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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
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    10,445

    Default “Where it can best be seen...”

    Rule 30

    (a) A vessel at anchor shall exhibit where it can best be seen;
    (i) in the fore part, an all-round white light or one ball
    (II) at or near the stern and at a lower level than the light prescribed in sub-paragraph (I), an all around white light

    (b) A vessel of less than 50 metres in length may exhibit an all round white light where it can best be seen instead of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule.

    Good people, where can the light best be seen?
    Last edited by Kukri; 02-12-19 at 19:49.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,762

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    It depends. We tend to anchor in bays, selected such that we are in shelter - hence the wind tends to be blowing off the shore. Consequently boats arriving at night will generally be coming from astern (as it is land ahead). And generally arriving boats will be looking ahead, not up into the sky.
    Hence our anchor light is usually under the boom above the sprayhood. Rarely use the masthead anchor light. Never use an anchor light ahead of the mast.

    Might be different if anchored in a river, but cannot recall ever anchoring in a river.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    7,618

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    "where it can best be seen" begs the question "by whom is it meant to be seen?".

    I invariably anchor where any risk of collision comes from other small craft so I hang my anchor lamp at the approximate eye level of other boats' helmsman.

    I can see no logic in having an anchor lamp at the masthead.

    Dunedin's reasoning makes complete sense and complies with the regulations. I do much the same as him and hang the light from the boom (although nearer the mast), which is at my eye level when I am standing in the cockpit.
    Last edited by Poignard; 02-12-19 at 21:15.
    "Brexit: like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    39,110

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    Far enough from the mast and other obstructions like a furled genoa that it's only obscured over a tiny angle.
    Apart from that, you have to decide who you want to be seen by and what their problems will be.
    Our masthead is not far above the bridge of an IoW ferry for example.
    People in small boats don't need to see you from a mile away, they need to see you in enough time to know you're there and to realise what's there.
    A light at the stern which lights up the cabin side a little can work well, particularly if you have a dark hull.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,403

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    For my boat, best seen is hung above the centre cockpit.
    MontyMariner.co.uk
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    10,445

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    Thanks to everyone contributing to an interesting discussion.

    I like my big old fashioned Davey cone burner oil lamp on the forestay because it cannot be mistaken for anything else, but it’s one more job to rig it so I have used the masthead light if really tired, but I don’t trust it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    35,718

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    I have a small (but bright) LED lamp attached below my anchor ball - the wire for it runs up the inside of the downhaul line and plugs in just inside the anchor locker. So at night the light is in the traditional place above the foredeck. It has some dim warm-white LEDs on the bottom as well as the bright white around the circumference, so the boat itself is gently illuminated and fully visible at close range, not just a point of light. I think under the boom and similar places are fine too, but just looking at other boats on a dark night shows how poor masthead lights on all but the smallest boats are at indicating the position of the parts you might actually hit.

    Pete

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    The Northern Powerhouse
    Posts
    3,241

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    Anchor light at the masthead to comply with the rules. Lights all over to be visible. Spreaders, boom, deck and stern arch. With LEDs using so little power it is not an issue to do this now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    Quote Originally Posted by prv View Post
    I have a small (but bright) LED lamp attached below my anchor ball - the wire for it runs up the inside of the downhaul line and plugs in just inside the anchor locker. So at night the light is in the traditional place above the foredeck. It has some dim warm-white LEDs on the bottom as well as the bright white around the circumference, so the boat itself is gently illuminated and fully visible at close range, not just a point of light. I think under the boom and similar places are fine too, but just looking at other boats on a dark night shows how poor masthead lights on all but the smallest boats are at indicating the position of the parts you might actually hit.

    Pete
    That sounds interesting. Do you happen to have a link for the light?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    On the Celtic Fringe
    Posts
    14,522

    Default Re: “Where it can best be seen...”

    Quote Originally Posted by Zing View Post
    Anchor light at the masthead to comply with the rules. Lights all over to be visible. Spreaders, boom, deck and stern arch. With LEDs using so little power it is not an issue to do this now.
    +1

    My air draft is only 16 meters so I don't wear the stories that people can't see masthead lights, needs to be in a place everybody, including us returning from the pub, can see it (we have even turned the light on when at her own mooring so we could spot the boat on a dark night).
    Cynical Scottish very nearly retired engineer who sails a Gib'Sea 96.

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