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Old 12-30-2014, 07:32 AM   #1
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Searchlight and running light use

(quick apology...sorry to infer running lights as nav lights if read that way)

For those that want to see what it's REALLY like travelling the ACIW at night sometimes....

Here's a tug pushing through the crowded dock area just south of the Wrightsville Bridge in North Carolina.

2 search lights ahead (1st two pics) and 2 very bright worklights astern (bottom pic).

Somehow I doubt the average trawler lights are anyone's big concern even with some laws, and courtesy taken into account....
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
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I've had my night vision destroyed on a couple of occasions when anchored near the ICW and spotlighted by some tug's billion candlepower spotlight.

One of the reasons I would never actually run the ICW at night unless I absolutely had to.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:44 AM   #3
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I used to fly 250' night low levels in the southeastern US. When crossing waterways, some of the tug Captains seemed to enjoy trying to hit us with their lights. Getting hit by one of those searchlights took out your night vision for some time.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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I find the trick to dealing with someone else's seachlight is if you see them sweeping your way, turn away or close one eye. Not always possible but most of the time, especially the bigger ones as they don't turn as fast as the guy in the center console sweeping with a handheld.

It's when it's steady straight ahead and both of you have no choice.

I certainly don't blame the tug captains for using it in places like where the pics were taken...one to let the true chuckleheads know something big is coming ...probably be a good idea to vacate the channel and two, to see well enough to make quicker corrections.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
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This is probably necessity since this area is chock full of small power craft that
1) don't understand the rules
2) can't comply with regulations
3) don't turn on the radio


Plus a lot of people out on paddle boards. Hate to get either one stuck in the prop
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinny View Post
This is probably necessity since this area is chock full of small power craft that
1) don't understand the rules
2) can't comply with regulations
3) don't turn on the radio


Plus a lot of people out on paddle boards. Hate to get either one stuck in the prop
I've seen enough people cross right in front of tows on the ICW that I'm sure it's never far from their minds.
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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Those big lights come into great use when you are on the PNW coast trying to dodge crab pots....
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
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Wrightsville bch is my stomping grounds!! My dock is about 2mi n of the wb drawbridge.

I run at night lots on the icw, and come up on these tows fairly often. They like to leave the searchlight on, no doubt. Coming up on them, I give a quick blink on of my searchlight, and 90% of them will then keep their light off me. If not, time to get on the radio!!

Sometimes just best to duck out of the icw into some other channel and let them pass, but gots to be careful of their surge, especially at low tide!!
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
Wrightsville bch is my stomping grounds!! My dock is about 2mi n of the wb drawbridge.

I run at night lots on the icw, and come up on these tows fairly often. They like to leave the searchlight on, no doubt. Coming up on them, I give a quick blink on of my searchlight, and 90% of them will then keep their light off me. If not, time to get on the radio!!

Sometimes just best to duck out of the icw into some other channel and let them pass, but gots to be careful of their surge, especially at low tide!!
Yep...that why I posted it.

Awhile back there was a lot of flack about running with bright lights on and it seems like some states actually have legislation about it.

I seriously doubt any LEO would probably ever go after a tug and tow...and probably not anyone if reasonable with their light use.

Night vision is great but not a substitute for bight lights when tight quarters maneuvering or running at speed...nor is FLIR or NVGs...to a point.

Quick reaction requires instant and reasonable input which bright light seem to be the best...otherwise these guys would install or buy whatever is better...they can afford to go around smashing bridges or expensive yachts.
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
Wrightsville bch is my stomping grounds!! My dock is about 2mi n of the wb drawbridge.
I'd be careful making that statement, you may get someone on here that will do a full on night time stealth dinghy sneak attack.

Not sure how your beer in the fridge is gone
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:56 PM   #11
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Ski...my mom and sister are in Wilmington and we stay at the Dockside for 5 days up and down each winter...


I'll PM you in mid/late March when we pass back through...I owe you a beer or two for all the good info you pass along here!!!!
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