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Thread: oil navigation lamps

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    36

    Post

    I called the Boating Safety Officer at the District 13 Headquarters here in Seattle yesterday. He told me that oil lamps do not currently meet the requirments as none that he knows of are stamped "USCG Approved". I asked him what you do for a boat with no electrical system, and he said "Install USCG Approved electric lights when you add an electrical system." Oil lamps are acceptable as a backup to electric lights as well. When asked about fire hazard around refineries, he said that as far as he knows, it's not an issue.

    Toward that end, it seems to me that if Den Haan wanted to go through the process of getting their lamps certified, they should be legal. It also seems to me that if one could demonstrate that they meet the requirements (visible at two miles I believe), then they would be acceptable.

    When I asked him about the electric nav lights that I currently have that ARE NOT stamped, approved lights, he said they would be acceptable until such time as I needed to replace them.

    The lights I currently have are small, teardrop shaped, cast bronze with a one inch high lens, mounted on the cabin side, less than a foot above the deck. It seems to me that a four inch lens and an oil lamp and proper reflector, mounted on a dorade box on the coachroof is going to be much more visible than what I currently have.

    So, I am going to keep my (IMHO) inadequate electric lights that ARE NOT stamped as approved, and add the oil lamps in the dorades. At the very least I can claim an electrical failure on my nav light circuit, and (hopefully) be commended for having backups. In the meantime, I intend to work with the CG Officers and see if there is some way a case-by-case approval can be worked out. Afterall, unstamped oil lamps that can be seen at two miles are better than unstamped electric lights that cannot be seen at two miles.

    Jeff

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Thorne Bay, Alaska
    Posts
    497

    Post

    For what it's worth, I would think that although oil lamps may meet the visibility requirements, the requirements are minimal (or less) and if you want running lights that may actually make you visible to shipping in a sea and thus avoid getting run down, you might want much brighter lights. Based on the little I know of LED lights, it seems they would be far more effective and reliable with relatively little battery drain. I like oil lanterns myself, and my anchor light is an oil lantern; but I don't anchor where there is traffic.

    Based on personal experience standing shipboard lookout watches, small boats can be virtually invisible to eyeball, and shockingly often to radar. Good luck, and hang in there. Don't go to sleep when there's traffic.

    Frank

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Thorne Bay, Alaska
    Posts
    497

    Post

    For what it's worth, I would think that although oil lamps may meet the visibility requirements, the requirements are minimal (or less) and if you want running lights that may actually make you visible to shipping in a sea and thus avoid getting run down, you might want much brighter lights. Based on the little I know of LED lights, it seems they would be far more effective and reliable with relatively little battery drain. I like oil lanterns myself, and my anchor light is an oil lantern; but I don't anchor where there is traffic.

    Based on personal experience standing shipboard lookout watches, small boats can be virtually invisible to eyeball, and shockingly often to radar. Good luck, and hang in there. Don't go to sleep when there's traffic.

    Frank

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Thorne Bay, Alaska
    Posts
    497

    Post

    For what it's worth, I would think that although oil lamps may meet the visibility requirements, the requirements are minimal (or less) and if you want running lights that may actually make you visible to shipping in a sea and thus avoid getting run down, you might want much brighter lights. Based on the little I know of LED lights, it seems they would be far more effective and reliable with relatively little battery drain. I like oil lanterns myself, and my anchor light is an oil lantern; but I don't anchor where there is traffic.

    Based on personal experience standing shipboard lookout watches, small boats can be virtually invisible to eyeball, and shockingly often to radar. Good luck, and hang in there. Don't go to sleep when there's traffic.

    Frank

  5. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Downingtown Pa (S/V UTOPIA down in Somer's Point, NJ)
    Posts
    2,600

    Post

    I got mine from Classic Marine. They aren't cheap but they work great!!!

    -Thad

  6. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Downingtown Pa (S/V UTOPIA down in Somer's Point, NJ)
    Posts
    2,600

    Post

    I got mine from Classic Marine. They aren't cheap but they work great!!!

    -Thad

  7. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Downingtown Pa (S/V UTOPIA down in Somer's Point, NJ)
    Posts
    2,600

    Post

    I got mine from Classic Marine. They aren't cheap but they work great!!!

    -Thad

  8. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Richmond, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,419

    Post

    From the Classic Marine website:



    "Nothing quite so handsome as oil-burning navigation lights, not to mention the benefits of reduced battery drain while at anchor or on passage. The ones offered here are fully boatworthy, not dodgy imitations aimed more at Ye Olde Pubbe market. But are they legal? My understanding is that when the relevant regulations were drawn up covering navigation lights, oil lights were omitted. So therefore oil lights do not contravene current regulations. (This is an argument which I know has been deployed successfully by at least two skippers of MSA registered vessels!). We are checking whether the USCG agrees!"

    PS Copper lanterns are preferable to brass for longevity.

  9. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Richmond, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,419

    Post

    From the Classic Marine website:



    "Nothing quite so handsome as oil-burning navigation lights, not to mention the benefits of reduced battery drain while at anchor or on passage. The ones offered here are fully boatworthy, not dodgy imitations aimed more at Ye Olde Pubbe market. But are they legal? My understanding is that when the relevant regulations were drawn up covering navigation lights, oil lights were omitted. So therefore oil lights do not contravene current regulations. (This is an argument which I know has been deployed successfully by at least two skippers of MSA registered vessels!). We are checking whether the USCG agrees!"

    PS Copper lanterns are preferable to brass for longevity.

  10. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Richmond, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,419

    Post

    From the Classic Marine website:



    "Nothing quite so handsome as oil-burning navigation lights, not to mention the benefits of reduced battery drain while at anchor or on passage. The ones offered here are fully boatworthy, not dodgy imitations aimed more at Ye Olde Pubbe market. But are they legal? My understanding is that when the relevant regulations were drawn up covering navigation lights, oil lights were omitted. So therefore oil lights do not contravene current regulations. (This is an argument which I know has been deployed successfully by at least two skippers of MSA registered vessels!). We are checking whether the USCG agrees!"

    PS Copper lanterns are preferable to brass for longevity.

  11. #46
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Sammamish, WA
    Posts
    957

    Post

    Beat me to the punch. classicmarine.co.uk is where I got my lights. Copper was the choice over brass, natch. (brass has a very high percentage of zinc; think "zincs",... right). As affordable as anywhere I found, shipping was lickety split, service was great, and they can supply all spares as well (chimneys, wicks, burners, etc..). My lights are Den Haan. Very nice quality. They come with internal chimneys and have proven reliable in winds up to 25kts. so far. I got pt/stb runners, a white stern light and a white all around lamp for anchoring and general illumination. I'm well pleased.
    I have no qualms using oil lamps, nor do I believe they are an inherent legal liability. I interperet existing laws as allowing them. Do they meet visibility requirements? I don't know, however, considering some of the tiny little penlight sized electric lights so prevalent on many production boats, and which have the USCG stamp on them, I'd wager they do. Besides the proof is in the pudding. Last summer I lit the whole show up late one night when I was at anchor. I rowed off what must have been a good mile and a half and had no trouble picking my vessel out even against the clutter of the well lit residential shoreline.

  12. #47
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Sammamish, WA
    Posts
    957

    Post

    Beat me to the punch. classicmarine.co.uk is where I got my lights. Copper was the choice over brass, natch. (brass has a very high percentage of zinc; think "zincs",... right). As affordable as anywhere I found, shipping was lickety split, service was great, and they can supply all spares as well (chimneys, wicks, burners, etc..). My lights are Den Haan. Very nice quality. They come with internal chimneys and have proven reliable in winds up to 25kts. so far. I got pt/stb runners, a white stern light and a white all around lamp for anchoring and general illumination. I'm well pleased.
    I have no qualms using oil lamps, nor do I believe they are an inherent legal liability. I interperet existing laws as allowing them. Do they meet visibility requirements? I don't know, however, considering some of the tiny little penlight sized electric lights so prevalent on many production boats, and which have the USCG stamp on them, I'd wager they do. Besides the proof is in the pudding. Last summer I lit the whole show up late one night when I was at anchor. I rowed off what must have been a good mile and a half and had no trouble picking my vessel out even against the clutter of the well lit residential shoreline.

  13. #48
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Sammamish, WA
    Posts
    957

    Post

    Beat me to the punch. classicmarine.co.uk is where I got my lights. Copper was the choice over brass, natch. (brass has a very high percentage of zinc; think "zincs",... right). As affordable as anywhere I found, shipping was lickety split, service was great, and they can supply all spares as well (chimneys, wicks, burners, etc..). My lights are Den Haan. Very nice quality. They come with internal chimneys and have proven reliable in winds up to 25kts. so far. I got pt/stb runners, a white stern light and a white all around lamp for anchoring and general illumination. I'm well pleased.
    I have no qualms using oil lamps, nor do I believe they are an inherent legal liability. I interperet existing laws as allowing them. Do they meet visibility requirements? I don't know, however, considering some of the tiny little penlight sized electric lights so prevalent on many production boats, and which have the USCG stamp on them, I'd wager they do. Besides the proof is in the pudding. Last summer I lit the whole show up late one night when I was at anchor. I rowed off what must have been a good mile and a half and had no trouble picking my vessel out even against the clutter of the well lit residential shoreline.

  14. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Richmond, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,419

    Post

    Thanks for the information Gold Rock. I presume you are located in the US, so Im curious to know what your import costs were, including shipping/mailing, duty, taxes, etc. Im intending on getting these very same lamps for my new boat and have been wondering what it would cost to get them over to North America.

    Cheers,
    Don

  15. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Richmond, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,419

    Post

    Thanks for the information Gold Rock. I presume you are located in the US, so Im curious to know what your import costs were, including shipping/mailing, duty, taxes, etc. Im intending on getting these very same lamps for my new boat and have been wondering what it would cost to get them over to North America.

    Cheers,
    Don

  16. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Richmond, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,419

    Post

    Thanks for the information Gold Rock. I presume you are located in the US, so Im curious to know what your import costs were, including shipping/mailing, duty, taxes, etc. Im intending on getting these very same lamps for my new boat and have been wondering what it would cost to get them over to North America.

    Cheers,
    Don

  17. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    21,829

  18. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
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  19. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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  20. #55
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: oil navigation lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by paladin View Post
    oil lamps are outlawed in most areas...especially around oil refinerys, fuel storage areas and offshore drilling....for several miles out to sea, the cool gases float above the water, and if ignited can travel tremendous distances....I had oil lamps on the boat before tana Mari and got nailed in the Gulf of Mexico......use L.E.D.s much safer and low drain......Matt...buy a cuppa coffee and we'll talk about your problem...
    This is a myth. Oil lamps are not banned near oil refineries or anywhere else. LEDs are better BUT they will drain your batteries and oil is a good back up. I have seen many, many people cruising with bright nav lights - which they leave off at sea to save the batteries. This is much, much WORSE than simply sailing with oil lamps.

    Big ship operators say red and green lights on a yacht are just a fuzzy blur at sea anyway. People that actually GO to sea know that you need a very bright white light. A bright white light can be seen. There are white oil lights that can be seen 20 miles. So have your LEDs, but a prudent skipper always shows lights regardless of his batteries and for that oil is a good choice.

  21. #56
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: oil navigation lamps

    Bacon's in Annapolis had a few used ones last I checked....

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