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Old 10-07-2012, 08:41 AM   #1
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Headlights

Anybody use headlights?

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #2
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A "docking light" had been installed on a Willard I owned many years ago in Oregon. I didn't think much of it until I had to enter an unfamiliar marina one night. That light was the only thing that let me see the sticks for the private channel into the marina. Not sure I would consider a fixed light a necessity - I have portable spotlights on board - but they could be a nice option, especially if single handing.

I haven't cruised at night on the East Coast, but I could see where some kind of light would be valuable in picking up all the crab pot bouys, especially here on the Chesapeake.

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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I'd have to look a little deeper but I'm not sure it's legal to run with them on all the time...although many run with seachlights on when in narrow stretches of the AICWW...blinding other skippers is the issue.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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..".although many run with seachlights on when in narrow stretches of the AICWW...blinding other skippers is the issue. "

Known as Cajun Radar on the GICW
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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One More Time Around: Low Tech Spotlight
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeber View Post
Anybody use headlights?

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Eeber
In Puget Sound you see all sorts of additional lighting on fishing and commercial boats, mostly due to all the crap in the water ( logs, crab pot floats, )
When I set up Volunteer for my run down the coast and up the Columbia River I added a couple High Pressure sodium lights up on the mast... wow was the visibility amazing.. I even was able to pick out a big old conventional Sony TV floating offshore at night on the trip down the coast. On the Sea Ray we currently have we have a set of recessed hull docking lights that work surprisingly well for entering strange marinas, channels at night. The next trawler that we are interested has a great mast to install high power lighting for making night runs to the islands... and will be high on the list of additions after the purchase. As far as the legal issue of lighting, I have never heard of the coasties caring as long as the correct nav lighting is also lit on the boat ( ever try to see the nav lighting on a cruise ship when they are all lit up at night? )
as a side note, the higher the light is off the water the better... water does weird things to the highest power light at a low angle to the water
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:01 AM   #7
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Had a remote controlled spot/flood light on the Wellcraft that came in handy a few times. I've seen other boats with built in "headlights". Mostly smaller boats that I guess would be ideal when loading on the trailer.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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Aquabelle has 'headlights': a pair of Cessna landing lights mounted just below the anchor pulpit either side of the bow. She was built with them. They focus sharply down and their illumination area can hardly be seen from the lower helm. They are very useful for someone at the bow looking to pick up a mooring buoy in the dark. Retrofitting these is relatively common. High current draw and would only be used briefly, while searching for a buoy known to be nearby.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:00 PM   #9
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Is a searchlight considered a "headlight" if directed forward?

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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headlights, searchlights, lasers, anything facing oncoming traffic would be an issue in the eyes of a marine court if some other captain is night blinded by your lights...probably not a big deal most of the time but in crowded, narrow waterways like the NJ Intracoastal on a busy boating night...it is a problem...heck I'm also furious with many marinas and private docks that have security lights that face the waterway instead of mounted so they shine back at the dock/marina instead of blinding boaters.

I'm pretty sure in my reading I have read where no permanent forward facing flood/spot light is to be illuminated for transiting just for the reasons stated...but that would not include the temporary use of a spot to illuminate objects to ID them.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:15 PM   #11
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I like a good pair of 'high beams'.

I like them better if they are coming directly at me.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:05 PM   #12
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headlights, searchlights, lasers, anything facing oncoming traffic would be an issue in the eyes of a marine court if some other captain is night blinded by your lights..
Considering the limited illumination of most small-boat searchlights, their use for looking for floating water hazards is something less than 30 yards. So, shouldn't the typical searchlight be aimed downward and away from the eyes of other boaters unless they are "underbow" as well as far below the sightlines of a ship's mariners?
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:08 PM   #13
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Moonstruck has a good remote controlled spot light that is great for picking up the reflectors on markers. Most of the time I use a good 7 X 50 set of binoculars that gather a lot of light. If there is any light available, it is amazing how clearly I can see at night. Even green cans stand out against the water. With the lights down on the boat the binoculars preserve night vision.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:17 PM   #14
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Most of the time I use a good 7 X 50 set of binoculars that gather a lot of light.
My treasure is the light-gathering capability of a Steiner 7X50 binocular.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:03 PM   #15
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Considering the limited illumination of most small-boat searchlights, their use for looking for floating water hazards is something less than 30 yards. So, shouldn't the typical searchlight be aimed downward and away from the eyes of other boaters unless they are "underbow" as well as far below the sightlines of a ship's mariners?
Based on my experience with avoiding floating hazards is...if you are expecting them...go slow enough to avoid damage...if not run as fast as you feel that you can. Actually seeing anything and avoiding it is almost impossible...spotlights are for identifying buoys, charted rockpiles, etc...etc...using a light all the time to avoid hazards I think is a folly except for a very shot duration otherwise running at night would be so stressfyl it would no longer be recreational boating.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #16
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...using a light all the time to avoid hazards I think is a folly except for a very shot duration otherwise running at night would be so stressfyl it would no longer be recreational boating.
I have a hard time considering night-running to be recreational.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:42 PM   #17
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Wondering ... since night has serious visibility limitations, might not one want to sound his fog horn?
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #18
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One doesn't run at night in Maine unless one has a prop cage. Have just asked for quotes on a cage from two different local fabricators. Not that I particularly want to run at night but it would give me the option to run the lobster pot minefield if I had to/wanted to, not to mention peace of mind daytime running. As long as I don't back up.

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #19
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A good place to practice mine sweeping.

Holey cow! Talk about impediments to navigation!
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #20
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Guessing that is called Gauntlet Inlet on the charts
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