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Old 26-05-2019, 07:25   #1
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Good app for studying light configs

I've had several skippers (ironically, all sailors thus far) come up to me after tying up at night and ask: "what's the meaning of the red over green lights at the top of your mast?" Usually, the tone is accusatory, to the effect that I'm an idiot to have made up my own lighting configuration to confuse them and others.

I don't know how to politely answer such an accusatory question, and so I usually say, "take a look at rule 25(c) in your copy of the navigation rules on board your vessel." The next question was usually: "a copy of what?" (Per 33 CFR 83.01(g), if you operate a vessel 12 meters or more in length on US waters, you are supposed to have a copy of the COLREGs on board).

I've wanted to have a polite way of suggesting they obtain and read the rules, but I've now found an app that has a good course that I'll recommend instead: "Navigation Lights" by Maarten Pennings.

I'll leave it to the Coast Guard to tell them to get a copy of the COLREGs to keep on board.
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Old 26-05-2019, 07:42   #2
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Re: Good app for studying light configs

Flashcard testing COLREG quiz games at cocktail hour!
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Old 26-05-2019, 08:24   #3
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Re: Good app for studying light configs

All around red over green makes a fine sailing machine and if someone asks just say you like to live the Christmas spirit, then while retaining that Christmas spirit take the time to explain them the alternative light configurations so that they become the wiser.

But we also see sailors of boats less than 20 meters [a.k.a. metres] displaying a trilight configuration on the top of their mast, while simultaneously running red and green side lights at deck level which is so no, no, no. And / or displaying a white stern light at the top of the mast as part of the tricolor configuration AND simultaneously displaying a white stern light at deck level.
The inherent issue being that it becomes difficult to range the vessel, and / or to determine as to whether the lights indicate that there is / are, one or two craft due to the distinct heights of the twin sets of running lights being displayed.

It is either / or, never both mast top tri-lights and deck level running lights.

Red over green also makes for a fine oared or paddled machine. Not all vessels are two sheets to the wind.

Ya got three choices of night lights arrangements for under 20 meters unpowered vessels. At times it seems that three is too many, because just one is hard enough for many to remember and comprehend.

Then toss into the mix the significant percentage of red green colorblind navigators and the realization that all they see is shades of green and muddy green, good luck with that. If you ever found it confusing trying to discern red and left and green and right, try just seeing green and green, seeing that can make you want to scream. Kind of like me yelling to my pop, "Dad, the light is RED!" when approaching an intersection at night and your not sure he recognizes that he needs to stop [give way] and not "stand on" when driving. E.g., particularly as to a flashing yellow light, indicating Continue with CAUTION, or a flashing red light indicating STOP.

Makes one wonder if seeing many shades of green is better than seeing fifty shades of grey or gray. So glad we don't use grey over gray as navigation lights.

By the way, the USCG has recently issued a safety warning that sailors are purchasing navigation lights that are appropriate for powered vessels as to their comparatively limited / narrowed range of their horizontal angle of light emissions and using them on sailing vessels. Sailing vessels have a tendency to heel over and require navigation lights that have much wider range of horizontal angle of light emissions so as to be able to be seen at all angles of tilt. The problem being amplified by the fact the products are marketed without making the distinction of their horizontal emission angle and certification thereof.
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Old 26-05-2019, 10:59   #4
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Re: Good app for studying light configs

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By the way, the USCG has recently issued a safety warning that sailors are purchasing navigation lights that are appropriate for powered vessels as to their comparatively limited / narrowed range of their horizontal angle of light emissions and using them on sailing vessels. Sailing vessels have a tendency to heel over and require navigation lights that have much wider range of horizontal angle of light emissions so as to be able to be seen at all angles of tilt. The problem being amplified by the fact the products are marketed without making the distinction of their horizontal emission angle and certification thereof.
Ya got that all right!

A few months ago, I wrote the USCG about the motor versus sailing vessel navigation light issue and how manufacturers were hawking to sailors LED nav lights with the narrow vertical sectors that are only usable by motor boats -- without any caution, and sometimes outright deceit by omission. Heel past 7.5 degrees (the required limit for motor boat lights), and motor-vessel-only side nav lights vanish to other vessels. Not good. The problem is especially bad with LED lights because the manufacturers concentrate the light as narrowly as possible to up the brightness inside the required sectors. Past 7.5 degrees, there is often a sharp cut-off of light.

The USCG sent a nice confirmation and request for more info back. If you find a safety issue, let 'em know. The USCG listens!


You can view the safety alert here: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO%20Documents/5p/CG-5PC/INV/Alerts/0219.pdf
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Old 26-05-2019, 14:19   #5
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Re: Good app for studying light configs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
I've wanted to have a polite way of suggesting they obtain and read the rules, but I've now found an app that has a good course that I'll recommend instead: "Navigation Lights" by Maarten Pennings.

Would that be "Vessel Lights"?



https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ellights&hl=en
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Old 26-05-2019, 15:08   #6
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Re: Good app for studying light configs

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Ya got that all right!

A few months ago, I wrote the USCG about the motor versus sailing vessel navigation light issue and how manufacturers were hawking to sailors LED nav lights with the narrow vertical sectors that are only usable by motor boats -- without any caution, and sometimes outright deceit by omission. Heel past 7.5 degrees (the required limit for motor boat lights), and motor-vessel-only side nav lights vanish to other vessels. Not good. The problem is especially bad with LED lights because the manufacturers concentrate the light as narrowly as possible to up the brightness inside the required sectors. Past 7.5 degrees, there is often a sharp cut-off of light.

The USCG sent a nice confirmation and request for more info back. If you find a safety issue, let 'em know. The USCG listens!


You can view the safety alert here: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO%20Documents/5p/CG-5PC/INV/Alerts/0219.pdf
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Old 26-05-2019, 17:28   #7
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Re: Good app for studying light configs

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My apologies. It is "Vessel Lights."


You have the correct link above.


Sometimes I can trust my memory, other times... not.
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Old 26-05-2019, 17:50   #8
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Re: Good app for studying light configs

When it comes to sailing vessels, skippers should note although a tri-colour navigation light is permitted under the COLREGs (under 20m in length) using deck level port, starboard and stern lights can help larger vessels identify you against background lights and establish the distance between you more easily.

Although the absence of a steaming light indicates a sailing vessel, the COLREGs permit yachts to show an all-round red and all-round green light at or near the top of the mast in conjunction with deck level port, starboard and stern lights. This instantly identifies you as yacht and removes any ambiguity a tri-colour can cause.
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