need lights for my boat

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by jdRivercat, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. jdRivercat

    jdRivercat New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Im going at put lights on the front of my boat for runing the river at night. had two 55watt lights on before but did not work very good need something with more power. Any suggetions on what any of you have done. any info appreciated.
     
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Check your regs before running "headlights" on a boat. Everywhere I have ever been it has been illegal.
    Running lights on a boat is creating a dangerous navigating situation for you and everyone else on the water.
    When you are running your headlights no one else can see anything but your headlights and worse, you aren't seeing a cotton pickin' thing past your beams. Therefore they have no clue in what heading your going or how your boat is positioned causing the wary boater to stop and maybe even kill the engine so he can decide if you are in fact a boat being operated illegally or ball lightening. Worse, you don't see them until they enter your beams.
    It's already bad enough out there with people not knowing how to interpret the navigation lights but atleast if they can see green or red they know it's a boat.

    I'm sure we'll get alot of input on this thread pro and con but the bottom line is, If you cant run a boat legally at night because you cant see or you are afraid of hitting a log or tearing your boat up, stay at home.
    It's not worth the lives of yourself, your passengers, or the many lives on other vessels.
     

  3. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    to solve that problem I found an awesome light called a go light. It is a stantion mounted spot lite with navigation lights built into it. It comes with a wireless remote control so you can control the beam while you are driving. I used to drive the boat with a handheld spot light in one hand and the other on the steering wheel but the go light makes it so much easier and I can concentrate more on driving.
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Thats wonderful if another boat can still see the navigation lights from one mile away with the spotlight burning or if it is used only intermittedly.

    I'm going to be brutally honest here because I've had 2 close calls at night because I couldnt see nav lights.
    If you cant run without headlights, you need to fish during the day.
    It's not illegal to be night blind just know your limitations and accept them without endangering those around you.
     
  5. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    I had a pair of lights on the front of my boat, didn't help me that much as for running. they were great when loading, or pulling up to an obstacle to tie off. I now use a police type spotlight that is permanently mounted. It can be positioned to shine in any direction that light is needed. And as Mark said it is illegal to run with lights on other than running lights. Spot lights or headlights can be turned on intermittently.
    The police type spotlights can be found on ebay at very reasonable prices. Bulbs can be purchased at auto part stores.
     
  6. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    I agree with Mark all you will do is blind the other guy.As far as driving with a spotlight in one hand and the other on the steering wheel ,how do you operate the wireless remote?
     
  7. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    Well Jim you would operate the wireless remote in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. BUT I think he means he don't have to keep ahold of the remote once he get's it into position. Unlike the spotlight.
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Unfortunately, boats aren't the only dangerous things on the water at night. I've even seen dead fish floating that were large enough to cause an accident if a boat ran over them at night. As for a spotlight blinding me, that only happens if a boater is shining the spotlight right toward me. The only people who consistently do that are the barge pilots. I've never had a close call with a boat using a spotlight, even though we were passing each other in the channel, going opposite directions. It's just like driving a car or truck at night; if you shine a light into the eyes of an oncoming driver, they may end up on your side of the road. Personally, I prefer to use a handheld spotlight, because I'm frequently shining the light to each side as well as straight ahead, because it gives me a better perspective of exactly where I am on the river. Also, one of the main reasons I go out on the water at night is to jugfish, which means I am frequently turning the light in all directions. The easiest way for me to do that is by holding the spotlight by hand. I'll admit, though, when running a long way back to the launching ramp at night, I've thought that a mounted spotlight might be nice.
     
  9. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    TN
    A big wide open lake may be ok to run blind at night, but I would never run down the river here without a light. Too many logs and other things floating in the water.
     
  10. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Thanks Crazy thats what I thought.I have looked at the same setup and other wireless rigs and I have this problem; if I am sweeping the light around to provide shoreline orientation or looking for channel markers or even jugs I have that remote control in my hand just as much as the spotlight.How many boats have you seen at night with a spotlight just oriented in one direction.The only advantage I can see is the remote doesn't weight as much as the spotlight.Once I combined a good chartplotter with map cartridge and GPS I don't need the spotlight as much but it is still reassuring and all that electronic equipment wont show another boat out there or a log.
     
  11. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Jim, I would attach it to the steering wheel but I bet you already have a trim switch there.
     
  12. muskyman

    muskyman Active Member

    Messages:
    384
    State:
    Loudon TN
    Name:
    David
    I do alot of nightfishing during the summer months, as Calif does not allow boats on most of the lakes at night due to the amount of panzies and idiots out here. But this much I have noticed. You actual running lights, you know, the red / green ones on the bow - most of the time, people do not use them at all or even if they do, they are blocked by something. People should be using both the back light and the bow lights, while anchored and while running. Realize also that the fog may roll in and you will not be able to visually find your way.
     
  13. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    As long as the red/green running lights aren't blocked or overpowered so noone can see them any extra lights you use should be ok... instead of having high power lights to shine 1/2 mile out ahead of you on the water just pick up a handheld spot light and TAKE YOUR TIME coming back in at night. Try not to point the spot light directly at other boats and you shouldn't have a problem with blinding them. Also if you have someone else with you... have them sit up at the bow (not blocking the running lights) and use the spotlight to help guide you away from any obstacles...
     
  14. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    Well if you have seen a go light work you will see that the nav lights are fully visible with the spotlight on. The beam on this light is very narrow and intense so that you dont blind everyone on the river. Plus I mostly just use it on the neuse river where it is very narrow and hardly any boats. I would never run my boat on that river without lights there are logs sticking out of the water everywhere and trees floating all the time. In the event I ever come up on a boat I never shine the light right at them. I just use it to get by them or even shut it off. it is much safer in my opinion to use a light than not to. I can see not using them on a lake with no obstacles but where I fish it would be suicide not to use them.
     
  15. diodeman

    diodeman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Benton Co. Mo.
    It is illegal in many areas to use special lights at night that are not Coast Gaurd and Water-Patrol approved for any watercraft. Night boaters using illegal lights is becoming an increasing problem in my area. Two boaters were killed this summer because they were both using lights that were not approved and witnesses stated that the two boaters blinded each other, then collided. They did not drown. They were killed by the collision of their watercraft smashing into one another. They had their life jackets on but were dead. As to the suggestion of having a person sitting on or near the bow at night with a light, if you do hit something that person could be thrown overboard and prop chopped. I fish exclusively at night. I have assisted many persons who do not use common sense. Please do not sit on or near the bow or edge of the boat, please do not use illegal lights. I assist in rescue operations and I am appaled by the number of people who do not read the boating regulations pertaining to their area. Ignorance and excuses are immaterial if your dead when I have to assist in finding your body and boat.