useless 12v, 2 mile, Coast Guard approved thingys way up at the top of the mast where any self respecting, slightly inebriated panga/longtail/high-powered dingy operator can safely call it a star. I was going to try the fishing float light next but now that I know they make 12v christmas lights I'm on it.

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:49   #20
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As far as the COLREGS are concerned, Doug nailed it. You are not allowed to show a light which might be confused with another navigation light. Only navigation aids have flashing lights...other than a flashing amber light or a white strobe, which are intended for emergencies.

As far as the COLREGS go, not all nations have adopted or enforce the COLREGS. So really, it depends on where you are as to whether or not having a flashing anchor light is legal or might get you into trouble or might get you sued if something happens.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:03   #21
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Where you are really does matter. For instance don't try to get away with non-standard anchor light in Florida - especially in Dade Country (Miami) and Volusia County - see: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ida-49546.html

In those places the local marine police and/or Sheriffs deputies are known to nail you hard for anything "they think" is a violation of some law/reg or another.
- - But the quote by Cal40John is a good one to remember when using a second light for recognition of your boat or as additional lighting to ward off drunken dinghies or boaters.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:40   #22
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In the INLAND waters of the US a flashing white light is a distress signal, and as such would be confused with other navigation lights if used as an anchor light.

We were in Cat harbor on Catalina island last year and there was multihull with electric tiki torches on around the cockpit, it looked really good and made it easy to spot from the shore.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:34   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
It's right there in Rule #20 (b) "The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights as cannot be mistake for the lights specified in the Rules or do not impair their visibility of distinctive character, on interfere with the keeping of a proper lookout."

Ok, the "cannot be mistaken" phrase is the key. A cruise ship can show all manner of lights, as long as none of them look like a navigation light or navaid. The blinking light you propose could easily be mistaken for a white light on a buoy, and therefore you should not display it.

Should a mariner mistake your cockpit light for something else and suffer damages, you could be held liable in court...

my two cents.
So a white solar garden lamp, or white deck lights, or white porthole light, provided none look like a navigation lamp - are all 100% legal. And if a mariner underway and not maintaining a good enough lookout mistook one of your deck lamps for a navigation lamp and you suffered damage, he (I respectfully suggest more than you) could be liable in court.........

But let's get back to the real world - where white deck lights of all styles flashing or not are used all over. The more light available the less chance you have of being bumped. In that same real world no one gets questioned let alone fined for added deck lamps.....

Better seamanship to hit the sack less worried about getting bumped than dwelling on some non-existent 'nav light policeman'.

JOHN
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:17   #24
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A somewhat related topic . . . we put several small strips of SOLAS retroreflective tape at various points along our topside and on the transom. Almost invisible by day, but when you're heading back out to your boat at night in a crowded anchorage, one sweep of the flashlight will light the whole thing up, even at a surprising distance. Also good to assert your location when some other boat enters an anchorage in the dark and sweeps their light around looking for open space. And, lastly, I figure it would come in handy in any SAR operation, god forbid.
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Old 07-11-2010, 00:00   #25
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Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
A somewhat related topic . . . we put several small strips of SOLAS retroreflective tape at various points along our topside and on the transom. Almost invisible by day, but when you're heading back out to your boat at night in a crowded anchorage, one sweep of the flashlight will light the whole thing up, even at a surprising distance. Also good to assert your location when some other boat enters an anchorage in the dark and sweeps their light around looking for open space. And, lastly, I figure it would come in handy in any SAR operation, god forbid.
A good idea, this! Incidentally, we've been using LED head-mounted lamps in the dinghy for some while now, and notice that the SOLAS retro-reflective tape really responds to that illumination... seems to give a better return than incandescent illumination.

And thanks to all who have responded to my query.

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Old 07-11-2010, 06:19   #26
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In the INLAND waters of the US a flashing white light is a distress signal, and as such would be confused with other navigation lights if used as an anchor light.
Uh... what? So, every buoy that flashes a white light is in distress? Like this one in Annapolis Harbor:


There are many navaids that flash a white light, and they aren't confused with distress signals because your information is incorrect. Any navaid that is listed as "FL Xs" is white. Colored navaids are listed with the color, as in "FL R 4s".
See the Inland Rules, Annex IV, or INLAND Rule #37, both which mention the use of "A high intensity white light flashing light at regular intervals from 50-70 times per minute," as a distress signal. What they are describing is a strobe light, which is why you should not display a strobe light on your masthead, as it could be confused with a distress signal. "High intensity" means more than just a flashlight.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:06   #27
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White strobe lights on anchored yachts are very annoying and ill-advised for reasons stated by others. But, speaking of proper lighting, I detest the red anchor lights required on larger vessels due to aviation rules. When in Antigua a few years ago we were unable to locate the range lights that run up the hillside to indicate the correct entry angle for English Harbour. Those range lights are red solid. The red anchor lights on the mega sailing yachts obliterated the range lights. Yet these red anchor lights are required by law.

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Old 09-11-2010, 21:08   #28
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A flashing white light might be construed to be a false distress signal, if some watercop wanted to make quota...he'd have you dead to rights.

If you want to save power by "blinking" an LED the answer is not to flash it on and off, but to make it blink so rapidly that it LOOKS solid to the naked eye, but is being powered less than half the time. A cheap (50c) 555-timer chip can do that, with the "on" and "off" periods both being adjustable. You could turn it on/off 60 equal times per second, or or 60x but "off" twice as long as each "on" period..Apparently some of the makers of LED marine lights have been experimenting with this and it is one reason some of them create RFI problems, from the power going on/off all the time.
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Old 09-11-2010, 21:41   #29
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I have seen flashing blue light used as anchor lights before, they can not be mistaken for a nav light, but may look like a cop light which would be handy.

I have also seen these on top of boats in asia when underway Incredibly visible at a long range
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Old 09-11-2010, 21:42   #30
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So, my question for all you legal beagles out there: if you are displaying the required all-around white light, is the addition of a blinking light legal?
At this stage he is looking one hell of a lot like a North Cardinal mark that has a boat parked next door.

This could easily create confusion and navigational mistakes by other skippers.

So yeah, if someone died as a result. Of course he would get into the poo.

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