Are anchor lights required to be on the stern?

Discussion in 'Boating' started by JPritch, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    I can't seem to find any clear regs on this. My anchor light is mounted on the stern via factory design. But I fish out of the back and the light attracts mosquitos, and the glare from the light makes it hard to see the rod tips on that side of the boat.

    Was wondering if I can place an anchor light on the bow, as long as I keep it high with 360 views?
     
  2. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,447
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    I would think that the rules may differ if you are on a water controlled by the state as opposed to one controlled by the coast guard. Sail boats have their white lights at the top of the mast so I would think that fishing boats could have them in places other than the stern...W
     

  3. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,447
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    I just found this on the coast guard web site:

    Anchored Vessels
    AT NIGHT: All vessels at anchor must display anchor lights. If your vessel is less than 164 feet/50 meters in length, then its anchor light is an all-round white light visible where it can best be seen from all directions.
    It does however show a diagram that indicates that when under power you have to show a white light at the stern. It is a bit confusing...W
     
  4. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    You see a lot of center console boats. That has it mounted over the center console.
    Pete
     
  5. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    I did some more digging during lunch and found this through the VDGIF:

    "Lights Used When Anchored

    An anchor light is a 360 degree (all-round) white light exhibited where it can best be seen and visible for 2 miles."


    ....The reg doesn't specify or exclude a certain area of the boat. Just where it can best be seen. So I think I'm money. I'm gonna see if I can find a product or rig something up so I can put the light on my bow.
     
  6. dafin

    dafin New Member

    Messages:
    1,461
    State:
    Manhattan,Kan
    there seems to be a diferance between a anchor light and a stern running light
    Sidelights: These red and green lights are called sidelights (also called combination lights) because they are visible to another vessel approaching from the side or head-on. The red light indicates a vessel's port (left) side; the green indicates a vessel's starboard (right) side.
    Sternlight: This white light is seen only from behind or nearly behind the vessel.
    Masthead Light: This white light shines forward and to both sides and is required on all power-driven vessels. (On power-driven vessels less than 39.4 feet in length, the masthead light and sternlight may be combined into an all-round white light; power-driven vessels 39.4 feet in length or longer must have a separate masthead light.) A masthead light must be used by all vessels when under engine power. The absence of this light identifies a sailing vessel because sailboats under sail display only sidelights and a sternlight.
    All-Round White Light: On power-driven vessels less than 39.4 feet in length, this light may be used to combine a masthead light and sternlight into a single white light that can be seen by other vessels from any direction. This light serves as an anchor light when sidelights are extinguished.

    that is from the Missouri boating web site
     
  7. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Some cover one side of their stern light so they can see when at anchor.This is illegal and can get you killed by another boater.Most stern lights are not usable as anchor lights as your body normally blocks the 360 degree visibility.A 10 foot section of PVC pipe with 2 or 3 couplings will make a great rust proof,adjustable hight stern,anchor light combo that can be easily mounted and moved as you wish around your boat.Cut it in sections to suit your different hight needs.I like 6',2' and 2'.This gives you a 2',4',6',8' and 10' hight combo.Your light will mount on one coupling.Sand your PVC so that these coupling will slip on the end of your pipe.Carefully drill a hole through the coupling and pipe.Use this first coupling to drill matching holes in one end of each section of PVC.Drill matching holes in other couplings to match.Glue 1 un-drilled end of coupling to each section of PVC.Use pin or bolt to hold sections together if needed.The light will be mounted on the un-drilled.end of one coupling.By cutting your PVC in the lengths you wish you can use it for a stern or anchor light and at the hight you need.A 10 foot high light seldom blinds,and gives light to fish by.You can experiment with a cardboard disk,kept from slipping by a "O" ring or anything elastic around the pipe and under the light until you get it right and create a circle of darkness in your boat if you wish.Then use the cardboard for a pattern to make a permanent disk of anything available.A good "O" ring above and below will keep your disk where you want it to control your shadow if you keep your center hole fit close.Couplings or larger pipe make good stands or holders for this light.it stores easy.You can run wires or use small flash light batteries for your light.You will need to sand the pipe for slip fit and after drilling.Look around for a proper light that can be visible for 360 degrees,is bright enough,can be serviced(batt.,bulbs) and mounted correctly.I mounted a 2 cell stern light years ago.Much better lights are available now.Draw and work it out on paper,and put it all together before making it permanent and it is very hard to go wrong.Put a spare light on a spare coupling for x-tra lights or in case your primary fails.A X stand will make it a portable free standing light.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  8. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    Thanks for all the info everyone. And great write-up PeeWee. The thought to cover one side of my anchor light has crossed my mind, but thankfully common sense prevailed.

    I will see if I can rig up something close to what you're describing. I found a good light to use, it's LED and runs on 4 AA batteries so it won't drain my boat battery.
     
  9. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    An anchor light is just an all around white light. It wouldnt matter where you put it at along as its visible 360 degrees and 2 miles.
     
  10. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I forgot to add that you might wish to build it very sturdy or attach a flotation device to it if you have friends like mine.At night,3 miles offshore,anchored in 55 feet of water a friend decided to relieve himself while holding on to my light.It took forever to find my friend.I had a light and whistle pinned to his life jacket and hollered for him to use them.He said"he was afraid that they would attract a shark'.I never found my light.As soon as I got my friend back in the boat,I took my largest shark hook on a chain tied to 5,5 gallon jugs and hooked it behind the straps of his life jacket.I told him"Ain;t no excuse for wasting bait"."Have at it".I sang"Dum,dum,dum,dum,dum,dum" like in "Jaws"all night long.He never would go fishing with me again.He never would pose for a picture with it either.I rigged and carried stuff like that rig to make my kids and friends happy.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  11. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    While I'm just anchored up fishing and not moving, I frequently will stick my white light up in the bow socket because it keeps the bugs away from where I'm fishing. I figure if I'm sitting still it shouldn't matter as long as the light is visible from 360 degrees in all directions.
     
  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Your anchor light has to be elevated above the nav lights when running. or they will cancel the nav lights out.

    The anchor light can be centrally located in the boat. It doesnt matter where up and down its length you place it because all the other boats see is a white light.
    The red and green nav lights are the directional lights. Thats what informs other boats of your orientation and thats why they have a radius requirement.

    Any boat with a hard top or T-top is going to have the anchor light mounted up high and centrally located because the top will impede 360 degree viewing. Thats why a sailboat displays it on top of the mast. Otherwise the mast would block its view.
    Going by the 360 degree rule the anchor light would have to be displayed from the highest point of any vessel wherever that might be.

    I've even seen the nav lights on the same pole as the anchor light.
    No problem with that as long as there is adequate seperation so one doesnt cancel the other out.
    If you want to get technical, if your anchor light isnt taller then the tallest person onboard when standing you would be out of spec.
     
  13. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
  14. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I was complemented about those lights by the Coast Guard along with Ga.,SC.fish and game.They were legal when I ran them at the back of the boat for running lights,or mid to forward for anchor lights.I sometimes had a 8 ft.anchor light forward and a 2 ft.on the middle seat behind me for a fishing light.Only the high light had to be visible for 360 degrees.I also had the red over white to rig when I drift fished at night with lines,and the green over white when I pulled a 30 ft Scorpion shrimp net at night.I had a commercial fishing,crabbing and Captains license and had to be jam up with all law enforcement.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee