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Old 07-30-2013, 09:44 PM   #21
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This has been an interesting quest for me. Captain Jack(SoF) gave me sound advice in post #7. I began researching the subject of navigation light compliance at the USCG website and that led me to this publication.

http://www.uscg.mil/pvs/docs/CG-840%...t%204%2011.pdf

Page 15 section 5.2 referred me to UL 1104 and 33 CFR 84 and 46 CFR 183.420.

Then I found this little nugget in 46 CFR 183.420 that states "All vessels must have navigation lights that are in compliance with the applicable sections of the International and Inland Navigation Rules, except that a vessel of more than 19.8 meters (65 feet) in length must also have navigation lights that meet UL 1104, ?Standards for Marine Navigation Lights,? or other standard specified by the Commandant."

So it appears that from a legal standpoint in the USA I am no closer to the actual answer except to assume there is no actual quoted standard for our small boats beyond actually displaying the prescribed lights in functional order to the satisfaction of the Commandant. What am I missing here gang???
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:04 PM   #22
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As long as your lights meet the visibility (range), sector , color and placement...you are good to go..they can be candles....

Builders have to have theirs "certified".
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:16 PM   #23
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My boat stands out in an anchorage with its crazy bright white light. Maybe we can have an anchor light comparison next week in Angel Island with Giggitoni and markpierce. I've got an IPA beer up for grabs to the brightest anchor light. Any takers?
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:58 AM   #24
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I've got an IPA beer up for grabs to the brightest anchor light. Any takers?

The problem is with the brightest light in the world , if its not USCG or some other regulating body approved it does not exist.

The units are tested with factory parts , not with what you buy someplace.

YES, the law is an ass , but its the law.

A harder concept for intl. cruisers is USCG approval ( grandfathering) stops when out of US waters.

Use the good stuff .

In special anchorages where no light is required , some folks will use 1/2 dozen foot walk solar lamps spaced around the hull to warn early departing folks .
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:43 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
I've got an IPA beer up for grabs to the brightest anchor light. Any takers?

The problem is with the brightest light in the world , if its not USCG or some other regulating body approved it does not exist.

The units are tested with factory parts , not with what you buy someplace.

YES, the law is an ass , but its the law.

A harder concept for intl. cruisers is USCG approval ( grandfathering) stops when out of US waters.

Use the good stuff .

In special anchorages where no light is required , some folks will use 1/2 dozen foot walk solar lamps spaced around the hull to warn early departing folks .
I switched both of my last boats ( Volunteer and the Sea Ray ) to non USCG approved LED's, they were brighter and could be seen considerably further than the incandescent bulbs they replaced, I plan to do the same on my Ocean Alexander soon.

Personally I will take the risk that if it ever came to a fight in court because some dumb ass ran into me in a anchorage...it would be found it was caused from my light being so bright he could not see me.

The Coasties are not going to take the time to shimmy up the mast to check to see if my light has their stamp either.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:08 AM   #26
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[QUOTE=hollywood8118;172363]

The Coasties are not going to take the time to do that, but insurance lawyers will. They will hire experts to check every detail. They will go to almost any links to keep from accepting liability for an accident. Unfortunately, many cases are decided on contributory negligence and shared liability. I have testified as an expert witness on both sides of construction law suits. You would be amazed at the details that lawyers will get into.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:24 AM   #27
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Only manufacturer's are required to use USCG certified light fixture...owner replacements can be oil lamps if you like....

If they meet the COLREG requirements...USCG cert isn't important for non-inspected vessels.

At least that's the way I understand the regs and it was that way till a few months back the last time we had the discussion on certified lights.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:09 PM   #28
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So I had pretty much decided to go with the USCG compliant:

Dr Led GE90 Star anchor light Led

E-mailed the company as the base I needed wasn't listed on the online order site. The very quick response was, "We will have a new product out in a few weeks that replaces the one you are inquiring about".

Would be really nice to have a 3 mile rated bulb! Probably wishful thinking. Stay tuned........

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Old 08-09-2013, 09:17 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=FF;172343]
A harder concept for intl. cruisers is USCG approval ( grandfathering) stops when out of US waters.


Apparently, Oz recognises US coast Guard approvals, at least for navigation lights anyway, would think NZ would as well.

Over here we have also been warned that replacing incandescent rated units with LED's voids the certification, irrespective of the light output.

However, like a lot of forum members, I have a boat built in the heady days of the 80's from an Asian ship yard,in my case Hong Kong.I would bet that none of my navigational lights ever passed through any type of certification process, other than they were ordered from the the electrician's wife's third cousin who had a factory in Shanghai making lamps.

So in this case what is the problem of replacing the bulbs with LED's, as the original lights were probably never certified to begin with.

If you are using a certified replacement light, that seems to me a different matter.

FWIW for the Oz contingent here there is an interesting article on this in this months 'Afloat' magazine, great little freebie magazine on nautical matters.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:53 PM   #30
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Again...as long as you meet the COLREGs...as an owner/operator you DO NOT have to meet USCG certification.

New Boatbuilders Home Page - Navigation Lights

Clarification: The navigation rules on positioning of lights apply to anyone who installs lights whether it be the builder or the owner/operator. The rule requires they be installed correctly. The rules for certification of lights apply only to manufacturers, dealers and distributors.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:34 AM   #31
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Reading all the site would leave me with the opinion that the USCG requires the light to be an APPROVED light , which is then mounted properly.

Changing an approved light will void the approval,.

Simplest answer would be an extra anchor light , a legal one with a big filament bulb as approved , and a second light with what ever you decide on .

Would be hard for the Liar for Hire to prove which light was operating when some drunk drove in to you.

We have a over 65 ft Perko lamp mounted on the PH , and a plug in LED which is as bright or brighter that uses little juice all night.

It is struck at daybreak coffee time.

The most common late night hassle is someone driving over the anchor line , and only a locating ball gives someone a chance at knowing where the line actually is.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:35 AM   #32
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Actually guys.....

there is a case right now in Florida where the local cops are hasseling a guy who leaves his boat anchored out with a Home Depot solar path light on it.

When he went to the USCG, the USCG has said they will not get involved because it is an all around white light displayed during proper hours and probably pretty close to the visibility requirement (probably a stretch but the USCG know the creek is only so wide so why make a big deal out of it). They never once in print made a statement that it HAS to be certified. If the USCG goes on the record as it being "OK"...they have taken on some of that liability that although not perfect...it basically meets the COLREGs and they have in multiple pubs said owner modified lights are OK...but now the owners responsibility.

Just like oil anchor lights that are sold...they aren't "certified" nav lights but they meet the requirements and are used all the time. If they weren't the USCG would have warnings all over the place beyond just the "we don't care...it's YOUR responsibility to meet the NAVRULES"
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