Navigation lights

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January 26, 2011 at 00:15 #4951
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Rainshadow’s PO installed a tricolor masthead navigation light on the main mast. He added a 360 white light atop the mizzen to be the anchor light. The deck level red and green navigation lights are no longer wired, but they hang under the pulpit acting as sheet snaggers from time to time. She doesn’t seem to have a deck-level stern light remanents anywhere.

We’re considering removing the deck-level red/green lights on the sides of the pulpit and instead adding a bicolor at the front of the pulpit. We’ll operate the deck level bi-color and masthead tri-color via independent switches so we can use the one set of nav lights that are best for conditions.

We have a monitor windvane that mounts on the transom, so we’re wondering about the best position for the stern light. We’re surprised there seems to be no indication of where it was mounted on the as-built boats.

Has anyone gone through this already, and have some words of wisdom?

Thanks – Marilyn

January 31, 2011 at 13:43 #8531
Richard Garlant
Richard Garlant
Participant

Hi Marilyn

We are in the process of rewiring La Torchee and I just completed the deck lights last week. We have a flat plate on the upright of the pulpit onto which I have installed a green and red either side. The stern light is on the upright tubing of the starboard pushpit. I will try and work out how to post a photo. Also I rewired the deck and mast navigation lights through indipendent switches.

Ps I dont suppose anyone could tell me how to get cable down the mast for the steaming and mast deck light, I am having the devil of a job trying to do it as the previous owner has filled it in part with foam. The wiring in the mast has turned black and brittle so hence the rewire.

Richard

February 1, 2011 at 02:45 #8541
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Thanks Richard – that’s an interesting idea for the placement of the stern light. How did you run the wiring through the pushpit upright tubing? And then through the deck?

With regards to the messenger line in the mast, there is already a posting about that here.

And finally, how to post photos – that one is hard too. Read this and this

February 1, 2011 at 16:01 #8581
svgosling
svgosling
Participant

Hi Marilyn
Gosling has 2 independant navigation light systems. One for under sail and the other for under power.
During our initial refit we changed the masthead tri-colour and anchor lights to LEDs to save on power consumption while on batteries alone. For the periods under power we have the bow port/stbd, stern light and mid-mast steaming light, all incandecsant lights. We see many boats here (Mexico) that have changed their entire system to a masthead tricolour but that is really illegal. When under power you need that masthead steaming light as described in rule 21 of the International Regulationsfor preventing Collisions at Sea.
As for the mounting of the sternlight. It should be mounted as best you can to show an unbroken arc. That is often impossible with self-steering gear so I’d suggest mounting it offset to port or stbd of your sternrail or even consider a second light on the opposite side masked to show 67.5 degrees from aft to each side.
Cheers, J-G
SV Gosling
C&N 42/6
Manzanillo

February 1, 2011 at 19:43 #8591
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

Thanks J-G. Rainshadow’s current nav light setup is strictly in compliance with the Colregs because it has the masthead tricolor at top of main mast (on switch A), steaming light lower on the main (on switch B), and 360 anchor light on mizzen (on switch C). We’re careful to flip the right switches to correctly signal our current status (i.e. anchored vs sailing vs motoring).

It seems the masthead tricolor is a great idea when at sea and captains should be scanning the horizon for any lights. But our concern is about night sailing in our local protected waters, some of which have restricted channel widths (we live in Seattle area, so have the San Juan and Gulf islands nearby). Some boaters may not be looking so high in the air to see the masthead tricolor and even if they are, they might confuse our lights with lights onshore and uphill. Deck level nav lights will make our boat length more recognizable as well. So that’s why we are considering adding a 4th switch that will control the bi-color decklevel bow lights and the correct angle stern white light.

Cheers – Marilyn

Roger Haggar sent me this via email:

As on Race Passage you will probably find that the stern light was originally positioned on top of the mizzen mast. The PO probably removed it when he installed the mast head tricolour.
When you think about it, it makes sense to put the stern light as high as poss. as having it placed on the transom as we know it does not make sense as it would disappear from a following boat’s sight at 100 yards in a seaway with a wave height of more than 3 ft!!
Cheers-Roger.

February 1, 2011 at 21:14 #8601
Pat
Pat
Participant

One thought on nav lights. You could use pulpit bi colour and a main mast head all round white as motor lights. The AR white would of course be pretty high up! Pat

February 7, 2011 at 12:52 #8641
Richard Garlant
Richard Garlant
Participant

Hi Marilyn

I am not sure if these photos are helpful but I posted them on our web site http://www.latorchee.com
on the last page. I already had a hole drilled in the upright of the pushpit and just had to drill up through the centre of the four retaining bolts to get to the bottom of the tube.

Richard

February 17, 2011 at 09:44 #8661
michael bennett
michael bennett
Participant

Hi Marilyn,
On Czarina Blue have a masthead tri-colour which is the one I use all the time.

Also have bi-colour on pulpit, the stern white is at the mizzen masthead, fitted by PO, very visible.
Both systems operate independently as they must re COLREGS.

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