Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-24-2017, 09:27 PM   #21
Guru
 
MYTraveler's Avatar
 
City: West Coast
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 867
Most of my trips involve night travel, but usually offshore, rarely within a harbor. Offshore, even with no moonlight, I have never found it too dark to see surface obstructions so long as my night vision is not impaired. But to maintain good night vision, it is necessary to protect your eyes from stray light. Using any kind of searchlight / spotlight will impair not only your night vision, but also that of other nearby boaters.
__________________
Advertisement

MYTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 11:10 AM   #22
Senior Member
 
City: Washington
Country: US
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
Most of my trips involve night travel, but usually offshore, rarely within a harbor. Offshore, even with no moonlight, I have never found it too dark to see surface obstructions so long as my night vision is not impaired. But to maintain good night vision, it is necessary to protect your eyes from stray light. Using any kind of searchlight / spotlight will impair not only your night vision, but also that of other nearby boaters.
Yes, night vision is the key. Using a spotlight for even a few seconds disrupts your night vision for several minutes and this gets longer as you age. Same for looking at bright instrument lights or GPS screens.

In many parts of the USA, waterways are littered with crab pot floats, often black or dark blue. These are very difficult to see at night and hitting one can leave you stranded with line tangled in your prop.
__________________

aboatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 12:13 PM   #23
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 2008
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 826
Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
Most of my trips involve night travel, but usually offshore, rarely within a harbor. Offshore, even with no moonlight, I have never found it too dark to see surface obstructions so long as my night vision is not impaired. But to maintain good night vision, it is necessary to protect your eyes from stray light. Using any kind of searchlight / spotlight will impair not only your night vision, but also that of other nearby boaters.
I am surprised the spot light manufactures dont provide a red lens add on or even a switch selectable red/white bulb.
__________________
I used to be a news junkie until I found this place.
Sooo, what's happening in the world and local news?
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 02:44 PM   #24
Veteran Member
 
Sabre602's Avatar
 
City: NW Washington State
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kingfisher
Vessel Model: 37' converted crabber
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 86
I grew up on the water...being out at night wasn't a big thing at all. Along the Jersey shore, the ICW, the Gulf of Mexico...no problem.

Until I moved out to the Pacific Northwest.

I'll never forget the first nighttime run across Bellingham Bay during fishing season. I think that's when my hair started to go gray.

Crab pots? Meh...try GILL NETS!

Forget night vision. There's a good reason that fishing boats turn the world to daylight with all those big sodium vapor lights.
__________________
Anson & Donna

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~The Dalai Lama
Sabre602 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 02:53 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Fletcher500's Avatar
 
City: So-Cal
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Chelsea Rose
Vessel Model: Helmsman 43 PH
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 489
We love evening cruises around the Harbor, well except for boat parades.


A night vision camera is not a bad idea. I got a handheld Flir a couple years ago after a close call leaving Avalon Harbor at 4 am. There was a small boat in the middle, just outside the entrance. A very small craft, no lights, and barely registering on the radar. I still have no idea what, or who it was, but a quick look on the Flir would have resolved it.
Fletcher500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 04:16 PM   #26
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,535
Spotlights vs. Searchlights

Most recreational boats seem to come with spotlights, often very inadequate for much of anything on the water. Perhaps useful to see the shore or one item, but of little use for navigating. My first exposure was years ago with acquaintances, going down the TN Tom at night after long delays at locks. We were in a Sea Ray Sundancer. There was a tow with barges in front of us that the owner wanted to pass. Properly he asked for permission and side preference and the tow captain then used his huge searchlight to highlight the entire way around and then a good distance out in front of us. My immediate reaction was "Why doesn't this boat have one of those." Second reaction was "How much is the light and how much the height of it?"

On the lake we never made a change but when we got to the coast and purchased a boat, all those thoughts resurfaced and we went to a 1000 watt Xenon. Now though state of the art is even more. You take a nice Xenon, add an LED and add a Thermal Camera to it. Then if you want you can also add a strobe feature as a non-lethal deterrent. LED doesn't have the distance of Xenon but has a broad field of light. Obviously the more you add, the higher the price, but if you do intend to do much night traveling then size and type of light does matter. For fun looking, keeping in mind there are many lower priced alternatives,

Carlisle & Finch Co. | Top Quality Searchlights Company for Marine, Prison, Border and Security

I do feel like many builders though are selling million dollar boats with dime store spotlights.
BandB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 05:20 PM   #27
Guru
 
MYTraveler's Avatar
 
City: West Coast
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 867
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
if you do intend to do much night traveling then size and type of light does matter.
Perhaps our uses are different (underway at night I am always offshore and don't need to pass barges in a narrow channel), but I can't imagine benefiting from a 1M candle power searchlight. But if I did need better illumination, I would prefer my FLIR. I would be interested to understand the circumstances under which a light like that is useful, and what it does to your night vision afterward?
MYTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 05:46 PM   #28
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 16,226
I ran at speed through the NJ intracoastal using the spotlight to pick out channel markers, no wake buoys, crab pots, marina entrances or see a dock clearly from a distance...... lots of reasons during the assistance towing job.

I was always careful to point it up and away at the first sign of approaching boats.

As far as night vision, in crowded inland waters with all kinds of bright lights along the way, true night vision is never really achieved anyway.

It was the only way I felt comfortable running at speed compared to all other methods.

At trawler speeds, sure most smaller spotlights are fine for picking out objects.

Flir might work great, not sure about night vision with the random lighting encountered in my scenario...but plenty of areas of near total darkness would probably benefit from them.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 06:57 PM   #29
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13,535
Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
Perhaps our uses are different (underway at night I am always offshore and don't need to pass barges in a narrow channel), but I can't imagine benefiting from a 1M candle power searchlight. But if I did need better illumination, I would prefer my FLIR. I would be interested to understand the circumstances under which a light like that is useful, and what it does to your night vision afterward?
Most of our night travel is offshore too. As to use for a 1M candle power searchlight, perhaps limited, but the tiny spotlights that come with many boats are totally useless. You don't have to use it at full power. We've probably not used any searchlights more than 10 or 12 times in the past five years. 1m is as part of our security system on the boat we cruise off shore and outside the US on. A couple of times offshore and trying to identify other boats plus make them aware of our presence and that we saw them, a couple of early morning trip starts. Most helpful on some of the inland rivers, seeing far ahead and around bends. Beyond that we've only gone up to 500 candle power and often 350. The Navy and Coast Guard tend to use 350 and 500 except on vessels over 175'.
BandB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2017, 07:28 PM   #30
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 2008
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 826
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
As far as night vision, in crowded inland waters with all kinds of bright lights along the way, true night vision is never really achieved anyway.

Flir might work great, not sure about night vision with the random lighting encountered in my scenario...but plenty of areas of near total darkness would probably benefit from them.
I had a hand held singular lens IR. What I found out, use it and try to see thought that eye after remove the hand held IR, it was like one burned out your eye. It took a while to get back to the night. The Flirs I have feed into a video screen, change the color to red and there is no vision problem when looking into the night when looking away from the IR display.
__________________
I used to be a news junkie until I found this place.
Sooo, what's happening in the world and local news?
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2017, 06:04 PM   #31
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 5,176
I did a fair amount of camping and backpacking when I was young. I would get annoyed by those that insisted on using a flashlight to simply walk down a dark trail. To me, it simply ensured that you would only see what the flashlight was pointed at. I much preferred to get around using my own night vision.

I have developed the same preference over the years while boating. I prefer to use my own night vision and get annoyed when other boats shine a spotlight into my pilothouse. However, I have use the spotlight on my boat a couple times when trying to read marina signs are dock numbers at night.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2017, 06:50 PM   #32
Senior Member
 
City: Narragansett Bay
Country: New England
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 265
“I was always careful to point it up and away at the first sign of approaching boats.”

Unfortunately if these lights were more common, most busy harbors would be unnavigable on a Saturday night with everyone shining these things in people’s faces. Dont overestimate the level of common sense used by many people / boaters.
Easting is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2017, 07:14 PM   #33
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,368
On our second-to-last cruise into San Francisco in predawn dawn-darkness we were followed by a cruise ship (QE) and a USCG cutter. Showed photos previously, but can't repeat thanks to TF and photowhatever.
__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2017, 08:07 PM   #34
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 16,226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easting View Post
“I was always careful to point it up and away at the first sign of approaching boats.”

Unfortunately if these lights were more common, most busy harbors would be unnavigable on a Saturday night with everyone shining these things in people’s faces. Dont overestimate the level of common sense used by many people / boaters.
The usefulness of a piece of gear is not determined by the proper or improper use by the ill informed.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2017, 12:54 PM   #35
Member
 
City: Palisades NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Savage
Vessel Model: C&C 34+
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 14
Done a lot of night sailing in the past, including racing distance races on Long Island Sound. Tricky situations are mark roundings when a competitor is also rounding! Not only are you working on rule issues but also maybe getting the genoa back up and dousing the spinnaker. Sheets and guys hard to see too! In comparison, cruising's a breeze!


And try picking a wind shift at night!!
__________________

2savage is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012