Fab1

Navigation lights

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I've often wondered how high a percentage of us are running around with technically illegal navigation lights on our boats?

   They are supposed to be mounted in such a way that gives the right amount of coverage in a 360 degree arc aren't they? Yet so many seem to just find a spot that "looks" about right and plonk them down.

   Im betting theres plenty of trailer boats with especially the all round white light mounted too low which will break its 360 degree arc its suppose to have by having obstructions in the way including the boats own crew?

  Mine is certainly illegal as its mounted on the transom corner and too low which ill rectify by moving it to a higher position on the windscreen.

   Has anyone been pulled up for this or know anyone that has as im sure like me you guys see plenty of boats running illegal lights and maybe even your own?

Thoughts?

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Hi Fab1 how u doing? It can be fairly limiting finding ideal places to position navigation lights, can't it? The port/starboard lights have to have 135 degree visibility from the bow to the stern centre line and the white light 360 degree visibility. In my tinnie, if I stand up on my casting deck it would need to be about 7 feet above the boat. Such a place doesn't exist so I've compromised by having it visible when I'm seated. Hardly ever use them anyway (only at the dams). I guess if I was fishing regularly in Sydney Harbour, it would be essential to have them fitted correctly. Cheers, bn

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Hi @Fab1,

Personally I have not seen anyone pulled over between dusk and dawn - infact I see very few MSB boats around during night shift.

BUT that does not mean the rulers and rule books would not come out if there was an accident, insurance claim etc. where all these types of things would be investigated as they come under the skippers duty of care or lack of.

I have also seen on occasion boats with NO lights - which scares the living crap out of me.

I remembered the  Boating Handbook specified the rules and they were different depending on boat length. So I looked it up over my coffee this morning -- page 60 of the NSW Handbook: 

 http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/maritime/licence/boating-handbook.pdf

Here it is for vessels under 12m:

You need to achieve this light configuration:

image.png.a9364833ca1a0008f68f6dd5babc365e.png

 

image.png.f6db6e80f5f3ed0ac97d01d68005771e.png

For vessels under 12m, you can use an all round white light 360deg if you can mount it 1m above the side lights and its unobstructed.    OR .... You can achieve the 360deg un-interrupted white light arc by having a 225 arc and a 135deg stern light. this allows a break in the white light arc where your body or other obstructions will not interfere with it.

Cheers

Zoran

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, big Neil said:

Hi Fab1 how u doing? It can be fairly limiting finding ideal places to position navigation lights, can't it? The port/starboard lights have to have 135 degree visibility from the bow to the stern centre line and the white light 360 degree visibility. In my tinnie, if I stand up on my casting deck it would need to be about 7 feet above the boat. Such a place doesn't exist so I've compromised by having it visible when I'm seated. Hardly ever use them anyway (only at the dams). I guess if I was fishing regularly in Sydney Harbour, it would be essential to have them fitted correctly. Cheers, bn

I'm great thanks mate.Hope your doing well and in good health.Yeah,finding somewhere is a pain in a small boat.

  Im thinking of extending the pole for the light that's already mounted on the stern as its annoying when fishing anchored up and illegal if people are standing as i always motor along standing up.

3 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

Hi @Fab1,

Personally I have not seen anyone pulled over between dusk and dawn - infact I see very few MSB boats around during night shift.

BUT that does not mean the rulers and rule books would not come out if there was an accident, insurance claim etc. where all these types of things would be investigated as they come under the skippers duty of care or lack of.

I have also seen on occasion boats with NO lights - which scares the living crap out of me.

I remembered the  Boating Handbook specified the rules and they were different depending on boat length. So I looked it up over my coffee this morning -- page 60 of the NSW Handbook: 

 http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/maritime/licence/boating-handbook.pdf

Here it is for vessels under 12m:

You need to achieve this light configuration:

image.png.a9364833ca1a0008f68f6dd5babc365e.png

 

image.png.f6db6e80f5f3ed0ac97d01d68005771e.png

For vessels under 12m, you can use an all round white light 360deg if you can mount it 1m above the side lights and its unobstructed.    OR .... You can achieve the 360deg un-interrupted white light arc by having a 225 arc and a 135deg stern light. this allows a break in the white light arc where your body or other obstructions will not interfere with it.

Cheers

Zoran

 

 

 

 

Thanks Zoran as im well aware of the rules and should of made it clearer in my post that i knew them.(I'm betting many people don't).

  What i meant is so many people have them mounted incorrectly and im finally going to fix my all round white light just incase for the reasons you mention.Besides the light shines in your eyes when fishing in a small boat light mine and is blocked by people where it is now.

I will mount it higher in the existing rear starboard mount or mount it on the windscreen or bow rail.They are my only options from what i can see.

As for idiots motoring at night or anchored up without displaying them.... I've never been out without at least seeing one or almost running them over.

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My port and starboard lights would be fine. My stern/all round white light is on a removable telescopic pole on the starboard gunwhale forward of the rear starboard rod holder. I’m pretty sure it’s 120cm. I’m 165cm, so it’s higher than me and anything else when I’m standing (except on the casting deck). If I had the bimini on, it might be an issue but the bimini just gets in the way, so it just sits in the garage!

Maybe I can’t allow tall crew members when night fishing! ?

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my all round white light drives me nuts has to be the worst positioned light i have ever dealt with, its mounted directly on top of my windshield literally cannot see when driving the boat and its on so i turn it off while traveling most of the time (i vary rarely see anyone down my way at that time) still have my nav lights on... im going to put mine on the end of one of those adjustable sticks, will just put it up as needed and lay it back down when not in use

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6 hours ago, Berleyguts said:

My port and starboard lights would be fine. My stern/all round white light is on a removable telescopic pole on the starboard gunwhale forward of the rear starboard rod holder. I’m pretty sure it’s 120cm. I’m 165cm, so it’s higher than me and anything else when I’m standing (except on the casting deck). If I had the bimini on, it might be an issue but the bimini just gets in the way, so it just sits in the garage!

Maybe I can’t allow tall crew members when night fishing! ?

Maybe just invite Midgets.

4 hours ago, JonD said:

Owning a pretty basic rib I simply use these ( totally legal ) https://www.railblaza.com/products/illuminate-ips-portable-bi-colour-navigation-light/

Don't  you guys block its light or do you have it pole mounted high?

2 hours ago, rozza_b said:

my all round white light drives me nuts has to be the worst positioned light i have ever dealt with, its mounted directly on top of my windshield literally cannot see when driving the boat and its on so i turn it off while traveling most of the time (i vary rarely see anyone down my way at that time) still have my nav lights on... im going to put mine on the end of one of those adjustable sticks, will just put it up as needed and lay it back down when not in use

Yeah,light in the eyes doesn't help the night vision.If i mount mine on the windscreen rail or bow rail it will be on a long pole.

Its a pain fonding somewhere decent to mount it i tell you.

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I doubt if anyone would enforce the rule if somebody obstructed the all round vision with the body, most people would move around a bit so the light wouldn't be obstructed in any one direction for very long. As long as it's higher than the highest part of the boat as it normally sits on the water.

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5 hours ago, rozza_b said:

my all round white light drives me nuts has to be the worst positioned light i have ever dealt with, its mounted directly on top of my windshield literally cannot see when driving the boat and its on so i turn it off while traveling most of the time (i vary rarely see anyone down my way at that time) still have my nav lights on... im going to put mine on the end of one of those adjustable sticks, will just put it up as needed and lay it back down when not in use

I had the same problem on my 16ft savage and on my Haines 635L.  On the Haines it was particularly bad as the cabin superstructure (the foredeck) is white so the reflecting glare from the light on the white fibreglass was absolutely blinding at night.

In both cases, until I permanently relocated the light up high on a rocket launcher, I found the following to be an adequate solution. I cut and fitted a flat sheet of plastic under the light so that it cast a shadow across my windscreen / and cabin foredeck. The light was still visible 360deg, but it could not shine directly below as the flat plastic bib cast a shadow over the screen and foredeck. 

Give it a go,

Cheers Z

 

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How's this for a idea glue base onto top of outboard and have white light on bracket, light works with 2x aaa batteries so no wires to worry about, and you can remove light and put different components on same bracket. Just remember to carry spare batteries.

Edit : Sorry 4x AAA batteries.

20181014_092248fs.jpg

20181014_092537fs.jpg

20181014_092952fs.jpg

Edited by frankS

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58 minutes ago, frankS said:

 

How's this for a idea glue base onto top of outboard and have white light on bracket, light works with 2x aaa batteries so no wires to worry about, and you can remove light and put different components on same bracket. Just remember to carry spare batteries.

Edit : Sorry 4x AAA batteries.

20181014_092248fs.jpg

20181014_092537fs.jpg

20181014_092952fs.jpg

It still doesn't fix the dilemma of the light being mounted too low for me or it being blocked by the boat and people.

  As for the cleat and rod holder I'd want a foot of length added to my arms too.

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I think the focus here perhaps has become strict adherence to the theoretical rather than the practical !! Nothing wrong with that, can i offer some alternative thinking?

The risk of collision whilst underway at night is reasonably reduced when underway by turning on the navigation lights.

In my view the biggest risk is when your overnight fishing at anchor or drift and you need to leave the "at anchor" light on.

If it was me and i was overnight fishing, i wouldnt rely on a flimsy tiny light to make other boaters aware that im at anchor, even if it did theoretically comply. From a life safety point of view id be set up with some kind of general lighting arrangement that would provide illumination for baiting up, moving around, setting up tackle etc....and in most instances lighting of that nature will provide you with farrrrr more 360 visibility than any tiny flimsy light, irrespective of location.

 

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1 hour ago, GoingFishing said:

I think the focus here perhaps has become strict adherence to the theoretical rather than the practical !! Nothing wrong with that, can i offer some alternative thinking?

The risk of collision whilst underway at night is reasonably reduced when underway by turning on the navigation lights.

In my view the biggest risk is when your overnight fishing at anchor or drift and you need to leave the "at anchor" light on.

If it was me and i was overnight fishing, i wouldnt rely on a flimsy tiny light to make other boaters aware that im at anchor, even if it did theoretically comply. From a life safety point of view id be set up with some kind of general lighting arrangement that would provide illumination for baiting up, moving around, setting up tackle etc....and in most instances lighting of that nature will provide you with farrrrr more 360 visibility than any tiny flimsy light, irrespective of location.

 

I get what your saying mate and totally agree that a general purpose light is way better than those tiny all round white lights.I for one have 2 Led strips mounted either side of my boat that im sure are visible from pluto when switched on as they give a white light and are very bright.exactly what i wanted as the brightness isn't an issue for me.

  The difference lies within the theoretical and practical being if something goes wrong out there and you injure or  kill someone....i would be praying that my navigation lights are set up the theoretical way and not the practical way as the pain to follow won't be pretty.

I use my all round white light when motoring/anchored and even when i have my boat lights on whilst underway or anchored.

  But like i said,my anchor light is illegal as its too low and the light is being blocked by us and will rectify the issue for peace of mind to myself.

Cheers.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Fab1 said:

I get what your saying mate and totally agree that a general purpose light is way better than those tiny all round white lights.I for one have 2 Led strips mounted either side of my boat that im sure are visible from pluto when switched on as they give a white light and are very bright.exactly what i wanted as the brightness isn't an issue for me.

  The difference lies within the theoretical and practical being if something goes wrong out there and you injure or  kill someone....i would be praying that my navigation lights are set up the theoretical way and not the practical way as the pain to follow won't be pretty.

I use my all round white light when motoring/anchored and even when i have my boat lights on whilst underway or anchored.

  But like i said,my anchor light is illegal as its too low and the light is being blocked by us and will rectify the issue for peace of mind to myself.

Cheers.

 

 

Very true and i agree.

I guess the irony im trying to point out is that the theoretical provides little protection from danger or accidents....and the practical provides far greater protection from danger. Therefore, whilst compliance is very important for legal purposes as you correctly say...in reality your better off relying on a more robust type of lighting system if you fish at night and simple compliance actually isnt enough.

If you fish at night, your lights should comply AND serve to protect you and be functional.

Edited by GoingFishing
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5 hours ago, GoingFishing said:

Very true and i agree.

I guess the irony im trying to point out is that the theoretical provides little protection from danger or accidents....and the practical provides far greater protection from danger. Therefore, whilst compliance is very important for legal purposes as you correctly say...in reality your better off relying on a more robust type of lighting system if you fish at night and simple compliance actually isnt enough.

If you fish at night, your lights should comply AND serve to protect you and be functional.

Simple compliance would have stopped the idiots ive nearly run over not displaying nav lights from nearly being run over.

I know what you mean mate.The more lights the better.

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My lights are mounted on a pole on my console, not in my vision at all.

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I don’t like much light at night. It ruins my night vision. The removable telescopic pole on my starboard gunwhale serves me fine.

84F97C8F-4C1D-4A84-AB51-DC1FD7DFFACA.jpeg

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On 10/13/2018 at 9:01 PM, zmk1962 said:

I had the same problem on my 16ft savage and on my Haines 635L.  On the Haines it was particularly bad as the cabin superstructure (the foredeck) is white so the reflecting glare from the light on the white fibreglass was absolutely blinding at night.

In both cases, until I permanently relocated the light up high on a rocket launcher, I found the following to be an adequate solution. I cut and fitted a flat sheet of plastic under the light so that it cast a shadow across my windscreen / and cabin foredeck. The light was still visible 360deg, but it could not shine directly below as the flat plastic bib cast a shadow over the screen and foredeck. 

Give it a go,

Cheers Z

 

Was actually discussing this exact thing with a mate of mine last week, might have to give it a go before i go and buy another light

 

Cheers 

Rory

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I mounted mine on top of my Bimini, got sick of being blinded by it and have a removable plug and socket and hold it in place with Alligator clips have used this setup on 2 boats and it works fine.

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3 hours ago, rozza_b said:

Was actually discussing this exact thing with a mate of mine last week, might have to give it a go before i go and buy another light

 

Yup... I took a conduit flange and glued a stub of conduit into it (so it protruded about 20mm  out of the flange).  Then using a bandsaw I split the flange and stub of conduit down the middle. Placed the two halves around my light pole, slid it up into place and used a s/s hose clamp to tighten it into place. 

Imagine this upside down with a 20mm tail of conduit out of the bottom for the hose clamp. The flat top gave me plenty of surface area to bolt a plastic sheet (which I cut  from stiff waterproof plastic flashing).   Experimented with different sizes / shapes until the shadow was where I wanted it.   

image.png.4a0750dbc4f9450cf4936150997be835.png

Cheers Zoran

 

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