View Full Version : Blue running lights?

12-07-2000, 07:10 AM
New to this forum and was wondering whether or not anyone out there would be able to explain the use/meaning of a blue running light?This past summer I had the occassion to see such a device on what appeared to be one of the old commuters(Consolidated?).It was positioned on the starboard side of the mast just over the pilot house.The mast looked as old(but restored) as the rest of the boat and the light fixture original.None appeared on the port side.
I know this is not much to go on and I could have asked the owner were he not transiting the first set of locks in the St.Lawrence Seaway system,here in Montreal.
Looking forward to your knowledgeable replies.
Peter L.

12-07-2000, 07:18 AM
I think what you saw was an owner absent light. It is from the old yachting tradition and that boat dates back to those days. You will see it on some of the larger yachts also.

12-07-2000, 08:06 AM
I agree, and during the daytime, the paid crew would fly a dark blue square flag from the starboard spreader to signify that 'the owner is not aboard'. I remember seeing those flags and lights on yachts in harbors along the Long Island and Nantucket Sound shores when I was younger. That way, if a yacht club member were out on his yacht and saw another member's yacht at anchor or passing by, he could tell if his fellow member was aboard, or whether it was just manned by his crew, or perhaps under charter. I guess it dates to the days of calling cards and navy traditions when ships displayed the flags of the different rank officers aboard (?) Do any Patrick O'Brian aficianados out there know more??

Scott Rosen
12-07-2000, 09:10 AM
I thought that under the current USA rules, the only vessels permitted to show blue lights are law enforcement boats. If everyone started showing blue lights, I'd never know when the coast was clear to empty my holding tank!

Mark Van
12-07-2000, 06:13 PM
My green running light, after a few years in the florida sun, turned a blue-green color. Maybe a few more years would have turned it blue.

12-08-2000, 04:18 AM
My,that was quick!Thank you Custom Skiffs and repairs,and rbgarr.Now I feel a wee bit smarter for joining!

Scott Rosen....tysk,tysk,tysk....who woulda thought!

Mark Van....this phenomena that you refer to did briefly cross my mind until I noticed his regular navigation lights and they were just fine.While I am here,I might add that your construction of the houseboat you designed is just grand!Been following it since you set up your web page.Best of luck to you and continued success!

Once again,thank you all for the quick reply!

Mark Van
12-08-2000, 04:35 PM
If anybody else is interested in seeing my web site, its: