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Old 18-10-2015, 04:58   #16
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
I've had a couple of scares with tricolors at sea, viewing them from a ships bridge. You can see them, but the depth perception is all wrong. Often from a ship they look like a distant weak light on the horizon. That's deep sea, inshore with background lights the things are potentially lethal IMHO.
Interesting
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Old 18-10-2015, 05:25   #17
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Thanks for opening this topic as it surely got me thinking about the best lighting options for my boat. But it must have been a very unpleasant experience! Just out of curiousity, did you have a working AIS-transponder when this happened?

Does anyone use the option of Rule 25(c) and show a red over green light in the mast and the 'normal' nav lights at deck level?
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Old 18-10-2015, 05:39   #18
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

+1 for a lower anchor light!!!!.

I made one recently based on the frankenbibi design (DIY anchor light), attached under the anchor ball which gets hoisted about 2m off the deck on the cutter sail halyard. Very bright on 0.1A and as a bonus lights up the front of the boat quite well as well. Power runs through a dorade vent so takes moments to rig.

And feels so much more liable to actually get seen and acted on than 12m up in the air
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Old 18-10-2015, 06:47   #19
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

ok for 3 years now i have been shouting about the inadequacies of the masthead anchor light.
there are many problems including the FACT that folks CANNOT SEE THEM. they are USELESS.
light up your cockpit.
place glow in dark markings on tipsides do silly things to be seen.
the sillier it is the easier to see.
be real.
stop being y0ttie. yottie is the sourcee of all things masthead and nonsensical.
get back to reality and light up your boat lower to the water so you are actually SEEN.
remember the writings i wrote about entering zihuatenejo in darkness and seeing not one anchor light during my entrance??
they were lighted, yes, but the houses in the hills rendered them useless.
go buy the brightest string of led lighting you can find, many many colors and place in cockpit and appropriate sides of boat--red and green and blue and whatever you can find. light up your mess so others are able to seeyou.
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Old 18-10-2015, 06:57   #20
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

I Have never used my mast top anchor light. In the boats I've had I've always installed a 12v outlet in the anchor locker and hang my anchor light from my jib sheets. Of course it's an "Owl" light. The best ever made. I bought a few just to make sure I've always got one. Here's a couple with a little extension I put on them to hide the wiring.

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Old 18-10-2015, 07:09   #21
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
...go buy the brightest string of led lighting you can find, many many colors and place in cockpit and appropriate sides of boat--red and green and blue and whatever you can find. light up your mess so others are able to seeyou.
Agree, need light(s) down close to waterline. Fishermen running about at night in their pangas are not looking up to see mast top lights amongst the stars. This has always made sense and is becomes very important in anchorages near towns with all the background lights.

But please avoid displaying red and green lights. These are navigation lighting colors and can be very confusing to other boaters. I think also could be considered illegal to display on a boat at anchor.
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Old 18-10-2015, 07:21   #22
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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I've read this stuff before. IMO he was not looking, incompetent, and unfit to be in command.
From only about a boat length away, a human looking horizontally with a height of eye of say 2m can clearly see a decent anchor light on the masthead, WITHOUT looking up.
"thought it was a star" is an excuse for not looking where they are going.
No light will help preserve you from idiots.
An additional lower light MAY help, so by all means feel free to ad one, but i reckon he would have hit you anyway :-(
Matt
Stimulated by this unpleasant incident, I have been thinking about this.

I don't actually think that there is any excuse for missing a masthead anchor light. High up it is visible from far away. If you're keeping and even half decent watch, you will see it. It's visible for miles.

The lower down one is for people who didn't see it when they were supposed to -- who look up only at the last moment.

I will definitely have a lower down one now -- will have to think of the right solution. I guess the steaming light is a bad idea because it is not an "all around light". I'll try to think of something. I have super bright deck lights which I guess would be best of all, but people in the forecabin won't be able to sleep with it on.

The other reason why I don't think the first fisherman's tangle with my anchor rode (and thank God HE didn't hit me) was excusable, was because I was transmitting AIS and had a radar reflector.

It means that not only was he not using his eyes, he was not using any other means to keep a lookout, although it was a dark night and inherently dangerous.

On top of all of that -- I don't think I mentioned it -- but I was in a popular anchorage -- Stokes Bay -- which is often full of boats. The incident occurred right on the 4 meter contour line. How you can be running on a dark night in a place like that and not using any kind of means to keep a decent lookout is beyond my understanding.

When I am sailing on dark nights, especially near a coast, I sure as hell keep a sharp watch with radar and AIS, and I set radar alarms, too. Radar sets are so cheap now that in my opinion there is no excuse not to have one, if you are fishing at night.
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Old 18-10-2015, 07:28   #23
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Originally Posted by stadjer View Post
Thanks for opening this topic as it surely got me thinking about the best lighting options for my boat. But it must have been a very unpleasant experience! Just out of curiousity, did you have a working AIS-transponder when this happened?

Does anyone use the option of Rule 25(c) and show a red over green light in the mast and the 'normal' nav lights at deck level?
Yes, I was broadcasting AIS all night!


Red over green (sailing machine) is for use underway, not at anchor.

Not used on less than very large vessels because the red and green has to be separated by, IIRC, a meter, so can't be done with a single fixture.
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Old 18-10-2015, 07:28   #24
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

In anchorages, the masthead light often is mixed in with shoreside lights when at a distance. When close most boat operators are looking ahead and around but not up.
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Old 18-10-2015, 07:29   #25
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Here's my solution for a lower down anchor light:


A battery powered lantern attached to the anchor ball.

That way I don't have to rig any wiring.

Don't have to hoist up anything separately.

I religiously use my anchor ball, so it means I'll never forget.

Now to find a good battery powered, waterproof, all around lantern.

This one looks pretty good:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dorcy-41-310.../dp/B002RWKFMW

Costly, but looks like quality. Will run 200 hours on a set of "C" cells, so at least 15 nights.
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Old 18-10-2015, 07:38   #26
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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. . . When close most boat operators are looking ahead and around but not up.
By the time they are already "close", they should have long since detected your presence.

I realize that this is human nature, but at the same time, it is poor watchkeeping, and poor seamanship, to rely on detecting an anchored boat only at the last moment, when the masthead light is hard to see.

If it's too dark to see what's ahead other than by its lights, you need to be using electronic means, anyway.
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Old 18-10-2015, 07:42   #27
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Dockhead,

I'm glad to hear there were no injuries to you and only [hopefully] minor damage to the boat.

For all the same reasons you mention, I have always mount 2 of the these portable anchor lights at deck level (bow and stern) when at anchor. They have the added advantage of shining down so the deck is well lit in addition to the fresnel lens distributing light to the horizon.

I prefer the 15 LED brighter model, which still only draws 0.1amp...

I hope all turns out well.

Cheers!

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Old 18-10-2015, 07:44   #28
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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I just take a loop of line, & run it around the headstay/furled jib, & attach it to the light. Then use a spare halyard or topping lift, to get it 3-5m off of the deck.
A downhaul is optional.

PS: It might be wise, to have a surveyor with some advanced equipment, check the integrity of the hull & bulkhead materials in that area. Especially the tabbing, & the cores/core bonds, if the hull' not solid glass. As there can at times, be significant damage, which isn't readliy visible to the eye.
Thanks very much -- that's a hot tip.

I am definitely going to have it surveyed.

Thank God my boat has no hull liner so the inside of the hull is reasonably easy to get at (took me about 30 seconds last night).

I did look at the tabbing on the bulkhead, and to my eye it looks ok. Of course I will have a surveyor look at it, too. Thank God the boat is built like a tank, with through bolts to the bulkheads, besides full tabbing.


I believe that some boats would have had a hull breach and sunk after that impact -- 50 tons of steel fishing boat with a sharp bow. The teak rail is crushed -- not splintered, but crushed. I wonder what kind of immense pressure it takes to crush a massive piece of teak like that.

Pretty much any hull is strong enough, if you're not being crashed into by some other vessel. You might never need the strength, and might not want to pay for it, but on that odd occasion when you need, you REALLY need it.
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Old 18-10-2015, 08:03   #29
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Dockhead, my sympathies for the damage and travail from this incident. I worry about this also as my mast head anchor light is 65 ft up.

And I seem to be surrounded by boaters who don't know how to anchor, don't understand colregs, and think that since their vessel has a wheel and a horn it is no different than their SUV and they can drive just drive it...at freeway speeds.

I've started using cheep battery powered led lights that I hang on lifelines or bow and stern pulpit or boom as needed. The ones from Harbor Freight are under $3.

http://m.harborfreight.com/27-led-po...ght-62532.html

They are junk but thy give a good enough light throughout the night for the cost of 3 AAA batteries. And for $3 I don't worry about losing or braking them.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 18-10-2015, 08:17   #30
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

We found out a long time ago that in the fog and haze here in Maine that a lower anchor light works best for visibility to boats moving through an anchorage. Ours tends to illuminate the dodger and sail /sail cover canvas nicely and sits on the radar pole. We also have one at the masthead but rarely use it.

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