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Old 27-07-2013, 19:41   #1
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Should Boats Have Colored Stern Lights?



A few weeks ago, I was on a moving boat at night in a busy area for the first time. And with all the other white lights on shore it was hard to determine which ones were boats from the rear and which were on shore while bouncing in the waves. It was also hard to determine how far away they were.

Now, maybe it is just something that you get used to over time with more experience, but I think if there were blue and yellow lights on the rear of the boat, it might help.

What do you guys think?
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Old 27-07-2013, 19:59   #2
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Re: Should Boats Have Colored Stern Lights?

Blue and yellow might suggest either law enforcement (blue) or tug boat (yellow) so not good...

Just don't run into a white light and you are OK..whether it's a stern light or a light on shore.
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Old 27-07-2013, 21:24   #3
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Don't run into the white lights. If the white light is in front of you it has right of way even if it is on land your at fault if you run into it.
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Old 28-07-2013, 00:12   #4
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Re: Should Boats Have Colored Stern Lights?

some boats do have either a red or green all round, as well as a white all round light visible from astern.........you wouldn't want to bump into them either
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Old 28-07-2013, 02:14   #5
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Re: Should Boats Have Colored Stern Lights?

Within a harbor with many white lights the most important skill used to identify the comparative distance of the lights is interpreting the relative movement of the lights as you move. Parallax gives much information. This is an additional reason why high anchor lights are helpful, as you approach they will appear to move higher compared to the distant lights. Closer lights in a fixed position will always show a greater relative motion. Lights on moving vessels with a potential collision course will maintain the same fixed position compared to the relative movement of the background lights. I think most people develop an intuitive understanding of parallax, but it's always wise to review what to expect.
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Old 28-07-2013, 02:22   #6
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Re: Should Boats Have Colored Stern Lights?

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Just don't run into a white light and you are OK..whether it's a stern light or a light on shore.
To maximize OKness, don't run into any lights
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Old 28-07-2013, 08:19   #7
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Re: Should Boats Have Colored Stern Lights?

I have a disco ball in the cockpit. Its quite effective. Boats from everywhere turn up and party
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Old 28-07-2013, 22:09   #8
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Re: Should Boats Have Colored Stern Lights?

This is a two part issue. Most yachts have VERY poor nav lights. And, the casual boater usually does not have a lot of time under trying circumstances to be able to practice the differentiation of the lights.

You have found out some circumstances that are difficult to decipher. The easy solution is to make absolutely certain your lights are bright enough to be seen CLEARLY at least 2 miles. (3 to 5 miles for the white lights.) And you would be surprised how much you can actually SEE using binoculars at night.

If you are lit brightly, at least you halve the equation TO be seen, so that others can decipher you.

I wish all the existing nav lights would be required to be replaced with the new LED lights. They are awesome. At a minimum, disassembling, cleaning and freshening up lens would help too. How many boats run old, crazed, hazy lens in their lights. Take a look at yours at night from a distance. Surprise!!!
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Old 28-07-2013, 22:51   #9
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Re: Should Boats Have Colored Stern Lights?

Showing deck and other lights (not to confuse with the navigational lights) makes one more visible in the darkness.

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