Navigation Lighting Multihulls

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by BobBill, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    Obscuring does come up...

    Maybe simple is best, as always in beginning and surely later.

    Just set the suckers out on each bow...and go for it.
     
  2. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    Aye, Thanks. "Looking ahead" is important. Maybe up a bit on stubby even with jib up, might do the trick...pesky.

    I sort of have it in the back of my head that (to be safe) the forward nav lights spread out might have to be brighter, which can be done with LEDS. Pesky, seemingly minor problem that isn't so minor.

    Maybe just one each hull, as noted, simple?
     
  3. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    It also occurred to me, under the "simple" rubrick, that aside from being more or less surely safe, placing nav lights on the main hull and the outrigger or ama means the boat is good to go under sail or motor, and the 360 white atop the mast would cover anchorage, extra wire and messing around understood.

    On the other side of the deck, so to speak, if the rig's outrigger were less substantial, maybe the above would not be as safe, with the outrigger being small, low in water, etc.

    I suppose, one has to decide what is safest and go for it, depending the boat. Either way, no doubt, when the basic configuration is covered, the law may say nothing, but safe is really the key issue, tactically and strategically (short- and long-term).
     
  4. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    I'm not a fan of bi-color lights on sailboats. The forestay is typically the hardware furthest forward on the centerline and a bi-color wouldn't work. An exception would be a bi-color light mounted centerline beneath on the bow pulpit, (or upside down under the very front of an anchor pulpit) a place I find excellent. Out of the way, no glare from the light illuminating anything on deck, no obstructions, not in the way at all with excellent visibility for other vessels.

    I recommended separate port / starboard lights aft of any chocks (if installed) because often this area is "safe, " especially if there is a bow pulpit as the pulpit stanchion will typically come down on deck aft of where the light would be installed. This puts the lights between any chocks and the rail stanchion keeping lines and sails generally away from the lights and usually out from underfoot.

    now up to $.04 :cool:

     
  5. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    I agree also.

    And thanks.

    Your post conjured up memories of lights on my Ensign. They were production and each set into cuddy side as required. I would say they were about a foot aft of mast. As I also recall, I never ever worried about deploying the big genoa and seemed safe as well as they were below the genny's foot, as I recall.

    That brings me back to Woods' suggestion. Have to work on it and wait until the rig is wet...May, weather and temps are decent.
     
  6. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    I am so dense...why not hang the lights at each end of the forward aka (beam)?

    Outboard, visible and easy to add and wire, and no way will dip into drink or be shielded by a sail.
     
  7. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    If you use a boat at night there are two key factors.
    Running lights visible so that *other* boats cannot mistake you for something you are not.
    Running lights not and their backscatter *not* visible to helm.

    I cannot stress the second item enough. Any backscatter or illumination of your boat by your lights will destroy your night vision. Any. That means your masthead light cannot bring a warm romantic glow to the foredeck or reflect on the pulpit forward. Your stern light cannot illuminate the transom area either. Glare and backscatter from running lights and instruments that cannot be dimmed enough become a headache in very short order.

    The first item is the reason you have the running lights on your boat in the first place. For safe identification of your vessel by others.

    The bi-color lights sold for power boats are not certified for sail use in many cases. The requirements for visibility when heeled apply to sailboat lights but not power boat lights. Getting the lights as high as the lifelines means they are more often visible in less than calm conditions but not so high they are not seen as is the case with a masthead tri-color.

    Don't assume you can use LED replacement bulbs either. USCG or EC approved lights are tested for range, focus, and correct color with the lamps they are sold with. Those lenses and reflectors are not likely to work correctly with LED's that are not type certified replacements for incandescent lamps.

    If you will run under power at night check to see if the regulations that apply have a minimum height above the side lights for the masthead light. In Canada IIRC it is 1 metre ... so all the little all-around lights that people use for small boats are not quite legal on a 24" staff.

    Or you can get a portable spot light and shine it on your sail ... :)

    BTW - Navigation Lights are the ones on aids to navigation ... Running Lights are the ones on your boat. :p

    Sorry ... I'm pretty anal about lights ...
     
  8. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    Mr. Hough, Makes perfect sense to me.


    I really do not like any lights, but safe is best. I doubt I will be using them a lot, but you never know.

    I figure to carry the flashlight until I make the move, just in case. But, as you note, you lose your night vision...even when you close one eye ala the military...

    I remember disconnecting my mast head light when we were anchored to maintain the night...but that particular anchorage lended itself to doing that, t'was back in the day...wouldn't dream of doing that today.
     
  9. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    I don't believe there is a separate requirement for the lights themselves for sailboats or power vessels. Colregs calls out arcs of visibility and ranges and specific lights for sail or any vessel under power (steaming or masthead light) but nothing I can find concerning visibility heeled.

    It would be a concern, but Colregs seems to be silent on sailboats heeling underway. I guess they consider it the responsibility of the vessel operator to maintain the arcs of visibility regardless of heel.

    There are some obscure rules for vertical arcs which the manufacturers of "reduced glare" lights follow and allowable interruptions of arcs for some lights (mostly task lights) but I don't remember and can't find anything about heeling.

    $0.06 :cool:

     
  10. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    From here http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/Annexes/CGNAVRULES_20141118_Annex_1.pdf

    This is why you have to check. Many lights say "For Powerboats to xxx ft." on the packaging. We found that sailboat certified LED side lights cost 3-4 times more than power boat certified lights.

    Why should anyone care? If you get run down in your sailboat at night using powerboat lights, you insurance carrier will likely deny your claim. I refused to sell the wrong lights to Customers and had to keep the regs handy to show them why the lights we sold cost more than what they thought would be ok. We worked with some of the vendors to make sure what they labeled as legal actually was legal. The testing and certification process is not cheap and the crap LED's that get sold for replacement bulbs are not type certified for use in fixtures designed for incandescent lamps. Your once legal sailboat light just became a liability with a simple bulb change.

    The first generation LED side lights came out for power boats were about double the price of conventional lights but none of them were type certified for sailing vessels under sail. A year or two later you could get certified LED sailboat side lights for about $65 each ... people still bought $19.95 red/green combos to put on their sailboats ... we refused to install them.

    Like I said ... I'm a bit anal about lights. :(
     
  11. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    I stand corrected, thanks. :)
     
  12. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    Thanks also.
     
  13. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    BTW, for not much money, I just acquired two foot long led sets, red/green that burn under water and can be configured into shape desired...thought I would stow, in case, while I am dithering on the idea. I am also going to install similar stern lamp...but will big flashlight available too.
     
  14. bruceb
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    bruceb Senior Member

    Two sets of lights?

    I sold sailboats on a lake, and some also went to the coast, all before leds complicated the issue even more. Most of the larger production boats came with a (legal) masthead tricolor, which is really dangerous when many of the other boats on the lake are fast (sometimes 100 mph+) low power boats. As a dealer, I didn't dare change the lights, but on my own boat, I always fitted a deck level or bow rail mounted bi-color light and a good bright stern light. In my experience, you need to be visible from 300 yards and at the eye level of a small fast power boat to be safe in many inland areas. I sail and race at night, and I have found that having lights "about" like most of the other boats use helps you be seen, as they are what the other boaters are expecting to see and looking for. Around here, they are not looking up!
    On my current 24'tri, I have a bow mounted midsize bi color with a supposedly legal LED that is very bright and certainly visible at the less than 15 degree heel that I sail with. I have been told that my light was one of the few visible during a night thunderstorm. I take that as good even though the reflection from the rain did make it harder to see. On a boat also used in "big" water, I would have two sets of lights, each used when appropriate.
    B
     

  15. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    I agree...

    I have always preferred low lights, stock if possible. Likely LED, legal of course.

    I recall the story about a CA deputy sheriff who killed a guy in a sailboat and have always recalled a night when I went out with a neighbor on Lake Minnetonka, west of Mpls...big lake and on weekends, even then, more boats than comfy.

    T like his white whiskey, and had a nice wood Lyman or Cris Craft Cruiser, with small fly-bridge. T liked to run his boat wide open too.

    He was lit, and the boat was lit, but the thing was T would get going and not look foward too much, so I kept an eye out...

    Fortunately, no other boats came close, and we did fine in the channels between the bays...but I never forgot that night. It was before I bought my first sailing rig. Influenced me ever since.

    Better safe than sorry.

    Right now am looking for LEDs to hang out board on the ends of the aka's or beams, but might attache to hulls, to keep the angle of vision legal, leaving he mast head white, for potential anchoring etc.

    As to the guy in CA, I guess he got off and ran for the county board and won...which does not say much for voters in that county/area, to me, or the legal system there.

    I have time to work this out well, still cod and winter, though the sun is melting snow, even though cloud cover...days getting longer, spring is nigh. Too warm really, but that is another matter.

    Did find some low cost LED lights on line, if $40 per light is low...for approved nav lights...so I guess 150 $coots for a set is not too bad, they fit right.
     
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