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Thread: Nav light positioning

  1. #1
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    Default Nav light positioning

    I bought these lights

    5384EA83-B793-4A72-814F-5787B4475A49.jpg

    i have three places I could fit them and 80% decided on the after cabin-side

    2BC5198A-5C48-41A5-ACC6-943A92F8A872.jpg

    for a couple of reasons. I’m just after any ones experience with this type of light and also if it’s a stupid place to mount them.

    the other two places are here

    B54E3023-8E05-4ED7-AA10-7A916AA5A33F.jpg

    and here

    E2A48DE3-D251-4800-8B89-826C0FA1B223.jpg

    Does anyone have experience of this type of light and it’s longevity/ sealing?

    is it too far from bow (about 60% distance from bow)

    Any other comments welcome.
    Last edited by Andrew Donald; 08-11-2022 at 09:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    The forward end of the cabin is best. Being higher, they'll be seen more readily. If you want to be precise about it, they should be parallel to the centerline of the boat. This will put the visible arc where it's supposed to be. A wedge-shaped backing plate is all that's needed.
    -Dave

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    Hi Andrew,

    'A couple of thoughts:

    When a mate and I did the ICC Skipper accreditation (a day on the water in our yacht) the examiner commented that most Nav lights are too small for decent visibility....including the ones we had fitted.
    Having said that ...and you have the types shown, I would go with the 2nd option shown....on the hull just back from the bow.

    The aft end of the cabin is too far back while the front of the cabin runs the risk of a headsail obscuring the light. Just my opinion ....Boat is looking terrific...kudos to you.
    PeterW

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    I’m having heaps of trouble posting, any one else?

    ”you don’t have permission, refresh” etc etc

    it sorta times out in about 30 seconds
    Last edited by Andrew Donald; 08-11-2022 at 10:01 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    Both good points Dave & Peter, I hadn’t thought about it that much, glad I asked.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    Difficult to judge from the photos but you really need to try and project the arc of each light to make sure they show up to another vessel where they need to and aren’t obscured at any level. The higher the better, particularly on a sail boat that may have one hull down under sail with the light easily obscured to another vessel by even a slightly a lumpy sea:



    The forward cabin option looks (from the photos) to give the clearest arc of the three options. I wonder with the aft cabin mounted option whether they may be obscured from directly ahead by the cabin or by the curve of the deck to any vessel that may be lower in the water or closer to you.

    The hull mounted option presents its own problems with making them watertight, checking that they are operating and are really just that bit lower that they can be obscured by waves very easily.

    Are you planning on fitting a pulpit? A couple of nicely finished timber mounting plates up on the pulpit would be another very good option.


    Having done more than a few thousand hours of night sailing and navigation I can attest to how confusing and obscure some nav’ light set ups can be when viewed from another vessel and you really need to be able to identify what direction another vessel is traveling in by their nav lights alone.....



    Larks

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    I know what you mean about lights at night Greg. I believe one should could keep a good lookout cos the other guy prob can’t see you - bit like riding a motorbike

    No pulpit.
    Last edited by Andrew Donald; 08-11-2022 at 11:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Donald View Post
    I know what you mean about lights at night Greg. I believe one should could keep a good lookout cos the other guy prob can’t see you - bit like riding a motorbike

    No pulpit.
    The trick is to make sure that they CAN see you.....

    If you can set them up roughly in spot with a car battery or jump starter and turn the shed lights off you’ll be able to get an idea on the shed door where the arcs reach from each location option.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    Yup, from what I can see of the lights, they will not be visible from directly forwards if they are mounted on the cabin sides as the bulb will be masked by the metal recess.

    I'd have them on the bow. From the photos it appear they will be about the same height as they would be on the cabin sides, the leeward one won't dip as low when heeled and there is far less chance of either of them being obscured by sails, ropes, crew or whatever.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    I'd have them on the bow. From the photos it appear they will be about the same height as they would be on the cabin sides, the leeward one won't dip as low when heeled and there is far less chance of either of them being obscured by sails, ropes, crew or whatever.
    +1

    Additionally, in that position aboard a small boat, the glare from the lights will have less of an effect on your night vision, then were they placed closer to you along the cabin side.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    those recessed type? put em in the bow
    sit on top types...put em on the cabin front corners

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    One prob with bow is that the arcs won’t be correct. Also they’ll be dunked fairly regularly.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    Your boats coming along great Andrew!
    what about a couple of small light boards in your rigging? You could even look at having them run on batteries = no holes in your boat.
    I’m not sure how much and what type of night sailing your thinking of doing? I guess that would play a factor as well.
    i agree with the above mentioned though, I like to know I have every chance of being seen and be able to see another boat. Especially if you’re a bit tired and you need your boat to get you through.

    Steve

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    Where are you going to be sailing, Andrew? If you're primarily going to be on lakes and rivers I'd say it doesn't matter too much as long as they're visible around sails. If you're going down to Port Philip and outside I'd be inclined to get them as high as I could and even be thinking about a masthead tricolour. I've been offshore enough to have learned that even a one meter sea can effectively hide lights from another small craft. That is if you plan on doing night sailing. If not, then meet the letter of the law and put them where they're easy to service and aren't likely to leak. And where if they do ​leak you'll notice it!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    Steve , I did think of lightboards but my rigging doesn’t line up well enough for/aft and the wiring…. that’s a big prob with a trailersailer. Batteries , hmmmm, with water…hmmmm

    Not a lot of night sailing maybe 1 or 2 per season (6 - 8 months)

    Hugh, mostly on bays rivers and lakes but there are offshore locations that interest me too. Such as Bass Strait islands and Whitsundays. Coastal hopping may come into it.

    As for a tri-colour, there are wiring probs to overcome being a trailer sailer. No I’m not going up the rigging. I’ll leave a conduit in mast for such an eventuality if I get mad enough.

    The leak problem is one of the reasons I’d prefer not the bow , not a matter of if but when.

    So far I’m in favour of either side of cabin but whether I go for or aft will be an experiment one night with a battery. (Thanks Greg for that idea), I could make up a shade over them.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Nav light positioning

    You should know that the USCG no longer permits Nav lights to be installed below deck level, or below the gunwale. So, in the shear strake should not be an option,

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