In my present anchorage in Simpson Lagoon
, St. Maarten, at night I normally see 6 to 12 Mega sail yachts with Red mast head
360 degree types and often an additional one 3/4 way up. These are typically EU boats. I have at least 4 sail boats in the 40 to 60 foot range that only have a mast head
Strobe light flashing all night long..... this is often just a few 100 yards from the St. Maarten Coast Guard HQ. About 30% have no light at all. Several have a mid cockpit
light that is white but some of these appear to be strobes as they are at same level as the Wind
Most mid size power boats show no lights after bed
time. The large ones have so many lights, no one could tell if they were underway or not as the nav lights would be/ are lost
in the boats walkway and deck
lights and very often bright underwater lights that sometimes illuminate the bow of the boat.
Most midrange sail boats typically have a white mast head light and several solar
cell white lights in the cockpit and frequently on the bow. In this Lagoon
this configuration is by far the most safe due to the high speed dinks, some in the 20+ foot range which race
around to the various Happy Hours.
I'm seeing far more strobe lights in the past few years.... this is a major problem as now no one thinks of it as a potential emergency
signal. Reminds me of The boy who called Wolf too many times.
My personal feeling is each skipper
is responsible for the safety
of his own vessel. I personally use two garden type solar
cell lamps in my cockpit from sundown to sun up for both reasons in this location.
In crowed anchorages
, the main problem is not being confused as some large boat but of being observed at all by the happy hour impaired who are already confused.