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Old 10-10-2016, 20:37   #46
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
You have to have both. Tricolour for sailing, lower lights +steaming light for motoring.


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I'd like to know where that is in the col regs!! otherwise that's incorrect.
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Old 10-10-2016, 20:48   #47
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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Originally Posted by SailingFan View Post
I am confused (of course).

Ok, I have a masthead white light.
I have a bicolor mounted about 3/4 up the forward face of the mast column on a small platform.
I have nav lights on the freeboard either side of the bow.
I have a white light on the stern face, about 3 feet above the waterline.
I have spreader lights (or will soon, currently there is one dangling by a wire).

What can I say, the boat was disheveled at best when I got her and put her up on the stands. The previous owners did not do much but destroy the wiring and eliminate much chance of me knowing what most of the wire in the engine compartment goes to. I have yet to get the starter panel correctly rebuilt, though the starter switch does work (and I have no buzzer or oil signal light, nor pressure or temp gauges, fuel gauges, etc, they are missing though wiring seems present if unlabeled) but that is another thread.

Now, the stern light, is it proper or is it supposed to be on a stanchion or pole of some sort that mounts on the top of the transom? There is a hole for a temporary one (that the PO filled with silicone after running a VHF cable out of it to mount that antenna - which I am moving to the mast during my rewire of the mast itself - on the cockpit railing!). Am I correct that the stern light on the back of the transom is NOT acceptable as a "stern light" for the purposes of our discussion here? Am I going to need to get a proper stern light on a pole, and how do I prevent that thing from blinding me at night?

Second, the masthead light. It is white, and currently is on a dedicated and isolated switch. If I read here correctly, that light is supposed to be on when anchored, but is it also supposed to be on when moving under sail alone (along with the bicolors on the mast)?

I am considering putting all the steaming lights on one switch and the sailing lights on another, with the masthead light, the low stern light, and the spreader lights on individual switches. This would leave the masthead light on its own switch still (so that I could signal the anchoring situation). Is this the right way to handle this?
Colregs calls the steaming light a "masthead" light. The anchor light is called an all round light.

The stern light can be mounted on the outside of the stern railing - it should not blind you, you should not see it even when looking aft.

How high are the bicolors on the mast? Strange place for lights on a sailboat as they will be obscured by the jib a lot of the time. The bicolor should be between the deck and the pulpit top rail. Except when offshore you should be using stern light and bicolor when sailing.

Also there has to be vertical separation between the bicolor and the masthead (steaming) light of a meter I believe.
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Old 10-10-2016, 20:54   #48
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
I'd like to know where that is in the col regs!! otherwise that's incorrect.
Not knowing where something is in the ColRegs does not make it incorrect. It might make you doubt the veracity of the person who told you though.
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Old 10-10-2016, 20:59   #49
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

Tricolor lights are totally optional.
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Old 10-10-2016, 21:10   #50
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Tricolor lights are totally optional.
NOT using them when under power is not optional.

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Old 10-10-2016, 21:12   #51
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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NOT using them when under power is not optional.

Jim
I was referring to having them, not using them.
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Old 10-10-2016, 21:36   #52
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I was referring to having them, not using them.
roger that... comment meant for others who might still believe that turning on all the lights on board is the best thing "for safety's sake".

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Old 10-10-2016, 21:49   #53
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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roger that... comment meant for others who might still believe that turning on all the lights on board is the best thing "for safety's sake".

Jim
I agree. More is not better - it just confuses others.
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Old 10-10-2016, 21:56   #54
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
I'd like to know where that is in the col regs!! otherwise that's incorrect.
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=navRulesContent

Definitions: Rule 21
a) Masthead: light White light with unbroken visibility for 225* centered dead ahead.
b) Sidelights: Red & green lights placed at the side of the vessel with unbroken visibility from dead ahead to 112.5* aft on each side
c) Sternlight: White light with unbroken visibility for 135* centered dead aft.
e) All around light: Light with unbroken visibility for 360*.

lights required for Sailing:
1] Rule 25.b: Tricolor at or near mast head.
2] Rule 25.a: Sidelights (or Bi-color rule 21.b for vessels under 12m) plus stern light
3] Rule 25.c: Sidelights, stern light plus red over green mast lights
4] Rule 25.d: Sailboats under 7m can have truly minimal lights [my interpretation is stupid lighting, as in you would be stupid to intentionally go with this lighting].

Lights required for Motoring

1] Rule 23.a.i, .iii, .iv: Masthead, sidelights, sternlight for vessels under 50m
2] Rule 23.d: side lights and all around white light for vessels under 12m

For sailboats the unobstructed view requirement limits the placement of side lights to locations above or below foresails.


http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRu...18_Annex_1.pdf

Height of lights

Annex 1 Section 2.c: Vessels 12-20m the masthead light shall be at least 2.5m above the gunnel.

A1.S2.d: Vessels <12m the masthead light may be below 2.m but shall be at least 1m above the side lights.

A1.s2.g: The sidelights of a power-driven vessel shall be placed at a height above the hull not greater than three quarters of that of the forward masthead light. They shall not be so low as to be interfered with by deck lights.

A1.s2.h: The sidelights, if in a combined lantern and carried on a power-driven vessel of less than 20 meters in length, shall be placed not less than 1 meter below the masthead light.

If you want to take a risk that some coasty, US or otherwise, won't ding you for the 3/4 height limit on sidelights then you could put a masthead (steaming) light on a post 1.01m above the tri-color at the masthead. That's kind of impractical.

Any arrangement that puts the while steaming/masthead light below a colored sidelight is a violation of the rules.

Putting the steaming/masthead light below the top of the jib puts you in violation if you motorsail with the jib up because it will be obscured by the jib for part of its required arc.
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Old 10-10-2016, 22:37   #55
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Colregs calls the steaming light a "masthead" light. The anchor light is called an all round light.

The stern light can be mounted on the outside of the stern railing - it should not blind you, you should not see it even when looking aft.

How high are the bicolors on the mast? Strange place for lights on a sailboat as they will be obscured by the jib a lot of the time. The bicolor should be between the deck and the pulpit top rail. Except when offshore you should be using stern light and bicolor when sailing.

Also there has to be vertical separation between the bicolor and the masthead (steaming) light of a meter I believe.
There seems to be one white light on the mast, all the way at the top.
The bicolors are about at the spreaders, a foot higher maybe than the spreaders themselves. I don't know if you can see the mount for them in my avatar photo?? I wondered about jib/genoa clearance as well, and am unsure what to do about that situation, unless it is to put a tricolor at the mast and remove the bicolors, but I have no idea why someone would go to the effort of installing them there if they are not legal to use. I am confused on this part as well.

There are two low mounted lights (red one side, green the other) that I am calling "steaming lights," within the freeboard, at the bow, perhaps a foot or less below the gunwhale and a few inches aft of the stem vee. They should be easily visible in my avatar.

If I read things correctly here I have to acquire/build a sternlight and mount it on some structure aft or on the stern rail such that it does not shine forward but only is visible over the 200+ degree field aft centered upon the centerline of the vessel and aiming directly aft over the vessel's wake? If this is the case, the stern light I was speaking of that is mounted in the stern itself does not count, and is only useful for illumination for personal use and perhaps night illumination at a dock, etc.??
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Old 10-10-2016, 23:05   #56
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

We run masthead and deck level running lights while sailing at night. If motoring the white steaming light is on.

A single light is much more difficult to spot than 2 in terms of detecting something moving. Motorbike versus car on a road for example.

At anchor we show the white all round anchor mast head light and something in the cockput. Again a single light is almost useless. Especially with city lights in the background.

In a crowded anchorage we can have a cockpit light broadcast our vessel name in morse code. Very handy for getting home.

The colregs are a minimum requirement in our view. Additional lights support safety rule number 1. Avoid a collision.

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Old 10-10-2016, 23:34   #57
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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Originally Posted by SailingFan View Post
. . . The bicolors are about at the spreaders, a foot higher maybe than the spreaders themselves. . . . I wondered about jib/genoa clearance as well, and am unsure what to do about that situation, unless it is to put a tricolor at the mast and remove the bicolors, but I have no idea why someone would go to the effort of installing them there if they are not legal to use. . . .
As you may have determined reading this thread there a plenty of conflicting opinions about what are the "right" arrangements for lights. The PO on your boat probably didn't look up the requirements to see what worked within the rules or maybe he/she thought the foresail a were acceptable obstructions.


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 10-10-2016, 23:41   #58
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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We run masthead and deck level running lights while sailing at night. If motoring the white steaming light is on.

A single light is much more difficult to spot than 2 in terms of detecting something moving. Motorbike versus car on a road for example.

The colregs are a minimum requirement in our view. Additional lights support safety rule number 1. Avoid a collision.
That is a confusing combination. Probably looks like 2 boats to some. Also not legal under Colregs.
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Old 11-10-2016, 00:09   #59
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post

We run masthead and deck level running lights while sailing at night.

The colregs are a minimum requirement in our view. Additional lights support safety rule number 1. Avoid a collision.

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Since your view doesn't match up with what is written in the rules, don't be surprised if you ever are in a collision that more fault can be given you than you expect.

If you want to run more lights do something similar to what Adelie has noticed, like tugs that run lots of amber deck lights.

Part of rule 20 part b:
and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character,
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Old 11-10-2016, 00:47   #60
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
If you want to take a risk that some coasty, US or otherwise, won't ding you for the 3/4 height limit on sidelights then you could put a masthead (steaming) light on a post 1.01m above the tri-color at the masthead. That's kind of impractical.
Also non compliant because the white sector of the masthead tricolour does not meet the requirements of a "stern light".
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