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Old 01-27-2019, 10:17 AM   #1
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Requirements for running dinghy at night in FL...

So I have this dinghy. I have a 3 hp electric trolling motor which gives me 3 MPH. We obviously donít go far in it, but itís perfect for just running to the beach and back. But next week weíll be anchoring and running the dink to a restaurant for dinner, and obviously because of the short days, weíll be coming back in the dark. I tried to do some reading and from what Iíve found, a single white 360 degree light is all thatís required for anything less than 7 MPH. Iím assuming that includes inflatable electric rafts.

As far as safety, Iím not concerned. Weíll have two super bringht LED flash lights, the area we will be in is a no wake zone, weíll be traveling only about 1/3 mile, and weíll hug the docks and stay out of the center of the channel until darting over to our anchored boat.

I just donít want to get pulled over. Maybe I can find a cheap 12v 360 Lili by that I can tape to the top of the trolling motor?

Thanks guys.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:44 AM   #2
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in Canada, this: http://publications.gc.ca/collection...4-2011-eng.pdf
Florida will have the USCG equivalent, and hopefully will enforce it.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:57 AM   #3
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No different than a 35 foot powerboat - white and red/green running lights required. The white has to be higher that the red and green. There are white suction cup lights for the top of your outboard and single red/green pole lights for the bow - both battery powered.

Now, those are the rules. I have NEVER seen a dinghy stopped for not having the red/green, and rarely see 10-11 foot dinks with anything but white on the stern.

Fortunately my Novurania has power points both bow and stern for the lights.

Now here is a question. The rules are also the same when anchored - you should have a white all around light for the dink that can be seen one mile away. Clearly most do not anchor the dink on it's own. BUT, when the dink is tied up behind the big boat, should it have the light on?

I have seen many dinghys tied up behind the mother ship with lights on at night, though no where near the majority. And I think more to avoid some drunk hitting it than meeting the rule (though of course that is what the rule is for!).
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:02 AM   #4
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No THIS is the actual rule:

"(ii) a power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum
speed does not exceed 7 knots may in lieu of the lights prescribed in
paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and shall, if
practicable, also exhibit sidelights"

So you can get away with this and even mount it to your hat so it is an unobscured all around light:
https://store.marinebeam.com/navisaf...nghy-or-kayak/

Or you can get one of these if you don't want to that:
https://store.marinebeam.com/transom...le-nav-lights/

Or you can go whole hog:
https://store.marinebeam.com/led-nav...it-for-dinghy/

Me, I like being as visible as possible
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
No THIS is the actual rule:

"(ii) a power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum
speed does not exceed 7 knots may in lieu of the lights prescribed in
paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and shall, if
practicable, also exhibit sidelights"

So you can get away with this and even mount it to your hat so it is an unobscured all around light:
https://store.marinebeam.com/navisaf...nghy-or-kayak/

Or you can get one of these if you don't want to that:
https://store.marinebeam.com/transom...le-nav-lights/

Or you can go whole hog:
https://store.marinebeam.com/led-nav...it-for-dinghy/

Me, I like being as visible as possible
Except - when would it not be practicable?
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Now here is a question. The rules are also the same when anchored - you should have a white all around light for the dink that can be seen one mile away. Clearly most do not anchor the dink on it's own. BUT, when the dink is tied up behind the big boat, should it have the light on?
Is it tied up tight to the big boat? Then no. Is it drifting some distance from the big boat? Then yes it is best practice, which I once learned the hard way. Not a Rule though.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:09 AM   #7
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Not a Rule though.
I believe it is - though I'm sure someone will be along soon to tell us we are both wrong!
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:12 AM   #8
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Except - when would it not be practicable?
Beats me, boat design I suppose. But I have been in many crowded anchorages and mooring fields with a lot of night time CG and LEO presence, and never seen someone busted for this. Like I said,why not be as visible and safe as you can be, especially when you are the most vulnerable craft on the water?
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:20 AM   #9
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7meter/7 knot rule.

Practicable/practical is not "shall"....any dingy could be fitted with a full set of lights so it would be a requirement if "practical" was so strongly viewed.

Even the illustration in the Navrules shows a skiff with motor and only an all around white llight.

While many dingies don't carry a battery, I don't think having one for an electric motor automatically makes having a full set of lights practical.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:39 AM   #10
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Thanks guys. I’ll just get a cheap 12v 360 degree light and I’ll Velcro it to the top of the motor and run the wires to the battery.

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Old 01-27-2019, 12:09 PM   #11
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Years ago while moored in Marathon, the morning cruiser's net advised that FWC would be out that night enforcing the dinghy light regulation. We all stayed on our boats that night.


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Old 01-27-2019, 01:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Years ago while moored in Marathon, the morning cruiser's net advised that FWC would be out that night enforcing the dinghy light regulation. We all stayed on our boats that night.


David
I've been there when they've done that and there were plenty of little dinks going hither and thither with one all round light (in at least one case, a guy holding a lantern up! and they didn't get tagged. Ditto Lake Worth one time, sans the guy with the lantern. Marathon is a pretty busy harbor with a channel running through the field, which is why it is not a designated anchorage so you have to have an anchor light on too. Best to be visible there, IMO.

Edit and Correction: And I just noted, in looking in the Nav Rules book that the rule is theoretically for "International" only, so indeed the one-lighters are "getting away with it".

We had a big party on board our boat one night, our boat must have had close to 20 dinghies tied up to it. It was kind of funny watching the departures as folks were trying to find their way back to their boats or marina, looked like a swarm of fireflies zig-zagging in the darkness.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:23 PM   #13
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We have a Navisafe tricolor if weíre in the dinghy after dark. A little pricey but it really lights up. We have the old style that has the magnetic base that I mounted on the OB cover.

https://www.hodgesmarine.com/Navisaf...D_BwE&click=19
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:29 PM   #14
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^^^^ That’s not a 360 white light though, right?
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
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^^^^ Thatís not a 360 white light though, right?
You would only need that if anchoring the dink. I don't believe tying up behind the mother ship could be classified as "anchoring!"
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:45 PM   #16
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You would only need that if anchoring the dink. I don't believe tying up behind the mother ship could be classified as "anchoring!"
I thought the 360 white was always a requirement but the green and red nav were only required while underway.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:48 PM   #17
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Yes with the red and green sidelights you are supposed to have a 360 white. You can get away with just the 360 white if under 7 meters and 7 knots. A lot of LE will look at it and say some lights are better than nothing.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:57 PM   #18
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Caltexflanc caught the correction and is correct.

The 7/7 rule is internationzl only, I apologize for the incorrect post I made.

A powered dingy is to be lit like any other vessel. 360 white and side lights.
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:41 PM   #19
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A few years ago in Marathon at a meeting with the FWC, they stated that the white all around light had to be higher than people sitting on the tubes of the dink.
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:45 PM   #20
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Donít forget your nighttime visual distress equipment
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