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Old 08-02-2014, 02:51 PM   #1
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Dinghy Lighting

Aqua Signal sells lights to be mounted on dinghies, but are rated for just one nautical mile. This is OK for a dinghy which is capable of less than 7 knots, but technically not adequate for a faster one. And sometimes I worry about roaring around at night in the Bahamas with marginal lighting, even if no one down there gives a hoot about lights.

Although Aqua Signal does not endorse this modification (I checked), I purchased two PR-2-1WHP-9V LED bulbs from superbrightlightsled.com and the difference in brightness is quite noticeable. Battery life should also be better than the old PR-2 flashlight bulbs. There is no discernible heat. Probably still illegal per USCG regulations, but definitely an improvement.

Capt. Jeff Janacek
on "Adirondack"
in Rock Hall, MD
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:54 PM   #2
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Have used the Aqua Signal lights, incandescent, now LED, for years. This season added a solar powered dock light to the top of the outboard. Outside of the North America and Australia don't actually know what the laws require or whether the laws are observed. Just trying to stay alive.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:22 PM   #3
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A few years back about 15 boats headed to a local harbor in CT to attend a party at a friend's house located up a creek with a dock on the water. We all anchored in the outer harbor, launched our dinghies and proceeded up the creek. At evening's end, the parade started back to the outer harbor in pitch dark conditions. All the dinghies were lit by hand held flashlights.

Once reaching the outer harbor, a police boat approached, blue lights flashing, corralled all the dinghies and ordered us to follow his boat to a nearby dock. As the procession began I wound up being the last in the line and given my 3.3 hp outboard fell further and further behind. I decided to go a bit slower, then slower still. Finally, I shut down the outboard and to the Admiral's consternation, rowed silently to our boat, climbed aboard and shut all the cabin lights. Later that evening I learned from the others that fines were levied for improper lighting. Then a life jacket count resulted in more fines.

The next day I went to the local Worst Marine to purchase a combination bow light and a stern light for my dinghy. I was informed that they ran out of them and couldn't understand why so many people bought the same thing that morning.

Hey, a man's got to do what a man has to do. This IS a true story. Howard
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:44 PM   #4
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Ha! Great story. I love a happy ending!!
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:00 PM   #5
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The FWC in marathon want dink stern lights to be high enough to be seen 360 degrees. I have mine on a 4 ft pole. Also anchor lights on dinks unless pulled close to your stern.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:36 AM   #6
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We use Navi Lights (NAVISAFE | LIGHTING A SAFE PASSAGE - PORTABLE NAVIGATION LIGHTS). They have a range of portable, battery operated nav lights. We installed a small mount on our 11' Boston Whaler that a telescoping pole locks into. The Navi Light is super bright white LED, USCG approved at 2 nm. We also have a tri-color light that has magnets that allow you to wear the light on a hat (bottom magnet goes inside your hat, light sits on top). Haven't tried that one yet. I mean, if you wore it and turned your head... LOL
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:39 AM   #7
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We use Navi Lights (NAVISAFE | LIGHTING A SAFE PASSAGE - PORTABLE NAVIGATION LIGHTS). They have a range of portable, battery operated nav lights. We installed a small mount on our 11' Boston Whaler that a telescoping pole locks into. The Navi Light is super bright white LED, USCG approved at 2 nm. We also have a tri-color light that has magnets that allow you to wear the light on a hat (bottom magnet goes inside your hat, light sits on top). Haven't tried that one yet. I mean, if you wore it and turned your head... LOL
We have this one and love it.

NAVISAFE | Navi light TriColor 2NM

I just have to remember to take the batteries out during the off season. One of them leaked.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:48 PM   #8
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........... We also have a tri-color light that has magnets that allow you to wear the light on a hat (bottom magnet goes inside your hat, light sits on top). Haven't tried that one yet. I mean, if you wore it and turned your head... LOL
I'm glad yo see the problem with that arrangement. What were they thinking to manufacture something like that?
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:50 PM   #9
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........ I purchased two PR-2-1WHP-9V LED bulbs from superbrightlightsled.com and the difference in brightness is quite noticeable. Battery life should also be better than the old PR-2 flashlight bulbs. There is no discernible heat. Probably still illegal per USCG regulations, but definitely an improvement.
The regulations are performance based. You should be fine as long as the angle and distance are correct.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:40 AM   #10
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I'm glad yo see the problem with that arrangement. What were they thinking to manufacture something like that?
Because it is really designed to mount on a bimini. Plus they have mounts for various other applications that attach to the lower magnet.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:34 AM   #11
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Because it is really designed to mount on a bimini. Plus they have mounts for various other applications that attach to the lower magnet.
That makes more sense but he said it was meant to wear on a hat.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:25 AM   #12
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That makes more sense but he said it was meant to wear on a hat.
I had heard the same thing. I can't imagine trying to wear a 1/4 lb plus weight (light) on a hat.

We mounted the magnet on our outboard cover. The light is blocked on the starboard quadrant but is so bright it illuminates everything. It sure beats running in the dark.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:21 AM   #13
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Sounds like a great idea if you decide to go to a halloween party dressed as a dinghy.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:44 AM   #14
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If you are in a dinghy that only requires an all around light, the hat trick could work ok.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:04 PM   #15
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Sounds like a great idea if you decide to go to a halloween party dressed as a dinghy.
may help in keeping drunk sailors from running into you at the party...just watch out for the drunk, highs peed powerboaters....
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:48 PM   #16
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I just have to remember to take the batteries out during the off season. One of them leaked.
Thanks for the heads up! I'll try and remember the same...
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:51 PM   #17
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That makes more sense but he said it was meant to wear on a hat.
Actually, I said it "allowed" you to wear on a hat. I think it was designed to mount on other things, but they said if you need to you can wear on your head/hat.

Someone else pointed out the all-white light does the same thing, and that wouldn't present any problems if worn that way.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:22 PM   #18
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Actually, I said it "allowed" you to wear on a hat. I think it was designed to mount on other things, but they said if you need to you can wear on your head/hat.

Someone else pointed out the all-white light does the same thing, and that wouldn't present any problems if worn that way.
The white all around light would seem to be OK but not the ti-colored light.

Technically even the all around light wouldn't be legal because the light is supposed to be mounted on the boat.

Bottom line, if you're going to be using your dinghy after dark, buy and install a proper light for it. The light is not there to make it legal, it's there to keep you safe.
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