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Old 09-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #1
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Stern light - off center

Does the stern light need to be on the centerline? With my dink on Weaver davits the original stern light is obscured. I have a place the distance from the centerline to the edge of the boat where I can easily mount one. Im concerned what the CG would say if boarded.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:22 AM   #2
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From CFR 33

c)Sternlight means a white light placed as nearly as practicable at the stern showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 135 degrees and so fixed as to show the light 67.5 degrees from right aft on each side of the vessel.

Nothing about being in the center.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by meridian View Post
Does the stern light need to be on the centerline?
No. It can be displaced as needed.

Rule 23c - PDV Less than 12m


(c | d) (i) A power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length may in lieu of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and sidelights. [(ii) a power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots may in lieu of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and shall, if practicable, also exhibit sidelights.]
[(iii) the masthead light or all-round white light on a power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length may be displaced from the fore and aft centerline of the vessel if centerline fitting is not practicable, provided the sidelights are combined in one lantern which shall be carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel or located as nearly as practicable in the same fore and aft line as the masthead light or the all-round white light.]
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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Lots of sailboats have them to one side due to the gate for the swim ladder, so not a problem. By the way, what do most of you do for a stern light when you carry a dingy, particularly where the oem light is on the stern and obscures the entire transome? Something this thread just made me think of given the boats we are looking at right now.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #5
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When I installed Weaver davits this year, I had to raise the stern light from the transom to the aft edge of the bridge deck. Of course doing this with a sedan-style boat with covered cockpit is easier than with a tri-cabin design. Also the light is offset to port, originally because of my center-located transom door and now for ease of wiring run.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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Mine is located on the back of the pilot house above the aft cabin. Used to be mounted on the aft looking side of the mast.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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No one will know or care if it is off-center. What really counts is that they see a white stern light. The main purpose of Nav Lights, stern lights included, is so that another vessel can tell you direction of travel.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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By the way, what do most of you do for a stern light when you carry a dingy, particularly where the oem light is on the stern and obscures the entire transome? Something this thread just made me think of given the boats we are looking at right now.
Our Livingston on the swimstep blocks the stock stern light. On the rare occasions we have run after dark we disconnect the steaming light on the mast and turn on the anchor light with the nav lights. The length of our boat is such that it is legal for us to run at night with a single all-round white light in lieu of a steaming and stern light.
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