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Old 24-05-2015, 13:54   #16
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

Thank you all for your messages - appreciated!
OldFrog75, that image certainly explained it all!
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Old 24-05-2015, 14:13   #17
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

Every body on here is correct. It is likely the two sets of lights were installed at different times in its history. For example I have an old set of no longer functioning brass side lights on my pulpit and newer led delights on my granny bars.

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Old 24-05-2015, 18:26   #18
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

One reason for mounting both a mastead tri-colour and deck level red/green nav lights is the masking effect of sails.

We have 'sidelights combined in one lantern carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel." on the seagull striker. We also have a furling light wind sail on a prodder forward of the crossbeam which obscures the light on the side it is deployed.

When that sail is deployed at night, a masthead tri-colour would be preferable.
When motoring/motor sailing at night, we need the lower lights plus a masthead white.
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Old 24-05-2015, 18:34   #19
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

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One reason for mounting both a mastead tri-colour and deck level red/green nav lights is the masking effect of sails.

We have 'sidelights combined in one lantern carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel." on the seagull striker. We also have a furling light wind sail on a prodder forward of the crossbeam which obscures the light on the side it is deployed.

When that sail is deployed at night, a masthead tri-colour would be preferable.
When motoring/motor sailing at night, we need the lower lights plus a masthead white.
Good point, Stu.

I'd simplify the last sentence to finish with: "...plus a steaming light."

This confusion about masthead and steaming light gets "them" all the time.
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Old 25-05-2015, 08:46   #20
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

Granted, The COLREGS are the standard, and it says you can have both the side lights and the Tri-Color Mast head lights on your boat, but you can only use them under certain condition. However, I myself would use both at all times, as a sailboat, because I want to be seen specially, at night and in fog. There is an old rule that says it is better to be seen than dead. I will pay the ticket if someone wants to write me up...at least I will be alive, and I have been boarded by the USCG many times and no one has ever complained or written me up. Your Choice.
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Old 25-05-2015, 09:04   #21
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

OC, navigation lights at night can be confusing at the best of times. I would find it doubley confusing trying to figure out your vessel with 2 sets of nav lights on at the same time
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Old 25-05-2015, 09:07   #22
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

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Granted, The COLREGS are the standard, and it says you can have both the side lights and the Tri-Color Mast head lights on your boat, but you can only use them under certain condition. However, I myself would use both at all times, as a sailboat, because I want to be seen specially, at night and in fog. There is an old rule that says it is better to be seen than dead. I will pay the ticket if someone wants to write me up...at least I will be alive, and I have been boarded by the USCG many times and no one has ever complained or written me up. Your Choice.
I'm not really sure this is a good idea, and not because of the ticket, but because some poor guy is going to be confused trying to decipher if he's looking at one or two boats. There are other less confusing ways to increase visibility at night. Spreader lights for example.

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Old 25-05-2015, 09:25   #23
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

Just a post to clarify one point.

The vessel length of 15m isn't really significant to anything in that the COLREGS make no mention of that length. The lighting regulations that everyone is talking about here apply to sailboats in the 7-20m LOA size bracket. That probably covers 99% of the vessels owned by people reading CF. The 1% can please themselves - as it should be.

A sailboat of 21m can't use a tricolor but can use a red over green combo. Next time you are near a supermaxi take a look at the front of its mast about 2/3 up where you will probably see those lights.
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Old 25-05-2015, 09:44   #24
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

These are the options for up to 20m while sailing
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Old 25-05-2015, 10:04   #25
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

I am not to sure about any confusion factor, being involved here. Look at any sailboats at night, when they are testing their Nav Lights, at night.


On most most boats that I have seen you are within a matter of yards before you see the lower Nav lights, while the Tri color Masthead lights can be seen from a mile or more. Then when you consider the stopping distance or response time for a large ship, the more of a warning you can give them that you are there the better.
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Old 25-05-2015, 10:09   #26
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

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On most most boats that I have seen you are within a matter of yards before you see the lower Nav lights, while the Tri color Masthead lights can be seen from a mile or more. Then when you consider the stopping distance or response time for a large ship, the more of a warning you can give them that you are there the better.

In that case, why not just exhibit the tricolour light, if the lower side lights can only be seen at a distant of yards.
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Old 25-05-2015, 10:42   #27
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

Back again to confusion factors. It all depends on how ones boat is wired and the COLREGS it was built under, and how these rules were interpreted. You have to remember the COLREGS are written in conjunction with many countries and the translations are not always perfect. So my interpretation is not perfect, but is based on what I feel is the best protection of my boat and passengers, and is derived from my personal experience involving rescues and accidents at sea. Many know more than I do but I have never been run into or had to call on help from the Coast Guard...
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Old 25-05-2015, 13:11   #28
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

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Originally Posted by Olde Chief View Post
On most most boats that I have seen you are within a matter of yards before you see the lower Nav lights, while the Tri color Masthead lights can be seen from a mile or more. Then when you consider the stopping distance or response time for a large ship, the more of a warning you can give them that you are there the better.
A big ship will have a lookout well above the waterline. They can see much farther than if they were standing at sea level. So I doubt any big ship could get within yards of a sailing yacht before they can see the nav lights at the bow.

Also, this seems like a good place to plug AIS transponders. These will help you be seen by many large vessels (and some small ones too) even in low visibility. This technology is very important in areas like the PNW, ICW, Mississippi River or any crowded waterway.
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Old 25-05-2015, 13:30   #29
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olde Chief View Post
I am not to sure about any confusion factor, being involved here. Look at any sailboats at night, when they are testing their Nav Lights, at night.


On most most boats that I have seen you are within a matter of yards before you see the lower Nav lights, while the Tri color Masthead lights can be seen from a mile or more. Then when you consider the stopping distance or response time for a large ship, the more of a warning you can give them that you are there the better.
I think that if you are causing a big ship to stop while you are sailing, there might be something else askew.
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Old 25-05-2015, 13:38   #30
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Re: COLREGS and navigations lights



Rule 25(c)Sailboats - Optional Mast Top Lights:
Not required by law, but to make your sailboat more visible, you can use the optional Red over Green mast top lights in addition to the required:
  • Red and Green side lights;
  • White Stern light.
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