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Old 21-01-2022, 08:45   #1
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Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

I've seen them at boat shows, but my understanding is that the steaming light must have vertical separation from the red/green side lights. I think it is obvious that you can't separate a white-over-green if you are over 100 yards away. The light is just white and the boat appears to be anchored. At least that has been my experience. The lights are too close and the white light is brighter.



The below is COLREGS.



The red and green lights are called "side lights" regardless of location, masthead or gunnel.



(b) “Sidelights” means a green light on the starboard side and a red light
on the port side each showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon

of 112.5 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5
degrees abaft the beam on its respective side. In a vessel of less than 20
meters in length the sidelights may be combined in one lantern carried on
the fore and aft centerline of the vessel.


(a) “Masthead light” means a white light placed over the fore and aft
centerline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon
of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5
degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.



Rule 23 does not say how much higher the white all-around light must be on smaller boats.



(c) i. A power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length may, in lieu of
the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit an all-round white
light and sidelights.


But this is further explained in annex I 83.03 d. (CFR)


(d) A power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length may carry the
uppermost light at a height of less than 2.5 meters above the gunwale.
When, however, a masthead light is carried in addition to sidelights and
a sternlight or the all-round light prescribed in rule 23(c)(i) is carried in
addition to sidelights, then such masthead light or allround light shall be
carried at least 1 meter higher than the sidelights.


Thus the steaming (mast head or all-around white) light must be 1 meter higher than the side lights (the red and green ones). An all-in-one light is not legal as a steaming light , though is is technically legal as an anchor light, so they can sell them. But you must also have gunnel lights and a high steaming light.


If I am wrong, give the links. The RED is cut and paste from COLREGS and CFR.




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Old 21-01-2022, 08:56   #2
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

My interpretation is the same as yours, it wouldn't be legal.



The only combo light I'm ok with is a combined steaming and anchor light (like I use on my boat). It's got 2 separate light segments, so it lights just the 225* portion for a steaming light, or it can be lit all around for use as an anchor light.
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:04   #3
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

It's in Annex I of the COLREGS:

Quote:
(d.1) Where a masthead light is carried in addition to sidelights and a sternlight or where the all-round light described in subparagraph (d)(i) of Rule 23 is carried in addition to sidelights, the masthead light or the all-round light shall be carried at least one metre higher than the sidelights.
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:09   #4
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

My understanding is the masthead light can only be used if sailing only. If under any auxilliary power then cannot use it. It is best for when offshore only under sail as it is more visible.
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:13   #5
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

I have never been under the impression that a combo masthead light that includes an all around white light was meant to be a steaming light.

I'm fairly certain the all round white is only meant to be an anchor light.

The steaming light is normally mounted on the front of the mast around spreader height.

Or so it has been on almost any boat I've ever seen. I've not been to a boat show recently so they may be coming out with something new ?
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:23   #6
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldManMirage View Post
I have never been under the impression that a combo masthead light that includes an all around white light was meant to be a steaming light.

I'm fairly certain the all round white is only meant to be an anchor light.

The steaming light is normally mounted on the front of the mast around spreader height.

Or so it has been on almost any boat I've ever seen. I've not been to a boat show recently so they may be coming out with something new ?

I see a lot of boats with no deck level side lights.


The steaming light cannot be under the side lights (tricolor). It must be above.
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:25   #7
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

My understanding is that deck level side lights are required. It's the masthead tricolor that's optional. So when motoring, you have to use the deck level side / stern lights and steaming light on the mast. Sailing, you can either use the deck level side/stern lights OR a masthead tricolor.
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:39   #8
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenWave View Post
My understanding is the masthead light can only be used if sailing only. If under any auxilliary power then cannot use it. It is best for when offshore only under sail as it is more visible.

Yes. Masthead is more visible offshore. Conversely, it is less visible in close quarters (the low vs. high anchor light debate).
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Old 21-01-2022, 12:32   #9
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Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

To be legal in all conditions:
A. Masthead tricolor when sailing.
B. Masthead all around white when anchored.
C. Bow Bi-color or Red&Green sidelights PLUS masthead all around white (aka anchor light) when motoring.

As somebody that wants lights all around high & low I’m adding Amber LEDs, 2 each side and 2 on the stern corners. Amber is not a color used for any other purpose so it can’t be confused for lights of a different purpose.
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Old 21-01-2022, 12:33   #10
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

it can only be used when sailing buts its legal doing so
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Old 21-01-2022, 12:36   #11
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
it can only be used when sailing buts its legal doing so


Huh??
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Old 21-01-2022, 12:44   #12
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Huh??

for <20M , heres a nice simple set iof graphics explaining it , hopefully !
https://pzsc.org.uk/wp-content/uploa...pes-lesson.pdf
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Old 21-01-2022, 12:48   #13
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

Wasn’t clear which light you meant by “it”. I assume the Tri-color.
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Old 21-01-2022, 12:58   #14
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Wasn’t clear which light you meant by “it”. I assume the Tri-color.
the thing most people forget is there is not requirement to put an anchor light on the top of the mast per se

the colregs specifically allow for a the situation the OP mentions

(b). In a sailing vessel of less than 20 metres in length the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule may be
combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.

(c). A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit at or near
the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the
lower green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by paragraph (b)
of this Rule.


the second provision tends to common on bigger sail boats , looks fancy though

the mast top tricolour its a common UK , rare in European boats . I had to argue with a french dealer to get it fitted to my beneteau
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Old 21-01-2022, 13:06   #15
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Re: Is an all-in-one masthead light legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
To be legal in all conditions:
A. Masthead tricolor when sailing.
B. Masthead all around white when anchored.
C. Bow Bi-color or Red&Green sidelights PLUS masthead all around white (aka anchor light) when motoring.

As somebody that wants lights all around high & low I’m adding Amber LEDs, 2 each side and 2 on the stern corners. Amber is not a color used for any other purpose so it can’t be confused for lights of a different purpose.

Option C is only legal on boats under 12 meters / 39 feet. Over that, you MUST have separate steaming and stern lights not an all around.
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