Lights on Boats

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by fat_fish55, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. fat_fish55

    fat_fish55 New Member

    Messages:
    394
    State:
    illinois
    hey can somebody tell me the requirements as far as lights on a boat for nite fishing
    i live in illinois
    thx
     
  2. Rivercat1

    Rivercat1 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Illinois
    I have a red/green light on the front and a clear light in the back. I turn them on when I am anchored or running up or down the river, and I fish with the game Warden and have never got a ticket yet.
     

  3. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,538
    State:
    Greer, SC
    Name:
    Pat Chaney
  4. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    In SC when anchored at night, you must have a clear stern (all around) light visible at all times per law. Of course, when underway, the bow lights also have to be on, but not when anchored. I've never seen anything written pertaining to using spotlights. I use a spotlight intermittently, only when I need to, except in hazardous areas such as stumpfields, etc. My night vision is usually better without one.
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Yea, you should turn off the red and green light when anchored otherwise you are indicating that you are underway.
    Single white light indicates an anchored vessel.
     
  6. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    All depends on where you're fishing. Totally different rules for navigable waters and non-navigable waters. Check your state regs for the water you're fishing on.
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Thanks for correcting me Whistler. I sometimes forget some states make it difficult for the boater and navigable in NC may not be navigable in MI.
     
  8. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    This is a subject that may not get covered enough as some laws differ from state to state but the laws that apply to rivers with commerical traffic should be the same and are most important. I have seen boats at anchor in the channel fishing with the red green light on at night and it is very confusing because you are trying to figure out what he is doing so you slow down to a crawl until you see he is not moving or a boat comming at you with only a white light and until you get close it can be diffcult to see where you need to go. Boating at night can be done safely only if everyone out there knows what everyone else is doing. One thing I always do at nite is keep my marine radio on and I will hail another boat at night at the very first moment I see them. Anyone on the big river at night should have a radio to hail barges, they will be friendly and be glad to know where you are. When I hail them they shine their big light around until they see me and I feel much better. If you are close to a turn and you could be at night without knowing it they can let you know they are loaded heavy and throwing a 10 foot wake that could sink you. A big wave like that could turn you over even if you are out of the main channel. You can't have more fun than on the river but be safe and then more safe. At home here on the Cumberland we have people killed on the river ever year.

    Danny
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Many states also require that the white stern light be a certain height above the red/green side lights - in Missouri and Illinois, it's required to be at least 1 meter above them. The white light on many boats I've seen is nowhere near that high, potentially opening you up for a violation - and the el-cheapo mast lights you can buy at Wal-Mart, etc. are seldom of a legal length.

    BTW - this is the "official" site for Illinois boater safety education online:
    http://boat-ed.com/il/
    If you're unfamiliar with the laws of your state, it'd be a good idea to go through the whole course.

    The same web site is used for many other states as well:
    http://boat-ed.com
     
  10. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Good point, Mr. T. Here in SC, and per coast guard, the primary requirement is to be visible in all directions. The actual height depends on type and size of the boat, too.
    A boater should always check the regulations for his state or area. There are also safety requirements that vary by state and body of waterk, such as signal devices, for example.
     
  11. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    I had to buy a taller back light because the old one did not go above the motor. The motor caused a blind spot and could not be seen @ different angles. My new one sticks up above the motor.
    Bill
     
  12. fat_fish55

    fat_fish55 New Member

    Messages:
    394
    State:
    illinois
    thanks for the help guys
    after i posted that i visited the dnr site and found the link, thx anyway
     
  13. bearcat

    bearcat Member

    Messages:
    925
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    I dont know for sure the legal requriements but when I am on the MISS river around the alton area. I always leave my bow lights on. I figure anything that would help a barge see my location is very important to me.

    I like the perko brand of stern light. It is available in various length and it is LED which reduces the battery usage need. It is also a very white light. Good for lighting up the boat at nite.
     
  14. oldprowler

    oldprowler New Member

    Messages:
    321
    State:
    Mannford, Oklahoma
    Leaving the running lights on (the red and green ones in the bow) has the potential to lead to a dangerous situation, almost the same as showing no lights at all when anchored. Not only does it confuse boaters approaching you as to which direction you are moving but it may also cause them to approach dangerous grounds by trying to say clear of you and pass astern. Lights on a boat serve a purpose and as long as everyone knows and obeys the rules the purpose is served very well. If you want to be very conspicious when anchored use lots of white light.
     
  15. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,538
    State:
    Greer, SC
    Name:
    Pat Chaney
    Bearcat, where can I find the perko brand lights?
     
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Cabelas sells the Perko brand lights.
     
  17. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Search perko all around light. plenty of places to buy them online or offline.
     
  18. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,538
    State:
    Greer, SC
    Name:
    Pat Chaney
    Thanks, guys, I found 'em :0a31: