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Old 16-04-2016, 18:23   #1
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Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

If I wanted to string some white decorative lights (Christmas lights) from up the forestay to the main, down the triatic, and down the backstay, and I was around other boats, either at a marina or in a crowded anchorage, would that be considered uncouth or inconsiderate? Trying to imagine all the possibilities and I could use someone else's perspective.

Also, are there reasons to refrain from that while underway, especially at night (nav misinterpretation, degrading my or other vessels' night vision, etc)?

I have a feeling this is a newb question, and as a relatively newbish newb, I'll be the first to volunteer that.
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Old 16-04-2016, 18:33   #2
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

If you were in a marina or anchorage with neighbors trying to sleep I think it would be polite to turn the lights off at a reasonable time so the neighbors don't have to put up black out curtains. Since some sailors go to sleep early you might want to shut down not too long after sunset.

If you use them at sea then you would have no night vision. Other boats would probably be OK. The good news, they could see you coming a mile away, correction, several miles away.
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Old 16-04-2016, 18:44   #3
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

synclavier,

We have often seen them at Christmas time in marinas, and sometimes in yacht club Christmas parades (where the "best dressed" boat gets a prize), never at sea. They wouldn't hold up, for one, and are not ColReg compliant, for another. I, personally, haven't ever seen them on in anchorages, and think it would be more discrete to do as suggested above, and turn 'em off after 10 p.m.

Once you get away from high population density areas, it gets dark at night, some places really dark, no visible light around you, so that if you light up such an anchorage, that might well be extremely unwelcome, where if you're in the middle of Sydney Hbr., maybe few people would even care or notice.

You'd probably want to avoid Christmas lighting in non-Christian countries.

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Old 16-04-2016, 18:48   #4
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

Why would you want to do that?
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Old 16-04-2016, 19:03   #5
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

Just for something cheery and relaxing to look at. If I was docked next to someone who had some lights strung up, I'd probably walk over and strike up a conversation about it. I would think they're nice to have up if you're having company over and having drinks in the cockpit or on deck. General merrymaking.

It's not about wanting to show off or be obnoxious. As a soon-to-be liveaboard, I'm trying to discover little ways to make the boat my favorite place, and for my friends when they want to pop over.
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Old 16-04-2016, 19:06   #6
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

fsmmike....he's got 6 posts, said it was prolly a newbie question, is obviously excited about dressing up his boat and having some fun. Why would you ask him that? Live and let live....
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Old 16-04-2016, 19:25   #7
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

No worries. I think Mr. Mike was just trying to understand what I was getting at. I welcome feedback.

It's the same thing as when you go to a nice Italian restaurant and they have white lights strung around the topiary trees or along the brick top of a walled walkway. They usually have the house lights down which in turn lets the strung lights provide a nice, "glowy" ambiance'.
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Old 16-04-2016, 19:42   #8
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

Around the cockpit when at anchor - fine.
Around the rigging and/or on the move - not a good idea for reasons stated by previous posters.
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Old 16-04-2016, 19:49   #9
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

Roger that.
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Old 16-04-2016, 20:03   #10
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

Not a problem Joel, I like to decorate my cockpit a bit myself on occasion.
I usually don't do anything with the rest of the boat except on special occasions, 4th of July, Bahamas Independence Day, etc.
Enjoy your boat.
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Old 17-04-2016, 08:01   #11
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Why would you want to do that?
what he said.
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Old 17-04-2016, 08:16   #12
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Around the cockpit when at anchor - fine.
Around the rigging and/or on the move - not a good idea for reasons stated by previous posters.
This, pretty much

I'm a liveaboard in a marina, and in December the marina hands out light strings for people to decorate their boats with (we're in the center of Rotterdam and they like the marina to look festive).

Looks pretty nice, but it can be annoying when your neighbors' lights are on all night and shine through your curtains ... Ask me how I know

When not in a marina, lights in rigging etc. are a no go, as explained in previous posts. In a marina, it kinda depends.

I do have some (solar) lights for my cockpit. Not bright at all, almost like candlelight. Very pretty methinks and no shining through other people's curtains. Helpful when climbing aboard in the dark and enough light for nice summer evenings in the cockpit without keeping anyone awake.
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Old 17-04-2016, 08:54   #13
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

I agree with Lizzy Belle. I have LED rope lights under the bimini and dodger. they make a soft comfortable light in the cockpit and make it easy to move around when boarding at night. It is not offensive to others anchored nearby and have even had people come by and as where I got them. It also makes the boat easier to find in really dark crowed anchorages ;-) some times leave the after segment on when under way as it gives me plenty of light to move around and does not hamper my night vision, even when coming into dark entry channels. The lights on land cause the most hinderance.

as for stringing them in the standing rigging? it'd make sailing a no go.
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Old 17-04-2016, 09:25   #14
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

I have two runs of solar string lights that I have (while at the dock) mounted inside the toe rail. I think they were $7 at Harbor Freight. It looks great but subtle and when walking down the deserted dock in the on a dark night in the middle of winter made me smile. Now the days are getting longer they are barely noticeable until right up on deck. We'll take them down when we go, but last winter they were great for moral.
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Old 17-04-2016, 09:36   #15
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Re: Stringing lights, bad etiquette?

I use to keep a neon martinis glass in my cockpit. Look nice to me and easy to remove when I went sailing.
Very hard on my gin supply.


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