When it comes to boating at night, safety is a top priority. One of the most important safety features on a boat is its lighting.
Proper lighting not only helps you navigate safely in the dark waters but also makes your boat visible to others. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of lights required on a boat at night.
Navigation lights are mandatory for all boats that are underway between sunset and sunrise. These lights help other boaters determine the direction and size of your vessel. Navigation lights consist of red and green sidelights and a white stern light.
Sidelights: Sidelights are mounted on the bow or port and starboard sides of the boat. The red sidelight should be mounted on the port side, while the green sidelight should be mounted on the starboard side.
Sidelight Requirements: Sidelights should have a visibility range of 1 nautical mile (nm) for vessels up to 39.4 feet in length, and 2 nm for vessels between 39.4 feet and 65.6 feet in length.
Stern Light: The stern light is mounted on the back or stern of the boat, facing aft. It shines white light from behind your vessel.
Stern Light Requirements: The stern light should have a visibility range of 2 nm for all boats.
Anchor lights are required when you’re anchored in an area where other boats may be navigating at night. Anchor lights help other boaters see your vessel so they can avoid running into it.
Anchor Light: An anchor light is usually mounted at the top of the mast or another high point on your boat. It shines white light all around your vessel.
Anchor Light Requirements: Anchor lights should have a visibility range of 2 nm for all boats.
Masthead lights are required for power-driven vessels that are over 65. These lights help other boaters determine the size and direction of your vessel.
Masthead Light: A masthead light is mounted at the top of the mast, facing forward.
Masthead Light Requirements: Masthead lights should have a visibility range of 3 nm for vessels over 65.
Having proper lighting on your boat is crucial to boating safely at night. Make sure you have all the required navigation, anchor, and masthead lights installed and functioning properly before heading out on the water after dark. Remember, safety first!