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Old 27-10-2010, 11:35   #1
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Nav Lights on the Dink

Technically they're required. I see them sold everywhere, but...

Not once have I ever seen anyone using them.

When running at night, I always see people using just a flashlight...maybe 2. And I've yet to see anyone pulled over.

So, does anyone here actually use a red/green on the dink?
If not, have you ever run into trouble for not having them?

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Old 27-10-2010, 11:41   #2
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There are places on the Chesapeake where you'll get a ticket from the marine police for not having proper lights and PFDs on/in your dinghy, and for exceeding the speed limit. Onancock, VA, comes to mind.

Here in the eastern Caribbean most just carry a flashlight to get the attention of approaching boats. No one enforces any "official" requirements that I've noticed.

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Old 27-10-2010, 11:49   #3
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Dink nav lights

Various policing agencies have pulled dinghies over on Great South Bay and ticketed for not having necessary equipment, including lights and anchor.

It seems the problem especially exists in Islip town on the Connetquot River. The river is a very popular anchorage with many places to "travel" to by dink, especially restaurants. The dinghies are easy "pickins" I guess.

I picked up a set of portable nav lights and mushroom anchor when Boater's World was going out of business. I keep them in a bag and throw them on board when using the dinghy in that area.

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Old 27-10-2010, 11:50   #4
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Its not enforced but when you get stopped it could be a couple of hundred dollors (as in pain) in MD. If you have an outboard attached to your dinghy you must comply w/CG n MD regs. I was in Solomon Is during the grand opening of the Tiki Bar w/lots of DNR around. Got on my dingy to go to dinner and dit not see the DNR boat. They found the following - no reg numbers (I had them in but not aboard), no nav lights (just a flaslight), no registration card onboard (yes you have to carry your (paper) registration card w/you while using the dingy) and not having lights nor sound devices on our life jackets. Since we were close to the mothership we were lucky they let us find the stuff that was missing. I found all the stuff aboard but could not find the registration card.... ouch a $85 fine. I did have something saying that it was my dinghy.
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:57   #5
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We have and use AA battery powered removable LED navlights for our 9' Caribe dinghy, which live in a dry bag in the glassed in bow locker of the dinghy. This system makes them easy to use, and as such, they do get used. Apart from the obvious safety hazards of not being seen at night (especially in the summer in a crowded anchorage) it keeps the law enforcement off our backs. We have a 15hp on our dinghy, which requires licensing as it's over 10hp, and we've yet to get around to it. If we have the nav lights on, one less reason for them to stop us. Obviously, we don't go about at high speeds at night. They're also used when a fog bank comes in, which is also fairly common when we're out exploring or setting traps. Summertime in the PNW means CG, local police and RCMP are out and enforcing boating laws. I have no interest in adding additional unnecessary cost to boating
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Old 27-10-2010, 12:35   #6
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The size and power of the dinghy will determine what lights need to be displayed. Rule 23 states that a power vessel under 7 meters (23 ft) and 7 knots is only required to display a white 360 degree light. This is known as the 7 & 7 rule. Vessels under 12 meters (39.4 ft) require combo running lights and one white 360 degree light. This would include dinghys faster than 7 knots. Rule 25 states that a sailing vessel (under sail only) or row boat less than 7 meters (23 ft) can simply shine a torch (flashlight).
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Old 27-10-2010, 12:36   #7
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So, basically it enforced more strictly the further North you go.
Good thing I'm about to cross into GA today.

And according to Capt Roy in compliance anyway.
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Old 27-10-2010, 14:57   #8
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We have an LED bi-color mounted on the bow and a white LED stern light mounted on the backside of the outboard ...

Always figure it's better to be safe than sorry, not only that, but $100 for the parts beats the hell out of a ticket...
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Old 27-10-2010, 15:21   #9
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I've tried a couple brands of dinghy lights, even the more expensive LED lights (Innovative Lighting brand) and they've all corroded and stopped working in short order. If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them.
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Old 27-10-2010, 16:45   #10
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I also had the corrosion issue with a couple of lights. I bought the following light and it has worked great for the first season. Don't know about long term use of this one, but it is all plastic, so it shouldn't rust, and it seems better made than the other ones I had. I drilled a hole on the back ledge of my dingy, inserted a bolt with the a ring at the top end, and then tied it down with the rope provided. The clip on the rope that comes with it rusted, but I just tied it down. It is a little shaky on the back because the ledge is small, but it has not been a problem at all.

Kayalite® portable stern light, anchor light and deck light for kayak, boat, rowing shell, inflatable, dinghy and canoe.
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Old 27-10-2010, 17:08   #11
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Old 27-10-2010, 17:43   #12
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I am in Las Palmas and marina dinks all have them. I have seen them used elsewhere too.

We only have a rowing tender so we use a torch. Torch is good because you can shine it towards a boat that approaches you too close. Better than a static light that does not catch attention.

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Old 27-10-2010, 19:49   #13
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Florida marine police can be real obnoxious about showing the proper lights on both the dinghy and the boat, especially the anchor light.
- - It has been reported that the Dutch in Simpson Lagoon have also be known to hand out heavy fines for not having dinghy lights - day or night.
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Old 28-10-2010, 08:12   #14
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The problem is some locals don't know what the proper anything is.
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Old 28-10-2010, 08:26   #15
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Running my dingy at night without lights almost cost me my life. I was heading back to my boat on a dark night in the Bahamas and as I turned for my boat a 30 foot Bahamian boat flew by me doing at least 30 knots. He was running through a crowded anchorage at full speed with no lights on either. I didn't see him and he didn't see me. The only thing that saved me was the fact that I turned toward my boat. If I had turned 10 seconds later, it would have been a head on crash.

Moral of the story is to always use lights.

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