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Old 01-08-2009, 19:10   #1
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Steaming Light Position

Boracay (44' sloop) came with a mast mounted steaming light which has failed.

The mast mount requires climbing the mast to service it which (at my advanced years, weight and condition) is a pita.

I've been considering mounting lower on the mast where I might be able to service it. The NSW Boating Handbook states that it must be mounted at least 2.5m above the gunwhale and over the centreline.

Does any member have any knowledge of doing it this way, the advantages and disadvantages?
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Old 01-08-2009, 19:47   #2
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I like it up higher because I have always combined mine with a foredeck light. The foredeck light is great for anchoring at night, and by having it much higher you don't suffer as much night blindness from the white steaming light glaring back at you.

I'm older and overweight and I don't go aloft anymore either, but I can always get someone to go aloft for me, and if you are fearful that it will go bad during an offshore passage install two.

Good luck

Joe S
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Old 01-08-2009, 21:12   #3
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Howdy Borcay,
The answers are in the COLREGS.

Inland: 84.03(c) The masthead light of a power-driven vessel of 12 meters but less than 20 meters in length shall be placed at a height above the gunwale of not less than 2.5 meters.

International: The masthead light of a power-driven vessel of 12 meters but less than 20 meters in length shall be placed at a height above the gunwale of not less than 2.5 meters.

Inland: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/regul...84/33CFR84.htm

International: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/NavRu...nnex_1Intl.htm



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Old 02-08-2009, 20:58   #4
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Ours is on the forward side of the main mast about 20' up ( below the spreaders). Works fine ( i.e. I've had no issues with the Coasties)
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Old 02-08-2009, 22:11   #5
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understand the logic behind the regulation

here's a scenario: you're coming into an unfamiliar harbor around 0100h, and you send a crew member forward to the headstay to look for the breakwater that your cruising guide says to look for. The crew member that goes forward is 6'3" tall, You've installed your steaming light six feet high because it's easier to maintain (because of your age and weight problem, as you've explained.) A fishing skiff is steaming out of harbor, and he's forgotten turn his lights on. He is actually looking directly at you as he comes around the breakwater, but can't see you because your crew guy is blocking the steaming light.

You T-bone the fishing boat, and it sinks. During the trial, the owner claims his lights were on, and that your lights were not legal. His lawyer shows the jury a photograph of the steaming light you installed lower than the COLREGS stipulate.

Need I say more?
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Old 02-08-2009, 22:30   #6
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Legalities and practicalities together...

It would be good to have the steaming light higher than the heads of any jibs or screechers you might be motor sailing under. Both for visibility and not getting the halyards foul of it.

If LED's are strong enough; well insulated and powerful enough they should last 5 or 10 years. If they are not yet legal somewhere, they can be 'extras for any emergencies' that could develop.
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Old 02-08-2009, 22:38   #7
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Bash, what the hell kind of scenario is that.

In the first place, what are you doing going into an unfamiliar, poorly lit harbor at 0100( OK, continue the fantasy that there's a raging storm outside that you're evading... right).

Secondly, what's your lawyer doing while this guy is feeding the jury this BS?

Thirdly, who wanted to place the steaming light at the water line? 2.5 m is about 8'

Spend a little more thought on your scenario's - OK
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Old 03-08-2009, 19:15   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy View Post
Bash, what the hell kind of scenario is that.

In the first place, what are you doing going into an unfamiliar, poorly lit harbor at 0100( OK, continue the fantasy that there's a raging storm outside that you're evading... right).

Secondly, what's your lawyer doing while this guy is feeding the jury this BS?

Thirdly, who wanted to place the steaming light at the water line? 2.5 m is about 8'

Spend a little more thought on your scenario's - OK
I'll answer you questions/objections in the order they were asked.

1. Some of us frequently enter harbors at night. I do so far more than once per month. Please remember that we're not all daysailors on this forum.

2. My insurance company's lawyer would frantically be trying to settle out of court at this point, because we wouldn't have a defense if our lights were wrong. Think about it. That's the point of what you've written off as "BS."

3. The person who wanted to place a steaming light lower than 2.5 meters was the original poster. Did you bother to read his post?
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Old 03-08-2009, 19:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
here's a scenario: you're coming into an unfamiliar harbor around 0100h, and you send a crew member forward to the headstay to look for the breakwater that your cruising guide says to look for. The crew member that goes forward is 6'3" tall, You've installed your steaming light six feet high because it's easier to maintain (because of your age and weight problem, as you've explained.) A fishing skiff is steaming out of harbor, and he's forgotten turn his lights on. He is actually looking directly at you as he comes around the breakwater, but can't see you because your crew guy is blocking the steaming light.

You T-bone the fishing boat, and it sinks. During the trial, the owner claims his lights were on, and that your lights were not legal. His lawyer shows the jury a photograph of the steaming light you installed lower than the COLREGS stipulate.

Need I say more?
Hypothetically, how did he miss not seeing one of the sidelights?
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Old 03-08-2009, 19:29   #10
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I see your confusion, David.

My sidelights, hypothetically, are 1.5 meters high. The breakwater, at this stage of tide, is two meters high.
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Old 03-08-2009, 20:05   #11
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I'm still confused. How can someone block with his body both the steaming light and the side light?
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Old 03-08-2009, 21:04   #12
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Bash,
I did intend my post to be read in a humorous light (or semi-humorous). Going onto familiar harbors at night is no big deal. Entering unfamiliar poorly lit harbors or for that matter, making landfall at night in foreign lands isn't a normal practice for most of the seagoing population. But as your scenario ran, T-boning another boat in the middle of the night is one of the reasons for not entering unfamiliar harbors at that hour.

The way I read it, Boracay didn't any longer want to service his steaming light at the masthead. 2.5m can be serviced off of a stool.

Your point is made I think of the need to elevate the light above whatever may be on deck so that it would be visible.
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Old 03-08-2009, 21:26   #13
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you'd have to be fairly large, I suppose

Quote:
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I'm still confused. How can someone block with his body both the steaming light and the side light?
the point is really quite simple: there are reasons the steaming light is supposed to be higher than 2.5 meters.
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Old 03-08-2009, 22:46   #14
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Why the fisticuffs ?

Quote:
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I'll answer you questions/objections in the order they were asked.....

3. The person who wanted to place a steaming light lower than 2.5 meters was the original poster. Did you bother to read his post?
I'm really not sure the "Original poster wanted to place a steaming light lower than 2.5 metres" and if the speech is so pugnacious we don't get a chance to check. Of course, if it is all light hearted, we do get a chance... No smilies, no tone of voice to make sense of it.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:59   #15
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Back to the question: I would think it unwise to have the low steaming light by itself due to shadowing while up forward. It would seem that depending on the light type it would not provide much light up forward and would just light up the lower part of the mast. The only advantage I see is that it is servicable. I think that it you install at 2.5M hieght you should install with a separate circuit so you still have the orginal also.
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