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Old 07-08-2014, 01:11 PM   #1
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Running Lights

Can anyone suggest a good set of running lights for the bow. We sometime cross the lake at night and have to dodge crab pots the whole way. Holding a QBeam for two hrs. ain't fun. My search lt. is mounted where it puts a shadow of the bow directly my track so I can't use it. I'd like to find a good set of bright LEDs that I can rail mount on the bow. But all that I've looked at give little info on brightness/color. Help Please!
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:38 PM   #2
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The NavRules do not allow operating at night with 'docking lights' operating.

-INLAND-
Lights and Shapes

PART C-LIGHTS AND SHAPES

RULE 20
Application

(a) Rules in this Part shall be complied with in all weathers.

(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset
to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be. exhibited,
except such lights as cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in
these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character,
or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.


(c) The lights prescribed by these Rules shall, if carried, also be
exhibited from sunrise to sunset in restricted visibility and may be
exhibited in all other circumstances when it is deemed necessary.

(d) The Rules concerning shapes shall be complied with by day.

(e) The lights and shapes specified in these Rules shall comply with
the provisions of Annex I of these Rules.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:55 PM   #3
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind while installing the lights.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:39 PM   #4
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There's not much more maddening than to have a boat coming at you with his DOCKING LIGHTS turned on while he's cruising because it ruins the night vision of everyone around him.

Slow down, use the hand held spotlight and don't spoil it for others.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:42 PM   #5
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I might suggest looking at the fixed mounted joystick controlled spot or flood lights made by ACR. The real bright units are fairly expensive but they do a great job.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:18 PM   #6
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Thanks Billy, I'm sure ACR sells a switch that I can use to turn the light off when other craft are in the area.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
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My unit which I rarely ever used because I had a FLIR you pushed both side buttons (the left arrow and the right arrow buttons) to turn it on and both the up and down arrows to turn the unit off. Some have a standard on/ off switch but they are made to turn on and off, mostly off in my case.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:18 PM   #8
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dhiggins I have to agree with others extensive use of any powerful bow lights will ruin your own night vision and ruin others who are in view of your lights. I'd suggest slowing down and only use the light when absolutely needed. While a FLIR unit would be ideal they are extremely expensive. Perhaps a set of night goggles might work? When I travel or cruise at night my wife stands watch in addition to me operating the boat and minding the navigation equipment.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:27 PM   #9
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Great advice, my top speed is 7.5 knots so I may slow it down to around 3 knots and buy a pair of GenV night vision goggles. Thanks guys.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:04 PM   #10
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind while installing the lights.
A better plan is to not install the lights. As others have posted, it's against the regulations to run with "headlights" and it ruins your night vision and more importantly, it ruins other boater's night vision. Nothing screams "rookie" more than a boat running at night with "headlights" (usually installed on deckboats and labelled "docking lights").

If you can't see the crab pots or anything else in your way, you need to slow down. Also, make sure your instrument lights or any other lights are dim enough that they don't ruin your night vision.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:01 PM   #11
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Since you are going to put them on anyway, keep them angled downward and turn them off when headed towards another moving vessel.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:08 PM   #12
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Many just mount a permanent directional (but adjustable), a manually adjusted mounted...or a remote adjustable mounted spotlight to do the same.

I did a quick search of the rules online but could not find where they mention the constant use of a spotlight. The only real issue is using in such a fashion that it is a danger to other boaters.

Tug/tows use their bazillion candle power spots continuously when transiting certain parts of the ACIW. So do LE boats, USCG boats and others...and I certainly do as it is the safest way I can travel and stay in the channel at the speeds I need to run (if the boss bought FLIR or Night Vision..I would change my habits). I wll admit that it rarely helps in spotting crab pits..but again I am usually moving faster than trawler speeds.

On the East Coast...it's many lights that destroy your night vision...not necessarily a properly mounted set of running or spotlights.

Like groping around a dark room...it's better sometimes to destroy your night vision and using a flashlight than falling down the flight of stairs that you wouldn't see anyhow.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:09 PM   #13
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Tug/tows use their bazillion candle power spots continuously when transiting certain parts of the ACIW. So do LE boats, USCG boats and others...and I certainly do as it is the safest way I can travel and stay in the channel at the speeds I need to run (if the boss bought FLIR or Night Vision..I would change my habits). I wll admit that it rarely helps in spotting crab pits..but again I am usually moving faster than trawler speeds.

.
Well, there ya go, head lights for everybody and don't be shy about using them.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:18 PM   #14
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Well, there ya go, head lights for everybody and don't be shy about using them.
Yep, we've been given permission. I'm going to install a pair of those bright blue/white ones they have on some of the cars. Nobody else will be able to see but I'll be able to cruise the ICW at top speed at night.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #15
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If aimed perhaps fifty feet ahead, don't see how this would significantly harm the night vision of other boaters unless they're very close, but would likely ruin your night vision? Isn't it a choice between close versus distant vision?

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Old 07-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #16
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:28 PM   #17
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Bay Pelican's mounted spot light and our zillion candlepower hand held are both useless once we are out of the harbor. In the harbor where there are other boats and larger objects it can highlight them. At sea our night vision is better. In fact the spots ruin the night vision. Just our experience.

Best use for a handheld for us is at anchor when we highlight our guests' boat so they can dinghy home.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:39 PM   #18
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In addition to the USCG regulation cited above, some states specifically prohibit the use of docking lights while underway. Here's an example:

Pennsylvania Boating Handbook - Chapter 2.9, Night Operation & Lights

A friend made me a custom LED flashlight with a special lens, High Power LED light, special reflector and rechargeable batteries. The beauty of this flashlight is its brightness, focus and minimum scatter of light in the foreground. I can point this toward a distant object and illuminate the object and little else in the area. The foredeck of the boat remains dimly illuminated, preserving my night vision. Not exactly what you'd want for spotting pots, but I find it useful for general spotlight use, especially when approaching an unfamiliar dock at night.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:26 PM   #19
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If aimed perhaps fifty feet ahead, don't see how this would significantly harm the night vision of other boaters unless they're very close,......
How about the reflection?
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:13 PM   #20
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