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Will one of you Licensed captains please tell me how to approach an anchored vessal with running lights on? Isnt that sending 2 different signals to other in the dark boaters? I see this all the time????
 

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Not a licensed captain, but:

Most of the time, they either don't know any different or forget to turn them off. Below is quoted from the Coast Guard: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/rotr_online.htm The use of sidelights refers to the red and green running lights. If you notice, there is no mention of sidelights while anchored and they are mentioned in the section of powered boats underway. It messes me up too when I am approching a boat that has their running lights on when anchored. I knew one person that kept them on because he thought he was helping other boats to see him better. I told him that he was actually making it more confusing to us that know what the hell we're doing out there in the dark.

And that link is good refresher for those that don't know the full/legal rules of the waterways too.<DIV align=center>

RULE 30: ANCHORED VESSELS AND VESSELS AGROUND

RULE 31: SEAPLANES</DIV>

Rule 30 <P class=MsoBodyText style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l19 level1 lfo88; tab-stops: list .3in">(a) A vessel at anchor shall exhibit where it can best be seen:
    • <LI>in the fore part, an all-round white light or one ball; <LI>at or near the stern and at a lower level than the light prescribed in subparagraph (i), an all-round white light. </LI>
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l19 level1 lfo88; tab-stops: list .3in">(b) A vessel of less than 50 meters 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. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l19 level1 lfo88; tab-stops: list .3in">(c) A vessel at anchor may, and a vessel of 100 meters and more in length shall, also use the available working or equivalent lights to illuminate her decks. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l19 level1 lfo88; tab-stops: list .3in">(d) A vessel aground shall exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) or (b) of this Rule and in addition, if practicable, [Inld] where they can best be seen;
    • <LI>two all-round red lights in a vertical line; <LI>three balls in a vertical line. </LI>
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l19 level1 lfo88; tab-stops: list .3in">(e) A vessel of less than 7 meters in length, when at anchor not in or near a narrow channel, fairway or where other vessels normally navigate, shall not be required to exhibit the shape prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l19 level1 lfo88; tab-stops: list .3in">(f) A vessel of less than 12 meters in length, when aground, shall not be required to exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed in subparagraphs (d)(i) and (ii) of this Rule. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l19 level1 lfo88; tab-stops: list .3in">(g) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length, when at anchor in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary, shall not be required to exhibit the anchor lights and shapes required by this Rule. [Inld]<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l19 level1 lfo88; tab-stops: list .3in"><DIV align=center>RULE 23:
POWER-DRIVEN VESSELS UNDERWAY</DIV><P class=MsoBodyText style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l57 level1 lfo71; tab-stops: list .3in">(a)A power-driven vessel underway shall exhibit (picture):
(b) An air-cushion vessel when operating in nondisplacement mode shall, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit an all-round flashing yellow light, where it can best be seen. [Inld]

(c) A WIG craft only when taking off, landing and in flight near the surface shall, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit a high intensity all-round flashing red light. [Intl]<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN-LEFT: 0.3in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.3in; mso-list: l57 level1 lfo71; tab-stops: list .3in">(c/d)
    • <LI>A power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length may in lieu of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and sidelights. <LI>a power-driven vessel of less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots may in lieu of the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule exhibit an all-round white light and shall, if practicable, also exhibit sidelights. [Intl] <LI>the masthead light or all-round white light on a power-driven vessel of less than 12 meters in length may be displaced from the fore and aft centerline of the vessel if centerline fitting is not practicable, provided the sidelights are combined in one lantern which shall be carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel or located as nearly as practicable in the same fore and aft line as the masthead light or the all-round white light. [Intl] </LI>
<P class=MsoNormal>(d) A power-driven vessel when operating on the Great Lakes may carry an all-round white light in lieu of the second masthead light and sternlight prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule. The light shall be carried in the position of the second masthead light and be visible at the same minimum range. [Inld]
 

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Definately wrong... I've had women give me clearer mixed signals. Side lights are on only when underway (not tied to something... be it a pier or an anchor or anything else that is holding the boat in place). Drifting or instance does require sidelights to be lit.



Its these kind of things that can get people in life threatening trouble.
 

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captjoshrozier (11/30/2007)Definately wrong... I've had women give me clearer mixed signals. Side lights are on only when underway (not tied to something... be it a pier or an anchor or anything else that is holding the boat in place). Drifting or instance does require sidelights to be lit.

Its these kind of things that can get people in life threatening trouble.
i have to ask this only cause i'm confused, whats "wrong"? the coast guard rules?

the way i've always understood it, when anchored, as long as your stern light is visible in 360 degrees, thats all you had to run. if a boat is anchored with a short stern light and not seen from the front, thats pretty dangerous...but the bow lights have always been referred to as "running lights" to everyone i've known. just my .02
 

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You have to have the stern light visible at all times between sunset and sunrise, unless your are docked. The running lights (red and green) are only on when under way.



I think everybody should have to have a boaters licesnce to be able to use a boat...that would answer questions like this (no offence to the original poster) and take a lot of un safe boaters off the water.
 

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I understand the rules and I understand everyone's point...but a stern light tells me nothing about the size of the vessel.



I'm not saying running lights are the answer, but seems to me I'd like to know where the front and back of the boat is.
 

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wishiniwasfishin07 (11/30/2007)I think everybody should have to have a boaters licesnce to be able to use a boat...that would answer questions like this (no offence to the original poster) and take a lot of un safe boaters off the water.
i agree with ya 110%...would be alot less boats!!!
 

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I apologize for being so vague ...having your red/green on while anchored is wrong

I'd like to clear a few things up:

1. Red/Green = "bow lights" = side lights

2. running lights = red/green + stern light

3. anchor light onlyequalsstern light on smaller vessels (under 36')

Most people here are (I am assuming) in a boat under 12m (36'). The coast guard allowssmaller vessels to usean all around white light as a stern light in place of a white light on the stern visable in a 135 deg arc and a masthead light.This all around white light is also used as your anchor light (once you are tied to something, this is an ANCHOR light). As soon as you untie it is a STERN light and requires a red/green sidelight.

Thesingle ANCHOR light tells you that the vessel is less than 50 meters..if it was over 50m it would have two anchor (masthead) lights (The one forward would be lower than the one astern). So at least you'll know it's shorter than 150' (althoughI know that doesn't help much)

I hope this is clearer
 

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i own my boat, my front lights i'll call my FUN lights, and my back one i'll just call oscar...lmao, j/k with ya...not much on terminology here. ya know, someone might call a hammer a hammer, the next guy wont, he'll call it a hammmer...know what i mean? sorry, just being retarded on friday instead of the whole week.
 

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I just want to make sure that I'm being clear (clearer). I don't want to confuse anyone...including myself.

And I think Oscar is an admirable name for a $2 bulb that costs you a $$$ ticket because it only works when you don't need it.

lil-fisherman are you referring to a thumb smasher when you say hammer?? (that's what I like to call them)
 

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Thanks Big Fish...

Lil...I once heard an electrician refer to his cordless drill as an "electricians hammer", just before he used the battery end to drive a nail home.
 
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