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Old 22-07-2021, 20:20   #1
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Headlights on catamarans?

You know what many people are liking at night? Headlights....

Seriously though, why do more people not put a couple LED light bars on or under the front crossbeam of their catamarans and use them while sailing at night? I had a 60" on my truck and it would easily light up a field or worksite when night work was a must, and it made a world of difference on my little fishing boat. It seems to me that even a pair of 10" bars mounted at the front of the boat by each bow would make spotting stuff while sailing at night a lot easier, as well as making it a lot easier to find a spot to anchor if you arrived earlier than expected.
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Old 22-07-2021, 20:24   #2
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

For one, blinding others is frowned upon. Here's some more reasons -

Night Boating...A Whole New Ballgame
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Old 22-07-2021, 20:59   #3
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

I love night running. If you are coming in from sea, itís great to have someone who has studied the lights and knows what to look for to help you.I love the two big led lights I have on the bow rail. Crab and lobster pot, piers without lights, boats without lights, logs...the list goes on and on.
Do you have to put your thinking cap on before turning your lights on? Certainly.
Never had a complaint so I think the question is one of good sense and looking carefully for traffic. Inland tugs frequently light up big time searchlights as they need them. Need is the key. Think first. Shut them off and check again. If you are away from other boats, they are just another tool in the box which is very useful in some situations.
Another non issue which will turn into a hundred post debate.
Next they will require strobes on manatees so if they canít swimming in a straight line theyíll have to do a alcohol breath test.
Happy night lights.
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Old 22-07-2021, 21:45   #4
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
For one, blinding others is frowned upon. Here's some more reasons -

Night Boating...A Whole New Ballgame
Whatever, well off shore I'll often light up my deck and spreader lights. Works for squid boats, I'm told..
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Old 22-07-2021, 21:53   #5
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

COLREGs. Part C ?
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Old 22-07-2021, 22:12   #6
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

the brightness of the headlights would likely kill your night vision entirely, thus blinding you to the~270 degrees not illuminated by the lights... and that will persist for some time after extinguishing the lights. Perhaps useful whilst entering an anchorage, but at sea it would have some drawbacks. Also backscatter from mist or spray is an issue with our small hand held spotlight... might be serious with the headlights.

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Old 29-07-2021, 12:12   #7
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

Please don’t. It blinds other drivers, at the very least
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Old 31-07-2021, 00:02   #8
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

I have two 12 inch Led bars on my upper spreader,
They are magic coming up channels at night as you can see the pilings that dont have lights on them,
They are operated by a switch I put on the dash,
Even better for getting into a Marina at night or even just a new bay or inlet Ive never been into before,
They are great for going up rivers and creeks,
Even entrances into bays that only have Markers lights, I can see how far off the rocks I actually am,

As for blinding other boats or people, Might I enquire, WHO, ?????????
The Marina's are all in bed asleep,
There are no other boats on the Oceans I sail in,
There are no people on the boats up the rivers or creeks Im travelling in,
Or their all asleep also,

On Piers or wharves, The fishing boats are lit up like Christmas tress with their Multiple 1000 Watt Working lights that they never turn off,

I have never seen any one out telling me my lights are bright at 2-30 AM or just at night any where,

Cheers Brian,
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Old 01-08-2021, 16:21   #9
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

With the increase in whale population off the Qld coast many of the speedy fishing boats have added lights to help decrease the likelihood of hitting a whale travelling out to the reef fishing grounds at 20 plus knots.

There have been several whale incidents in recent times.
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Old 01-08-2021, 19:57   #10
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

An LED light bar like your truck has would of course rust out very quickly. I haven't seen large ones for boats but spreader down lights are common. I have a remote controled spotlight mounted under my radar to use for spotting stuff in the night. It really doesn't work all that well. I guess I should have bought the $1000 unit instead of the $400 one. If I'm flying my spinnaker at night we keep the deck light on to light up the sail very well. Otherwise, I just don't need it.
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Old 01-08-2021, 20:09   #11
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
An LED light bar like your truck has would of course rust out very quickly. I haven't seen large ones for boats but spreader down lights are common. I have a remote controled spotlight mounted under my radar to use for spotting stuff in the night. It really doesn't work all that well. I guess I should have bought the $1000 unit instead of the $400 one. If I'm flying my spinnaker at night we keep the deck light on to light up the sail very well. Otherwise, I just don't need it.
Mines anodised aluminium, also painted, so why would it rust out quickly,
I have them on my RV, Car, Bike, Trucks, all different sizes to suit the vehicle,

The smallest ones cost $15-00 off Fleabay, The large 12 inch ones cost $20-00 off Flebay,
They all melt bitumen at 2 miles,
The hardest part is climbing the mast to replace them if they ever cark it,
Being each side of the mast, I always have one that shines past the Genoa, But if the Genoa is not quite fully out, Both lights on my top spreader shine out past the Genoa,
I also have one on each step of my transom on my Cat to light up the rear of my boat,
It hasnt rusted out yet either, 3 years,
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Old 01-08-2021, 20:41   #12
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

I can see a time and place for this. Use your common sense.

https://store.marinebeam.com/exterior-led-fixtures/
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Old 01-08-2021, 21:08   #13
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I can see a time and place for this. Use your common sense.

https://store.marinebeam.com/exterior-led-fixtures/
Top left are $8-00
middle one is $10-00
Top right is $15-00/
Free delivery from Fleabay, China,
They are exactly the same lights I have, and those prices are what I actually paid for mine,

You will pay extra for any thing, so called Marine,
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Old 01-08-2021, 21:17   #14
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

On the FPB series, Steve Dashew used a mix of floodlights and spotlights on the bow "mast" (mounted in a position to avoid reflections as much as possible).

He provides some rationale for how they were used here: https://setsail.com/optimizing-for-night-vision/
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Old 04-08-2021, 14:38   #15
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Re: Headlights on catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
I have two 12 inch Led bars on my upper spreader,
They are magic coming up channels at night as you can see the pilings that dont have lights on them,
They are operated by a switch I put on the dash,
Even better for getting into a Marina at night or even just a new bay or inlet Ive never been into before,
They are great for going up rivers and creeks,
Even entrances into bays that only have Markers lights, I can see how far off the rocks I actually am,
That's pretty much exactly what I was planning for and wanted to know. Seems the biggest pain in the butt is going to be running the wire up the mast to the spreaders and through the boat.

Personally, I'm more concerned with running into something that was entirely avoidable had it been visible than the opinion of some crybaby who's got a problem with a bit of light that's going to be gone in a minute.
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