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View Poll Results: Do You Hoist a Black Ball at Anchor?
Yes - all the time 81 33.33%
Yes - once in a while 39 16.05%
No - no one does it so why bother 104 42.80%
Never heard of this 19 7.82%
Voters: 243. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27-03-2019, 09:55   #1
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Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

When reading the USCG Regulations, it states that during the daytime a vessel under 50 meters shall hoist a ball shape forward where it can best be seen. Black balls should be 0.6 meters in diameter.

Does anyone do this?
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Old 27-03-2019, 09:58   #2
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

No. But I’ve had one boat hit me one night with 2 anchor lights and the very next night there was a near miss. And our boat is bright yellow. Yesterday I added reflective stripes on mast, arch, and dingy motor.
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Old 27-03-2019, 09:59   #3
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

I have one aboard but this being SoCal I havenít actually anchored anywhere here. If I do I will hoist the ball.
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Old 27-03-2019, 10:03   #4
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

Nope
Paragraphs (e) and (f) excuse small vessels from the display of anchor lights and shapes under certain circumstances, and from the display of aground lights and shapes.

INLAND

(g) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length, when at anchor in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary, shall not be required to exhibit the anchor lights and shapes required by this Rule.
Inland Rule 30 alone contains a paragraph (g). This provision allows small vessels to anchor without displaying lights if they are in a "special anchorage area." These special areas are listed in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 110, and can also be found in the Coast Pilot.
I do use the anchor light even in an anchorage.
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Old 27-03-2019, 10:19   #5
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

Ah, the poll wasn’t up when I answered before. I answered NO.

I’ve been anchored for 4+ months somewhere in the Caribbean. I do see the black balls and understand their meaning. I would guess maybe 10% of boats have them. Then again I’m amazed at the number of boats who don’t show anchor lights. And some folks have all manner of lights, including yellow flashing. A few nights ago I had to anchor in an unusual spot due to engine problems. I left my running lights on in addition to my anchor lights.
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Old 27-03-2019, 10:53   #6
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

Yes, we always hoist a black anchor ball while anchored. Maybe this is part of the reason why we've never been boarded and inspected by authorities in the US or abroad.... 'just a thought.
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Old 27-03-2019, 11:32   #7
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
Nope
Paragraphs (e) and (f) excuse small vessels from the display of anchor lights and shapes under certain circumstances, and from the display of aground lights and shapes.

INLAND

(g) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length, when at anchor in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary, shall not be required to exhibit the anchor lights and shapes required by this Rule.
Inland Rule 30 alone contains a paragraph (g). This provision allows small vessels to anchor without displaying lights if they are in a "special anchorage area." These special areas are listed in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 110, and can also be found in the Coast Pilot.
I do use the anchor light even in an anchorage.
The anchor symbol on chart does NOT denote a special anchorage, it indicates an area commonly used as an anchorage.

If I recall correctly there are about 85 special anchorages designated by the secretary in the WHOLE USA.

Outside the US Iím not sure there is anything similar.

That said in most anchorages folks donít show anchor lights at night let alone a ball shape during the day.
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Old 27-03-2019, 11:47   #8
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

No, I donít use day markers; neither anchored nor underway. Legally I know I should, but I am pretty sure Iíve NEVER seen any boat with such a marker, although it could be Iím just not looking for them.

(I always use proper anchor and running lights at night. Even in designated anchorages or on moorings.)

My view is one of function and common sense. The purpose is to avoid collision. It makes perfect sense at night to use lights. The point is to be seen, and to communicate information. During the day my vessel is visible. Adding a black or triangle shape is not going to save my vessel from a collision. If you canít seem my boat, and navigate appropriately, then a day shape wonít change that.

But as per the previous anchoring thread, I suppose it might help with the legal liability side.
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Old 27-03-2019, 12:01   #9
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

Probably quite a cultural thing, guessing more Euro cruisers do exhibit a ball than not, why not follow the irpcs? Mine is rigged with an led anchor light in an old oil lamp which was useless, goes up as soon as the hook is dug in a moment before cracking open a cold beer Takes just a few seconds.

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Old 27-03-2019, 12:10   #10
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

I didnít vote because none of the options felt right to me. No, I donít used a ball day shape for anchoring in Southern California or Northern Mexico. I didnít use day shapes on the US East coast either. I do understand what the regs are but they are not used in common practice in these areas.
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Old 27-03-2019, 13:25   #11
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

We have used an anchor ball religiously for some years now. This was stimulated by a friend being anchored in the Brisbane river and being hit by two drunken young men in a go-fast inflatable (the kind that do 50 knots or so) which resulted in their deaths. For some while she was being charged with negligent manslaughter. It was only when neighboring yachts reported that she routinely displayed two anchor lights (this incident was in the wee hours) as she claimed that these charges were dropped.

This was a real eye opener! I don't know what would have happened if that evidence had not been available, but it would not have been pretty... it was very stressful for her even when exonerated. We'd always used anchor lights, but now it seemed prudent to add the day shape. It isn't a big deal to do so... just one more step in the anchoring drill, one that gives you the high ground legally and perhaps morally.

And then a few years later we were T-boned while at anchor in Port Cygnet, Tasmania. The ball didn't protect us from the drunks that hit us, but it avoided any possible legal repercussions from its absence. That incident was settled out of court and without interest of the authorities (local cops and marine authorities were not at all interested in the mandatory report that I made). Before the case was resolved I was very glad that the ball had been flying. It flies above us as I type!

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Old 27-03-2019, 14:00   #12
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

I have 3 masters tickets to protect and an insurance company to rely on. It's worth it to me to follow the rules.
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Old 27-03-2019, 14:18   #13
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

Thank you for all the replies.

Jim Cate and Boatpoker......... What size do you use? The ones at West Marine are only 11-7/8" in diameter instead of the 23 inches required?
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Old 27-03-2019, 14:18   #14
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

I can see how they may have some use on a yacht where it can easily be hoisted and seen from all angles but how are we, for example, supposed to do it?
No mast and if running rope from roof to bow, only visible from the front.
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Old 27-03-2019, 14:25   #15
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Re: Do you use a Daytime Black ball at Anchor?

Simi,

How about mounting it on a pole? like the ships do? Perhaps you could modify the boat hook to accept one? Use shock cord to attach, with a turks head whipping to keep it from sliding down? Still wouldn't be visible from astern.

Ours is not 24" in diameter, it is smaller.

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