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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    currently in Pto Montt, Chile
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    Using trilights inshore is not just an issue for other small craft.

    As viewed from the bridge of a big ship there is a very good chance that your trilight will be hidden amongst the background of shore lights.

    Well offshore... great..... inshore not so great.... in fact very un-great...

    And don't get me started on masthead anchor lights...
    Last edited by Frank Holden; 07-02-19 at 18:56.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    21,295

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    It is quite clear that anyone in the Solent should be transmitting AIS.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    North West
    Posts
    519

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    On a small yacht the deck level lights can be right on the water if you're going a bit.

    Really some kind of deck lighting would be a good addition to sailing boats now that the power issue isn't as great as it was

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West London
    Posts
    1,338

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailorsam101 View Post
    I've done an awful lot of night sailing in my time in the Solent and across channel.

    I drive power now but what i see is still an issue.

    Please do not use masthead lights while in the Solent of other such busy areas. Use your lower deck lights.

    There is a simple reason for this that i shall explain. On a really dark night a lower light to the sea appears to be nearer than it is while a higher one appears to be further away. I'm often on the red funnel car ferry and i often see masthead lights on and judging the distance is hard while deck lights makes it easy.

    Obviously its up to you what you do but i only use my mast head lights when offshore and away from lots of other traffic. If you don't believe me have a look next time you are out at night.

    Another issue that I've often seen is the stern light. A few months ago i was doing 10kts at night on a very dark night with nothing insight in front of me. Then the yacht on front changed course and i saw her stern light. Over half the arc of it was covered by a dingy on snap davits on the stern.

    Next time you are put and about just have a look at yachts that have a transom full of stuff and see if their light is obscured..its quite common sadly!


    The above is the result of over 20 years of sailing in very busy waters.
    If the yacht had been using its tricolour, I doubt a dinghy would hide the white stern arc.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West London
    Posts
    1,338

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Holden View Post
    Using trilights inshore is not just an issue for other small craft.

    As viewed from the bridge of a big ship there is a very good chance that your trilight will be hidden amongst the background of shore lights.

    Well offshore... great..... inshore not so great.... in fact very un-great...

    And don't get me started on masthead anchor lights...
    That, is a problem with any lights.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    8,884

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJag27 View Post
    On a small yacht the deck level lights can be right on the water if you're going a bit.

    Really some kind of deck lighting would be a good addition to sailing boats now that the power issue isn't as great as it was
    On a small boat they could be bad for helmsman's night vision, especially if they reflect off a white deck
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    35,564

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Topcat47 View Post
    Mea Culpa regarding my stern light. It's small, short and at deck level and almost anything obscures it, especially the ensign. It's not easy to know what to do about this. .....
    It's very easy.
    Don't have an ensign on a nasty little stick.
    Just because Force 4 sell them, you don't have to have one!

    Or take the flag down when you switch the light on.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    42,939

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    Quote Originally Posted by lw395 View Post
    It's very easy.
    Don't have an ensign on a nasty little stick.
    Just because Force 4 sell them, you don't have to have one!

    Or take the flag down when you switch the light on.
    Or a novel idea on a boat known to me is to have the stern light on "a little stick " that replaces the ensign and its stick at night. Plugs into a deck socket.. A split pin keeps it correctly aligned and captive. Stows away safely when not in use too.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fareham
    Posts
    6,504

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    I seem to remember a requirement to display your ensign when entering or leaving a foreign port. Presumably this applies at night.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    8,055

    Default Re: Lights while sailing at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Holden View Post
    Using trilights inshore is not just an issue for other small craft.

    As viewed from the bridge of a big ship there is a very good chance that your trilight will be hidden amongst the background of shore lights.

    Well offshore... great..... inshore not so great.... in fact very un-great...

    And don't get me started on masthead anchor lights...
    +1.

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