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Old 19-10-2015, 03:27   #76
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

I'll look into replacing the forward deck light with an LED. The suggestions for using those cheap solar lawn lights won't work, we've tried. The first windy night blows them to pieces. Will probably also do some sort of LED lighting on the stern satellite/antenna tree for next season.
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Old 19-10-2015, 03:48   #77
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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I'll look into replacing the forward deck light with an LED. The suggestions for using those cheap solar lawn lights won't work, we've tried. The first windy night blows them to pieces. Will probably also do some sort of LED lighting on the stern satellite/antenna tree for next season.
I'm pretty sure you have the same deck light fixture I do. You can buy an LED unit for it which is incredibly bright; it seems like 10x the light output of the incandescent original. I'll try to dig up the spec for you if you like.

If you don't have anyone sleeping in your forecabin, this could be an excellent solution for you. It will light up your whole boat; no way anyone could miss you. Unfortunately no good for me as I almost always have someone sleeping up there, unless I'm single handing. Yes, I have a roller shade for the hatch, but it's a huge hatch and the deck light shines directly on it, so it doesn't do much good.
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Old 19-10-2015, 04:17   #78
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

If you can send the deck light specs, that will be helpful.

Ken
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Old 19-10-2015, 04:41   #79
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

A couple solutions I have used, which may or may not be acceptable in your boating area are:

A red spreader light pointed down at the deck to illuminate it. It shouldn't mess up your night vision too much, although I suppose somebody could mistake it for a side light or something.

Or, a string or two of LED Christmas lights can really improve your visibility at anchor too.

Although, its possible lighting wasn't even your issue, he might have been on auto and not even looking out the window.

Its too bad for the damage, but I think you're lucky for that big teak rail, that might have saved your hull.

I'm a paranoid anchorer (that might not be a word), when I anchor I always tuck in deep to a muddy or rocky bay where people would have to try to hit me, but my length and draft help me to make that an option.

I see your bump happened on Saturday, I had a bump on Sunday- ran aground. I don't think I took any damage though, I was able to power off in reverse.

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Old 19-10-2015, 04:49   #80
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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If you can send the deck light specs, that will be helpful.

Ken
You probably have a fixture with a PAR 36 sealed beam unit.

Here's the LED unit which I bought:

PAR 36 Sealed-Beam LED Replacement Lamp
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Old 19-10-2015, 04:52   #81
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Luckily, no bumps this year. The closest we came resulted from a 180 degree wind change when we had over 180ft of scope out on a windy night. I knew from the Chartplotter we were close to the rocks, but the visual in the morning revealed us less than forty feet away. Close call, waking up 360 ft away from where we went to sleep. Anchor alarm was set...... Not much time to react if necessary.
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Old 19-10-2015, 04:55   #82
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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You probably have a fixture with a PAR 36 sealed beam unit.

Here's the LED unit which I bought:

PAR 36 Sealed-Beam LED Replacement Lamp
Thanks,

Added to the growing list for next season.
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Old 19-10-2015, 05:02   #83
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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A couple solutions I have used, which may or may not be acceptable in your boating area are:

A red spreader light pointed down at the deck to illuminate it. It shouldn't mess up your night vision too much, although I suppose somebody could mistake it for a side light or something.

Or, a string or two of LED Christmas lights can really improve your visibility at anchor too.

Although, its possible lighting wasn't even your issue, he might have been on auto and not even looking out the window.

Its too bad for the damage, but I think you're lucky for that big teak rail, that might have saved your hull.

I'm a paranoid anchorer (that might not be a word), when I anchor I always tuck in deep to a muddy or rocky bay where people would have to try to hit me, but my length and draft help me to make that an option.

I see your bump happened on Saturday, I had a bump on Sunday- ran aground. I don't think I took any damage though, I was able to power off in reverse.

Sent from my XP7700 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

Actually, I wasn't hit by the guy who didn't see me. The guy who didn't see me got his gear tangled in my anchor line. The guy who hit me came by to offer help -- visibility was not a factor in that part of the accident.

The guy who didn't see me was single handed and was listening to music so loud that it woke me up even before he hit my anchor line. He was working on deck so I'm pretty sure that he was just not looking. He was maybe looking up every few minutes.

This is really bad practice, especially on a dark moonless night like this one. These guys shouldn't be single handing, but at the very least, they should have radar with guard zones set up and AIS alarms on. Equipment necessary for this is now so cheap that there is really no excuse.


With draft of 2.5 meters, "tucking in" is often not an option for me, unfortunately. I was in a shallow bay (Stokes Bay) off a beach -- pretty typical Solent anchorage. This particular place is often crowded with boats, but on this night I was alone.


I'll gladly trade you my crash for your bottom-bump

I actually had a bottom-bump myself a couple of weeks ago, coming into my own mooring during the blue moon freak low tide, which actually left me slightly aground in my own berth.
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Old 19-10-2015, 05:19   #84
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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I'll gladly trade you my crash for your bottom-bump

I actually had a bottom-bump myself a couple of weeks ago, coming into my own mooring during the blue moon freak low tide, which actually left me slightly aground in my own berth.
Definitely, I agree completely with every point in the above post, especially the part about me kissing a little concrete (I ran up onto the flooded edge of a discontinued canal) vs being hit by a heavy steel boat square on like that.

Good luck with your repairs, hopefully its just the bulwark, rail and stanchion, it kind of looks that way in your pic, but I'm no expert in fibre glass repairs.

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Old 19-10-2015, 05:24   #85
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

DH,

Maybe you need to trade in your boat for one of these...
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Old 19-10-2015, 05:26   #86
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

Certainly a learning experience Dockhead. I'll be moutning an LED lightstrip from my targa bar now as a result of reading this.

I'm also not a fiberglass speicialist - but looking at your photos - I expect that a portion of your deck will have to be ripped up and depending on how your deck/hull is joined - you may have some serious issues there also.

Infernal luck - I hope it isn't as serious as it looks.

carsten
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Old 19-10-2015, 05:43   #87
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Is that from Repo Man? One of my favorite movies
Yep. One of my favorites as well.

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Old 19-10-2015, 06:22   #88
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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Certainly a learning experience Dockhead. I'll be moutning an LED lightstrip from my targa bar now as a result of reading this.

I'm also not a fiberglass speicialist - but looking at your photos - I expect that a portion of your deck will have to be ripped up and depending on how your deck/hull is joined - you may have some serious issues there also.

Infernal luck - I hope it isn't as serious as it looks.

carsten
The guy from Lallow's has looked it. He reckons that a plank or two of the decking will have to come up in order to get access to the fiberglass. He doesn't think there is any structural problem at all -- how lucky that it's possible to easily inspect the inside of the hull. He thinks not more than 5k pounds and it will be good as new. He also said that many boats would have been sunk by such an impact.

Sounds ok to me. Could have been vastly worse.

Of course -- no guarantees until the rail is off and they can see what's underneath.
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Old 19-10-2015, 07:35   #89
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

In Maine, most boats spend almost every night either on their mooring or at anchor (very few marina docks or slips). Our mooring this last season was on the outer fringe of the harbor where 5 or 6 years ago there were no boats moored, so late arriving visitors aren't always expecting to have anyone out there. While on our mooring I got in the habit of leaving our cockpit dome light located under the bimini on all night, and to save electricity switched it over to a LED bulb. Electricity consumption is so low, I can leave it on when we leave the boat for extended periods. Of course at anchor, I use our masthead light in addition to our cockpit dome light so I'm both legal and can be seen from up close.

I think that an advantage to our LED dome light is that while there are angles from which it cannot be seen directly, there are lots of objects nearby (winches, wheel, bimini supports, inside of opposite side of bimini, front window) for it to illuminate and reflect off of, which helps with depth perception, so there's no way it can be mistaken for a single faraway point of light in the way that a light hung from the forestay can. Another light we switched over to LED is the down/aft facing floodlight mounted on the wind gen pole that illuminates our transom area. The original reason for adding this light was to be able to leave it on while ashore for dinner to make it easy to get back aboard, but in addition to making our transom more visible, it also serves as a deterrent to potential thieves who might develop an unhealthy interest in our RIB when its painter is tied to the transom overnight. We don't use that one too often at anchor though because it's so bright that I'm afraid our anchored neighbors might find it obnoxious but on occasion it has provided added visibility and peace of mind while we slept.
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Old 19-10-2015, 07:36   #90
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Re: Don't Rely on Mast-Top Anchor Lights -- Bitter Experience

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"Adventures" always seem to occur in clusters. God knows why.

It all started in Portsmouth, where a friend met me. We had planned to spend the night there, and then go sailing. But the weather was so lovely, it seemed like a shame to stay in port. So we slipped and left and sailed off.

When I went to drop the anchor, the windlass didn't work. It's a relay I have been fiddling with and must have hooked up wrong. But I didn't want us to miss our sundowners fiddling with it, so I decided to just throw out the Fortress kedge. Calm weather, a benign shore -- why not? And at the same time test its ability to reset in a tide change. As usual, the Fortress set instantly and easily held a full power reverse pull. I put up an anchor ball and switched on the anchor light.

So we had our sundowners watching an excellent sunset, had dinner, watched a movie (Argo), and went to bed about 22:00. I set anchor alarms as usual and set the IPlod with INavX next to my bed.

About 02:00, the tide changed and the anchor alarm went off. I couldn't tell whether the anchor was holding -- we had gone around in a loop -- never seen that before. Odd combination of tide and wind? I jumped out of my bunk and got dressed. But it seemed to be ok so I tried to go back to sleep -- but in my clothes. As I was drifting off, I heard an engine, and loud music very close and getting closer. I checked for an AIS target -- nothing. I thought about firing up the radar. Then I heard shouting. So I ran up on deck -- fishing boat. His gear is tangled in my anchor line. Great. "I couldn't see your anchor light way up there!" He said.

This is particularly nice since I don't have a working windlass at the moment. So I untied the bitter end of the anchor rode from its padeye in the anchor locker and led it back to one of my big electric sheet winches. Pulled it up with difficulty -- the fishing boat is now also hanging from it, and the tide is running about 2 knots. But the big sheet winch manages it, and there are the fisherman's lines.

I'm trying to figure out what to do with them, when the fisherman says -- just cut your anchor line. It's tangled in my gear, and I'll bring it back to you. Bullocks! That will be the last I ever see of that anchor, and besides that, we will be unanchored in a 2 knot tide and can't start the engine because of all the ropes in the water. So instead I use the trick I learned when I got tangled in that electrical cable in Finland last summer -- got a line around the fisherman's lines, and lifted them. Then, I put a rolling hitch on my own anchor line, outboard of the fisherman's lines. Made it off. Freed the bitter end of my anchor line, and led it through and free of the fisherman's lines. Then released his lines. Et voila!

But it was not to be so simple. A second big ugly steel fishing boat has come to see what the trouble is. He is hovering nearby. He gets distracted (or something), doesn't realize he's in gear, and T-bones me with his razor-sharp, steel bow, with a huge crash. F***!

I run below to check for water ingress -- nothing. Thank you Moody for your Kevlar skin!

The fisherman has no insurance. I feel for him, because he was only trying to help. He proposes to wait a week, and report the incident as if it happened a week from now. He'll take out insurance in the meantime. He lets me know that he can't pay for it himself.

Between participating in insurance fraud and paying for it myself, I will take the honest way and pay for it myself, so I decline this option. But an inspection reveals -- to my great surprise -- that the hull does not seem to be damaged at all. His raked bow apparently met not with the hull, but with my teak rail, and smashed it. But a piece of teak rail is not going to be tens of thousands. I looked at the hull from the inside -- not a mark. He hit me right at one of my massive through-bolted and fully tabbed bulkheads, which seems to have absorbed the impact.

I called my insurance company and reported the accident -- just in case a crack in the hull -- God forbid -- or something like that is found later. Made a detailed log entry. Will meet the fisherman tomorrow to look over the damage.


Lessons learned:

1. Never, ever again, will I rely on a mast-top anchor light. I usually leave on some lights which I have which illuminate the salon hull ports -- why, oh why, did I not do that this time?? I am back in my bunk, and I have my steaming light lit up besides the hull port lights. I would have left my deck light on, but it shines right in the forecabin where my friend is sleeping.

Now have to think of something better than the steaming light for next time.


2. Always wear a knife and know your bloody knots. All that rope in the water, rushing tide, two fishing boats -- I was lucky it didn't turn out worse. I was lucky my knots didn't fail me, and that I did have my knife on my person. This could have been much, much worse.


3. Have good insurance. Shirt happens, not always your fault, and what if the guy destroys your boat and can't pay for it?


4. Just because a mariner is a professional, doesn't mean he has good seamanship.
I can't remember the exact words, but, according to the Colregs, larger vessels, when at anchor must show anchor lights and also deck and/or working lights. Smaller vessels are not required to show these additional lights, but may do so by choice.
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