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Old 11-10-2016, 17:11   #91
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
So right now my dinghy in davits blocks the stern light. While powering can I use the all around masthead anchor light (in lieu of sternlight and steaming light) along with bow mounted red/green running lights?
If you were under 12m this combination is allowed, but 40ft is just over 12m - so ... no, you need a separate stern light.
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Old 11-10-2016, 18:42   #92
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Well, open the Colregs and have a look. It's right there in black and white.

Tricolor is ok ONLY for vessel actually under sail and ONLY if the vessel is under 20 meters.

When the Colregs talk about a "sailing vessel", that means actually under sail. If you are using your motor, you are a "power driven vessel" and must show lights for a power driven vessel.

You must not use a tricolor together with a steaming light, which as others have said is confusing.
Just proves my point. you DO NOT REQUIRE BOTH. but the tricolour is good when sailing not when motoring. so why have 2 seperate setups? just leads to extra cost for not much benefit...
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Old 11-10-2016, 19:21   #93
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Just proves my point. you DO NOT REQUIRE BOTH. but the tricolour is good when sailing not when motoring. so why have 2 seperate setups? just leads to extra cost for not much benefit...
Well, no one said you must have both. I thought you were arguing that you could have a tricolor without the side and stern lights.

You must have the side and stern lights (or if under 12 meters you might have what one of the other posters has -- all around white and bicolor below it), and as others have said, the tricolor is optional.

Why have a tricolor if you don't need it? Well, there are three reasons:

1. Save power (one bulb instead of three)
2. Save your night vision
3. Better visibility from long distances, in open ocean.

Nearly all larger sailing vessels around here have them, including mine. I use it offshore (and only offshore). I have large, very bright separate sidelights which are rated for over 20 meters vessels, mounted in my pulpit, and they murder your night vision, so I'm very glad to have the tricolor.
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Old 11-10-2016, 19:28   #94
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Why have a tricolor if you don't need it? Well, there are three reasons:

1. Save power (one bulb instead of three)
2. Save your night vision
3. Better visibility from long distances, in open ocean.
That sums it up nicely.
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Old 11-10-2016, 19:29   #95
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Sorry, disagree.
If you are NUC or drifting you are still underway.
"The word “underway” means that a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground "

No propulsion engine and not actually under sail? You are not "under sail" as in:
"The term “sailing vessel” means any vessel under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used"

If you want to move, you will need to break out oars/paddles/sweeps/yulos or start waggling your rudder! They are all a form of "oar" and Rule 25 still applies.
I think your theory is at least as good as mine is, if not better, but I think Ping has found something which the COLREGS don't really cover. An interesting puzzle.

Especially if you don't have oars.

I think the practical solution is that you show whatever lights you have. If you're not claiming NUC, then you leave your sailing vessel lights on and you should be ready to make sail if you need to maneuver for collision avoidance.

If you're becalmed, and you have no machinery and no oars, then you claim NUC to show the world that you are not able to maneuver in case a risk of collision arises.
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Old 11-10-2016, 19:42   #96
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Not the way I read it. Whether the engine is running or not, it's still a "power-driven vessel" if it has an engine installed.
Quite an interesting puzzle.

But I think I see the logic of your "under oars" idea. Your nav status when drifting is determined by what method of propulsion you would use, if you needed to maneuver, and that would certainly be the engine, if you have one and it is working. Or maybe -- what you intend to use.

Oars in a calm (if you have them).

Otherwise, sails.

And you would be required to show this inchoate nav status, whatever it is.

I would be interested to know if Cockcroft or any of the other authorities has anything to say on this.

An interesting question arises if you have both sails and oars. If there's wind, I'm not sure oars is the right status -- sails are a "higher" status in the order of maneuvering. Are you required to use them? Show nav status as being capable of using them? But you are not required to use your motor if you feel like sailing, so I guess you should have the right to show whatever status reflects, what method of propulsion you desire to use, in case you have to maneuver.

And maybe the same thing applies to Ping's original situation. You could show either sailing vessel or power driven vessel as you please, depending on what you intend to put into use if the necessity arises. So maybe even THAT scenario is more complicated than it seemed at first glance.
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Old 11-10-2016, 20:20   #97
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Please don't use the word "masthead" to mean "at the top of the mast". It tends to cause confusion in these discussions.

"Masthead light" has a specific meaning as far as Colregs is concerned and has little to do with the "top of the mast".

To answer, your question: Not if you want to be in compliance with Colregs.

Appreciate the clarification. What should I call my anchor light which sits on my masthead? 😀


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Old 11-10-2016, 20:21   #98
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
Appreciate the clarification. What should I call my anchor light which sits on my masthead? 😀


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'my anchor light'
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Old 11-10-2016, 20:32   #99
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

Interesting thread. Aside from the semantics, I don't see much use for a tricolor on my boat. In fact this thread has convinced me to take it down. I have a bridge to get to my home port which is 53 feet above mean tide. I clear it by inches now at mean low tide. if I take my tricolor down, I will get another foot or so.
That's good enough for me.
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Old 11-10-2016, 21:08   #100
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
Appreciate the clarification. What should I call my anchor light which sits on my masthead? 😀
Colregs calls it an "all round white light".
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Old 11-10-2016, 21:15   #101
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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Interesting thread. Aside from the semantics, I don't see much use for a tricolor on my boat. In fact this thread has convinced me to take it down. I have a bridge to get to my home port which is 53 feet above mean tide. I clear it by inches now at mean low tide. if I take my tricolor down, I will get another foot or so.
That's good enough for me.
If I was only sailing 'inshore' I wouldn't bother with one.

This is why....

As seen from the bridge of a commercial ship there is a fair to middling chance the tri-light will either be in amongst the shore lights in the distance or amongst the stars. This varies depending on height of eye on the ship's bridge and height of the yacht's mast.

And also....

If you are going to be run down you are most likely going to be run down by a ship overhauling you.

Why? 1/ yachtpeoples tend to keep a crap lookout astern and many yachts have a heap of rubbish down the back obscuring their view even if they do look over their shoulder.
2/ The stern light section of your trilight is white... most shore lights and all stars are white
3/ If risk of collision exists then it follows that the bearing of your stern light will be steady.... ie it will be a steady white light amongst a lot of other steady white lights.


If you do show a 'deck level' stern light make sure it is not obscured on any bearing by all that rubbish down the back of your boat.

You can have your 'deck level' stern light at any level above the sea that you want as long as it is down the back... 3 metres? fine 4 metres? also fine.
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Old 11-10-2016, 21:19   #102
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Colregs calls it an "all round white light".
OK... lets call it 'the all round white light at the top of my mast that I use as my anchor light' or maybe just ' pob cylch golau gwyn ar frig fy Fast rwy'n ei ddefnyddio fel fy golau angor '
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Old 11-10-2016, 21:19   #103
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Re: Masthead Tricolor or Inhull/Pulpits Running Lights

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
If I was only sailing 'inshore' I wouldn't bother with one.

This is why....

As seen from the bridge of a commercial ship there is a fair to middling chance the tri-light will either be in amongst the shore lights in the distance or amongst the stars. This varies depending on height of eye on the ship's bridge and height of the yacht's mast.

And also....

If you are going to be run down you are most likely going to be run down by a ship overhauling you.

Why? 1/ yachtpeoples tend to keep a crap lookout astern and many yachts have a heap of rubbish down the back obscuring their view even if they do look over their shoulder.
2/ The stern light section of your trilight is white... most shore lights and all stars are white
3/ If risk of collision exists then it follows that the bearing of your stern light will be steady.... ie it will be a steady white light amongst a lot of other steady white lights.


If you do show a 'deck level' stern light make sure it is not obscured on any bearing by all that rubbish down the back of your boat.

You can have your 'deck level' stern light at any level above the sea that you want as long as it is down the back... 3 metres? fine 4 metres? also fine.
This all seems to me like really good advice.


It also makes me shudder a bit, remembering life before AIS.
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Old 11-10-2016, 21:23   #104
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
OK... lets call it 'the all round white light at the top of my mast that I use as my anchor light' or maybe just ' pob cylch golau gwyn ar frig fy Fast rwy'n ei ddefnyddio fel fy golau angor '
or "masttop" anchor light?
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Old 11-10-2016, 21:35   #105
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Re: masthead tricolor or inhull/pulpits running lights

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
...(snip)
Why have a tricolor if you don't need it? Well, there are three reasons:

1. Save power (one bulb instead of three)
2. Save your night vision
3. Better visibility from long distances, in open ocean.
... (snip)I have large, very bright separate sidelights which are rated for over 20 meters vessels, mounted in my pulpit, and they murder your night vision, so I'm very glad to have the tricolor.
1)the power consumption is irrelevant with LED lights. The power consumed by three separate LED lights is the same as one combined set at the masthead. Probably less with deck level lights due to voltage drop.

2)Nightvision: If your bow lights shine back that badly they are poorly installed. Occasinally I will get a slight red or green tinge to a bit of spray or a wave, but next to nothing effecting my night vision on most boats.

Do you have a photo of your setup? It sounds very dangerous for motoring. I suspect with most modern yachts the array of bright chartplotters and guages and gadgets in the cockpit would be far worse than any properly installed deck level sidelights.

3) extra height means extra vis.. Arguable. I have found high tricolors hardér to spot at sea (and in port) than lower lights. Modern bright LED's help. I guess in extreme conditions the extra height might help but most of the time it is just misleading. In this case I will occasionally use my all round white at the masthead (and improperly look like a power driven vessel with an extra stern light), but ideally a red over green up the mast.

An intermittent light is sometimes more eyecatching and clearly indicates a smaller boat.

I consider tricolors to be a dangerous hangover from the bad old days of power hungry incandescent bulbs.
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