Keeping lights on at night

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by crusinman2002, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. crusinman2002

    crusinman2002 New Member

    Messages:
    374
    State:
    Mukwonago, Wisconsin
    people, please heed this advice... the only reason i bring it up is because i almost had an accident tonight... DO NOT turn your lights off when u r just sitting there... i was on jordan lake here in nc at night, and just came out from under a bridge, i can barely see the shore line which was only 50 or 60 yards away so i'm taking it nice and slow once i get out of the no wake zone... i was underway, and there were no lights at all in front of me and then all of a sudden lights pop on dang near right in front of me... i couldn't see the boat at all till the stern light came on... its a good thing that i was takin it slow otherwise i wouldn't have been able to safely turn and go around the boat... turning your lights on when u hear a boat getting close is not good enough... u need to keep at least your stern light on when u r stopped.... all i could think was good thing i wasn't goin fast and good thing i was able to make it around that boat... well... i'm done venting... just needed to get it out.
     
  2. Ictalurus Punctatus

    Ictalurus Punctatus New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    Greensboro, NC
    What lights are supposed to be on when? What I've been doing is; while I'm moving under power I have my nav lights on the bow on and not my anchor light. When I stop and anchor down I turn off the bow lights and turn on the anchor light on the stern. Is that right? Because it makes sense to me. That way you can distinguish between a boat that's moving and one that isn't easier. Am I right or wrong? Because the last thing I want, is to be run over by another boat.

    Jon
     

  3. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Jon, use your bow and stern lights when underway, stern light only when anchored or dead in the water (drifting).
     
  4. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY

    There it is. Rite from the horses mouth. LOL! Shame ya didn't have a torpedo to fire.
     
  5. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
  6. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I see it and hear of this all too often. I've even been guilty of doing it in the past. The ticket for me is to use a PERKO brand stern light. The kind that light only comes out of the middle and not just a dome like the Attwood or Sea-Sense lights. Those just annoy you and attract bugs. The Perko lights do not light up your boat when they're on. The light goes out straight, allowing you to keep your stern light on without being annoyed from it.
     
  7. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    May as well throw in the tidbit that the stern light cannot be obstructed by anything in the boat, including you. It must be visible for 360 degrees. My boat had an 18" light... I'd have to lay down in the boat for that light to be legal. Now have a 48" removable light, and if they made them taller, I'd get one. LOL
     
  8. oh no

    oh no New Member

    Messages:
    11,108
    State:
    Indiana
    One time on Ginger Bay on KY Lake I went out to check my limb lines. Some how this big sail boat snuck in without me seeing it. They had their light on, but it was up on top of the mast, at least 30' up and not bright at all. I almost woke those folks up, as I damn near ran in the side of their sail boat.

    A person has to watch everything at night, as stuff can jump out and get you.

    Now when I'm out checking jugs or limblines, my boat has a Generator with some of those 500 watt quartzs + my regular running lights. I see a lot now.

    Saftey is the most important thing, as no one wants to go swiming at night.
     
  9. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    A very important point. I agree.
     
  10. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    It's Sunday and I am too lazy to go out and search the web right now, but I seem to remember a discussion we once had on the BOC about putting headlights on the boats to run the rivers with. Seems at that time someone posted a thread from the coast guard which stated it was illegal to operate a boat (be under power) while using headlights. Hand held spot lights were okay, but fixed lights on a boat were not. Do any of you recall this thread? Maybe a BOC historian can post the links. LOL
     
  11. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    I have no idea what the Guard's official stance is, but common sense tells me that running lights are intended to do three things: give other mariners a general sense of a vessel's size, speed, and heading.

    If "headlights" (docking lights) compromise those things in any way, they're a bad idea, legal, or not.
     
  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Its against inland Coast Guard regs and most jurisdictions follow the Coast Guard regs.

    Headlights on a boat are a bad idea, The main one being that you are eliminating the visibility of your navigational lights which tells other people your heading and orientation. Just as bad as not running lights at all in my book. The anchor light MUST be displayed atleast 1 meter ( a tad over 3 feet) above the height of navigation lights

    Its also the reason nobody manufactures a boat headlight.
    Docking lights arent headlights and not intended to be used as such.

    Too many people piloting boats dont understand navigational lights and how to read them in order to avoid collisions which is why boat navigational lighting and anchor lights take a back seat all too often.
    If everyone is doing as they should be everything runs alot smoother for everyone and everyone is safe in the process.
    I've stopped and shut an engine down numerous times because somebody was displaying incorrectly and I had to try to see and hear what heading they were on if they were on one at all.

    The good thing. Nobody is going to fish on Jordan Lake long in the fishing season without displaying the lights you need to. Those boys with the badges will write a ticket for it as quickly as they will for fishing without a license even if you are tucked way back up in cove and you are the only vessel on the entire lake.
    you dont get away with much there. I got a warning ticket for a nick in the fabric on a life vest there.
    He was in an awesome mood that day because 99% of the time he would ticket for that.
     
  13. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    Anchor lights are my pet peve on Robert S Kerr Lake.

    Some of the old-timers still think it's OK to put their boat on the river with no lighting or a Coleman at best. They're the first ones complaining when some powerboater nearly runs them down.

    There are two oldtimers that like to anchor their 16 foot flatbottom in the mouth of the Illinois River and catfish in the dark. One of these days that boat is going to be sunk and two old men will be lost.

    I pray that it isn't me that sinks them.
     
  14. Defiant

    Defiant New Member

    Messages:
    76
    State:
    West Virginia
    wrong thread sorry
     
  15. BILLYP

    BILLYP New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Fayetteville, North Carol
    I have almost been hit by a boat that was moving without any lights, and that is why I always keep mine on. The cape fear is a very dangerous place during the night, becasue of all the people who drink during the day on the boat and then they want to move during the night without any lights. They say it makes them sneakier to the fish. UM I THNK THAT FISH CAN HEAR YOUR MOTOR. Why are they going to look for your lights and not feel the vibreations from the big motor that is on the back of your boat? Sorry im just a little mad from this experience, to make things worst I had my child with me that can't swim. She had a life jacket on as always, but that doesn't stop the current from pulling her down stream. Just use common sence if you are on the water use your lights. you wouldn't drive down a raod without lights, why do it on a river?
     
  16. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Gosh, I infer from all these posts that we could be cited for using a spotlight to find the reflective tape on our jugs. That would be a b......
     
  17. oh no

    oh no New Member

    Messages:
    11,108
    State:
    Indiana
    They use quartz lights all the time on KY Lake bowfishing. And they are moving. Some Commercial fisherman use them too. My boat will have 7 - 500 watt' ers on it this spring. I will see. 7 is not many as most bowhunters have about 8 on each side of their boats. Man they light up the world. lol lol,,,
     
  18. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Thats all well and cool BUT your navigation lights have to be visible at 1 mile. As long as the flood lights arent washing out the red and green you cant get a ticket.
    Boats and cars are two different animals.
    Cars travel on ROADS which is why they dont have navigation lights. They follow a known path.
    There are no roads on the water to follow, therefore I have no clue what your heading or intention is if I cant see your navigation lights.
    This is what causes unnecesary collisions, property damage, injury, and worst of all death.

    Bring into the fact that all that white light has destroyed your natural night vision therefor you cant see an inch past what you are lighting up.
    You have now become just as much danger to yourself as you have to me.

    Follow the rules or stay off the water for the sake of other people.
    Unsure of the rules or need help, take a USCG approved boaters course.
    Piloting a boat should be handled as one would drive their car. Within the laws.
    If piloting a boat for pleasure or fishing required a drivers license then we would have something of value to TAKE from those that disregard the boating laws with impunity.
    Piloting a boat at night is no joke and not for the amateur or those that dont follow the laws.

    I like to return home to my family just as I left them.
     
  19. crusinman2002

    crusinman2002 New Member

    Messages:
    374
    State:
    Mukwonago, Wisconsin
    the only time that i've seen boats moving with lights on them is bowfishing boats, and the lights are normally on the sides, and pointed at the water spreading light as far as 10 yards, but the lights are normally facing mostly down and the glare isn't bad at all... this is the only time i've seen something like that, i've seen crappie fisherman with all kinds of light shinning down into the water, but not out away from them, and they are always anchored, the light for the bowfisherman is to see the fish at the surface, and for the crappie fisherman is to attract bait fish and essentially the crappie... in both situations, there is no danger brought from the lights, but running full boar across the water at night with bright headlights shining out away from the boat can cause some serious problems... if u can't see that well just slow it down... shouldn't be running that fast if u can't see... as for the spot lights, i use mine every once in a while when i'm looking for nav aids at night or when coming up to a no wake zone near a bridge to make sure that i'm not goin to run anyone over if they don't have there lights on... i know there are some people out there that just don't care if anyone else can see them, at least till its too late.