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Old 02-11-2013, 04:12 PM   #1
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Spreader lights

Anybody know if it's legal to have the spreader lights on, all night, while at anchor or cruising? Pointed down, and used in conjunction with anchor or nav lights.
I've been thinking about a set of solar dusk to dawn garden type "spotlights" mounted to the spreaders. They are not real bright so I'd leave the existing lights in place and turn them on if I needed more light.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #2
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Anybody know if it's legal to have the spreader lights on, all night, while at anchor or cruising? Pointed down, and used in conjunction with anchor or nav lights.
I've been thinking about a set of solar dusk to dawn garden type "spotlights" mounted to the spreaders. They are not real bright so I'd leave the existing lights in place and turn them on if I needed more light.
Thanks
Steve W
yes you can have them on...they really can't be misinterpreted as any kind of running light as long as they are white light.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
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I would think they would be considered work lights.
As long as you have an anchor light and of course Nav lights.

They could be confused if used while running. You may be confused with a tow pushing alongside. That is the only lighting configuration I can find. Or a barge partially submerged. But only marginally confused at best

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Old 02-11-2013, 05:24 PM   #4
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I would think they would be considered work lights.
As long as you have an anchor light and of course Nav lights.

They could be confused if used while running. You may be confused with a tow pushing alongside. That is the only lighting configuration I can find. Or a barge partially submerged. But only marginally confused at best

SD
And the same rules apply as both would be considered just a power vessel...

and look at cruise ships and large freighters...I have a hard time finding their running lights amongst the hundreds of other lights....I guess the point is that with enough light...you are preventing the collision unless someone gets really stupid out there....
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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Absolutely.

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Old 02-12-2013, 06:27 AM   #6
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If you are just fearful that the locals wont notice a legal anchor light , many cruisers in Euroland where fish gatherers go out at 3 AM, some directly from the Cantina have a simple solution.

Those lights folks use to light a walkway are solar powered and in some places down to $1.00 each.

With a better aftermarket battery (what do you want for a buck?) most will run all night , till dawn at no cost to the boats house battery.

Wont meet the coasties requirement for a real anchor light , but might work to not be crashed into.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:51 AM   #7
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Maybe I've taken too many NavRules exams and taught too many navigation classes. But I had no trouble picking out the nav lights on that NCL ship that Mark posted. I can clearly see the port side light and the forward and aft masthead lights.

+1 on the hardware store solar accent lights. I've heard too many stories about boats being hit at anchor because some dummy didn't know to look UP to watch for anchor lights. Another option would be to keep the deck courtesy lights on, if so equipped. With LED bulbs (or fixtures) these really wouldn't take much juice.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:18 AM   #8
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Maybe I've taken too many NavRules exams and taught too many navigation classes. But I had no trouble picking out the nav lights on that NCL ship that Mark posted. I can clearly see the port side light and the forward and aft masthead lights.

+1 on the hardware store solar accent lights. I've heard too many stories about boats being hit at anchor because some dummy didn't know to look UP to watch for anchor lights. Another option would be to keep the deck courtesy lights on, if so equipped. With LED bulbs (or fixtures) these really wouldn't take much juice.
Try it when all you can see is lights and not the shape of the ship and when almost ALL the cabin lights are on and you can see all different colors when it's really dark....in all the classes I've taught and all the books/pubs...they never illustrate a fully illuminated cruise ship because it would drive students nuts....
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:57 AM   #9
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Try it when all you can see is lights and not the shape of the ship and when almost ALL the cabin lights are on and you can see all different colors when it's really dark
Good point. I had fun one dark night trying to distinguish all the nav lights on a dredge from the work lights and shore lights. They really do pop out at you if you know what you're looking for. And yes, this IS my idea of fun. I know, it's a sickness.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:49 AM   #10
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If you really want to have fun cruising at night, do it along the ICW during the Christmas season. Red, green, and white lights abound. They are on docks, shore, and boats. Entering into Solomons after everyone has their Christmas lights is almost comical. Many places I have put my cursor near a marker, and told the autopilot to go to it. Picking out the light was a crap shoot.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #11
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A boat displaying spreader lights is much easier to identify than one showing only running lights or anchor light.

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:22 PM   #12
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A boat displaying spreader lights is much easier to identify than one showing only running lights or anchor light.

This picture has you showing the lights of a tug boat with tow under 200 meters.

Doesn't matter...same rules apply....
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:43 PM   #13
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This picture has you showing the lights of a tug boat with tow under 200 meters.

Doesn't matter...same rules apply....
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #14
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Coot on steroids!!!! I like it!!!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:14 PM   #15
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One way to make your boat way more visible at night is to take a bucket and cover the outside with 3M Scotchbrite reflective tape. Man, that thing will light up with the slightest light pointed at it!

If you're going to leave the spreader lights on all night, I'd also look at their power consumption. LED seem to be the answer, albeit expensive.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:58 PM   #16
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One word of caution....if you're anchored, those lights would be great for lighting up the walkways and decks. But if you're cruising they're going to be hard on your night vision.

No offense, but when I see a boat that is cruising and has all kinds of lights illuminated it reminds me of the GFBL boats you see running with the "headlights" on. They're not smart enough to know those are docking lights.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:56 AM   #17
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Your local truck stop will have "conspicuity tape" A DOT required item.

Works fine IF the closing boat is looking, otherwise useless.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:40 AM   #18
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We have LED spreader lights shining aft for night fishing. They also come in handy for keeping an eye on anchor drift at night. In low visibility, we leave them on all night. They consume very little power so battery drain is not an issue.

This shot shows from top to bottom, LED anchor light on photocell, 2 LED spreaders and 2 LED cockpit lights (the stbd LED hidden behind the teak handle near the ladder).



I ran a short distance on the Napa River while repositioning for fishing this week. It's not something we normally do, but since they're mounted high and face aft, there was no negative impact on night vision.
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