Lighting

Discussion in 'Boat Repair Help' started by navigator, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. navigator

    navigator New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    NC- Brunswick County
    Hi guys, I'm trying to figure out the best way to rig up some lighting for my boats. I mainly want something to setup for light to use to see when under way.

    Any suggestions.
    I know I can buy a mounted, remote control light but I would like to keep the espenses down.

    keep in mind I have a bass boat and would like to try to not screw anything into my fiberglass hull.

    One idea Ihave is to rig up 2-4 fog lights on a piece of light weight metal and mount it so it fits in the hole for my front fishing seat so it is elevated. then come off that with a handle so I can turn the lights from side to side as needed.

    I figure if I do it this way I can remove it pretty easy.

    keep in mind my boat used the big pedestals and not the ones on the skinny poles.
     
  2. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Keep in mind that it is against the law to use "headlights" as you mentioned when navigating on federally regulated waterways. I put a set on my last boat but used them sparingly and not when running down the river at all. It might be a safer bet to just use a handheld spotlight and buy a remote controlled spotlight when you can afford it.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    It's a good way to get a nice fat ticket in NC waters.
    The problem is that your starboardand port lights should be visible for 2 miles on inland waters I believe.
    "headlights" on a boat would render these nav lights not visible at all.
    Anyone that night navigates should watch this little learning film clip about nav lights and how important it is to know what you are looking at and hopefully seeing.
    http://www.boatingbasicsonline.com/course/boating/4_2_b.php

    As most websites will tell you. DO NOT rely on what a boat dealer or manufacturer has installed on your boat to be within the laws.
    Alot of times they are not and there are many lights manufactured that do not meet the requirements in color and visibility.
    Bass boats are particularly bad for this. When the trolling motor is added often the nav lights are not visible from the port side because they sit too low. A longer light stem may be needed.
     
  4. bigcat_chaser

    bigcat_chaser New Member

    Messages:
    354
    State:
    Cincy, Ohio
    the last two posts hit it right on the head,though headlights on a boat seem like a good and logical idea on the surface it is really dangerous to other boaters at night. Most guys who boat at night will tell you that just seeing a boats navigation lights tells you alot about what that boat is doing, thats why all the rules are pretty much the same
     
  5. navigator

    navigator New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    NC- Brunswick County
    ok, help me understand what makes it more illegal than a spotlight.
    is it because it is mounted and because most mounting configurations block the red/green light

    or because it is fixed and cannot be turned off easily?

    my goal is to have something that swivels up, down and side to side that could be turned off easily.
     
  6. dademoss

    dademoss Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Ohio
    Just keep in mind the Inland Navigation rules:

    Part C
    Lights and shapes
    Rule 20
    Section B:
    The rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights as cannot be mistaked for the lights specified in these rules, do not impair their visibility or distinctive character or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.

    You can be cited for ANY light violating these rules, fixed or handheld.
     
  7. catcam

    catcam New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Georgia
    Chris- Our boats are different however mine sounds like something you described- have a look. You can find these at most boating supply places. Do keep in mind what your BOC members have told you. This design comes in handy when you are looking for unlighted day markers in total darkness!
    Good luck and happy boating.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    This headlight issue has been argued from just about every angle imaginable.
    The laws are real clear on boat lighting.
    If you are afraid of hitting trees, logs, stumps, or boat docks at night leave the boat on the trailer parked in the driveway.

    Anyone that has operated a boat at night and knows how to read navigation lights of other vessels or has had a near miss because someone thinks they are driving a car instead of a boat will understand why the laws are the way they are.
    Cars travel within lanes on a road or between the ditches. Boats go all over the place. You have to be able to see the lighting to know whether you have to yield to the other boat and see the intentions of the other vessel.

    I've found that night navigation is pretty simple without lights.
    What makes it difficult and dangerous is other boaters who fail to realize that they arent the only other boater on the water.
     
  9. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    This headlight issue has been argued from just about every angle imaginable.
    The laws are real clear on boat lighting.
    If you are afraid of hitting trees, logs, stumps, or boat docks at night leave the boat on the trailer parked in the driveway.

    Anyone that has operated a boat at night and knows how to read navigation lights of other vessels or has had a near miss because someone thinks they are driving a car instead of a boat will understand why the laws are the way they are.
    Cars travel within lanes on a road or between the ditches. Boats go all over the place. You have to be able to see the lighting to know whether you have to yield to the other boat and see the intentions of the other vessel.

    I've found that night navigation is pretty simple without lights.
    What makes it difficult and dangerous is other boaters who fail to realize that they arent the only other boater on the water. You want to tick me off, shine your spotlight in my eyes. Just because someone doesnt know the advantages or powers of their natural night vision capabilities doesnt mean that it ok to destroy mine.
     
  10. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    I Have A Remote Controlled Spotlight Mounted On My T-Top, Below The Level Of The Mast Light, So As Not To Block It's Viewability.

    It Does Come In Nice When Some Of The Markers That Are Suppose To Be Lit Are Out. It Hits The Reflectors Nicely.

    I Never Use It When I'm In Close Proximity To Any Approaching Vessel
     
  11. navigator

    navigator New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    NC- Brunswick County
    where I go there are no markers but I get what you guys are saying.

    The reason I am interested is my wife, 2yo, and 13yo and I were coming in from catfishing and my son was running the spotlight, I know he'll get better at it but I got to thinking it would be much easier if I could direct the light where it needed to be.

    I appreciate the input and am in no way trying to be argumenative, just trying to understand everything.

    thanks everyone for their input.

    Chris
     
  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Let's go take a ride on the Missouri River on an overcast night during the new moon, far away from city lights.

    Bet you change your mind.
     
  13. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    if you are planing to run at night its best to KNOW YOUR WATER the markers on the ohio river that iv seen arent lit they do have reflecters tho and like mark said , i can run with out lights granted at night mine are on (the front red and green) but there are plenty of lights on the bank in my areas i normally point my boat towards these lights but try to stay in the middle of the river the only time i get near the bank is to set up or avoid another boat or barge i have seen times when a spot light would be nice to have but running wide open up the river aint one of them and iv seen boats with head lights they blind you to no end and you cant tell which way there going if you have head lights on your boat they should be pointing down in the water for bow fishing not running , please dont shine your spots in my eyes
     
  14. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Navigated alot narrower tree lined rivers in the moonless night.
    Its all in where you put your eyes and and your peripheral vision.
    Lights wont do you much good on these narrow rivers.
    For instance most of the Cape Fear river I fish is no more then 30 yards wide.
    In that 30 yards you got the blowdowns, the sandbars, and everything else.

    With the light fog that inevitably rolls in the early morning hours its just enough to throw whatever light you throw at it right back in your face.
    I've night fished for years on impoundments, rivers, and coastal waters and have never in my life owned a spotlight or had headlights on a boat.
    A good mag light or other dependable flashlight has always been more then adequate to use once I get close to where I want to be to look for those landmarks

    Its not uncommon to see me wearing sunglasses in the middle of the night at the helm of a boat if I have to turn to the stern where the anchor light is or some idiot afraid of the dark cant cut his spotlight off.
    It takes 30-45 minutes to recover your night vision fully.
    If you leave all that light at home you would be surprised what you can see without it.
    If I'm anchored its a different story. I dont mind a little light or alot of light in some situations.
     
  15. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I've found that when non boat owners run the spotlight, they look at what they want to look at. I keep two spotlights on board. One for me and one for whoever feels compelled to "help". Plus it's always good to have a backup because I've had one die while using it before.
     
  16. navigator

    navigator New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    NC- Brunswick County
    Mark, when I lived up in Willow Springs, we put in the Cape Fear up I think off of Avent Ferry Rd off of 42 so I know what you mean. Shearon Harris, Falls lake, no problem on those waters. Down here the Cape fear is much cleaner and wider so not as big of a deal but again, there are no lights or markers. I mean there are the signs every 5 mile nailed to a tree that says you are 30 miles to Wilmington etc but no other lights.

    I fish Town Creek some now and parts of it are narrow and winding but actually pretty clean from laydowns etc, I guess one key is I likely want to run a little faster than I should be :)
     
  17. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Homeland Security paid to have that part of the river "swept" not too long ago.
    They want to make sure the locks are operational and the river is navigable from Fayetteville to Oak Island.

    Most people are guilty of wanting to go faster under the conditions.
    If you make a fish plan before every fishing trip and stick to that plan success or failure. You wont be moving very far or very many times more then likely.