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drlfc

Navigation Lights...or lack thereof!

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We went out last Saturday night salmon fishing in front of the Salmon River. Launched out of Pine Grove at 11 PM and motored out to the mouth. Trolled around for a number of hours and quit about 4 AM. I am appalled by the number of boats with no lights or substandard lighting. I realize that unmotorized boats (drift boats, kayaks, etc) don't require lights but they are still a hazard. Some boats only had one side marker light, no aft light or even less. If you are fishing, anchored or trolling after sunset or before sunrise please be sure your lighting is up to USCG requirements. Also, even if your boat doesn't require lights you ought to have them just for safety's sake in a heavy traffic area. A handheld spotlight is really handy for spotting boats without lights.

Lou

Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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In August, I was running offshore in The dark and came up on a boat with no Nav lights on. The only thing I saw was the light on the fish finder!

Edited by GAMBLER

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I've seen guys during tournaments just sitting on their spot waiting for the start time with no lights on. Not cool.

silverfoxcharters.net

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About 5-6years ago my uncle and I were trolling at night on our local lake at night with rods out spot light on the rocket launcher shinning on the poles light shinning down in the back when my uncle says that I should stay left there is a log ahead of us, as we got almost on top of this guy he yells HEY What The &[email protected]? Can't you see?? I said how am I supposed to see you where hell are you lights, he yells I DONT NEED FN lights, I'm not in a boat. Where he is, it's a long point that sticks out about 75 yards from shore and he is waist deep in the water. I told him you either need a lantern on shore or a light on your hat, well he started mouthing off to I told Dave reel the rods in and we fired up and left the jackass there, maybe someone else will drive over him then he'll read the book. Hopefully he gets some form of lights for his own safety!! We are gearing up to troll nights so see what happens once the water temp comes down.

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Even if you have running lights on and you strike another boat or a shore fisherman, you have to answer for the incident. That is why spotlights help you know what is going on. After seeing other boats without lights you are guilty since you know the existing situation. Law enforcement is lacking at the night fishing zones so you have to be prepared. It is illegal to shine a spotlight on a boat at night blinding the operator. There is no safe way to operate at these harbors except to be able to stop in half the visibility  distance. 

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I've always had a remotely operated spotlight on the front of my boat for this very reason and always have it on when running at night. I've seen/heard people running full tilt in the dark with no lights at all hooting and hollering and clinking beer cans yelling and talking loudly (obviously inebriated) while I was walleye fishing on Honeoye Lake and it is a disaster just waiting to happen.

Edited by Sk8man

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There is no safe way to operate at these harbors except to be able to stop in half the visibility  distance. 

 

I'm going to disagree with this statement slightly.  I have a night vision device and it looks like daylight in complete darkness.  Having previously run at night with no special equipment (using lights across the lake and watching for something to break the glare) and now having done so with the NOD, there is no comparison and I can't foresee ever again operating at night without it unless it's an emergency.  

 

However....they're not cheap.  

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Made the mistake of coming to a stop and turning around because I see a light..it's flashing on and off like Morse code. Went towards it and it stops..so I hit the direction with 300,000 candelpower. I see finally a boat with no nav lights sitting there and I cautiously approach to see if there was an emergency. NOPE!..so I'm yelled at for disturbing his water and what ever he's doing. Maybe watching submarine races...I don't know!:blink:..:o..Anyway..I'm saying you need to illuminate something besides a flashlight blinking on and off. I think you have a distress!..not the only time this happened either. Radar..or night vision..can see the benefit! For the idiots too!..

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Even if you have running lights on and you strike another boat or a shore fisherman, you have to answer for the incident. That is why spotlights help you know what is going on. After seeing other boats without lights you are guilty since you know the existing situation. Law enforcement is lacking at the night fishing zones so you have to be prepared. It is illegal to shine a spotlight on a boat at night blinding the operator. There is no safe way to operate at these harbors except to be able to stop in half the visibility distance.

I hate to rely on electronics but RADAR is a simple solution.

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i believe running with any light on(spot light or docking lights) other then your nav.lights at night is illegal????

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Not sure about the lights that Jason is talking about but sidelights( bi-color) and stern light definitely when moving.

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Im going to be the Devils advocate. For us guys that go by the laws, to protect ourselves from goons that slap a 9.9 motor on a smaller aluminum boat and blast out in the darkness of night with only a lighter to fire up what ever they are smoking, now WE need to invest in military night vision, I have a generation 2 telescope on my yote rifle when I bought this scope it was nearly a grand, my father in law paid for half as a gift. Now we need to get a radar outfit, this is ridiculous!! Please don't start a pissing match Im just saying, the robber gets away with it because the cops contaminated the evidence. Kind of like insurance to protect yourself from the ones who don't have anything. WTF. Wrong with this picture!!!!

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I've never heard that running with a spotlight on is illegal but if so I guess my take on it is that I'd rather be around to explain to the judge why I did it than have a bunch of people standing over me at the cemetery.. given some of the lunatics out there and potential obstructions in the water as I have a vivid memory of two such fatalities on Seneca Lake.

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Let me get this straight. I need to spend multiple $$$$ to see boats that are not up to regs on their lighting or don't give a s--t about their safety? How about THEY spend less than a hundred bucks so that THEY aren't breaking the law or are the cause of a marine accident/fatality. WAKE UP AMERICA!

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Let me get this straight. I need to spend multiple $$$$ to see boats that are not up to regs on their lighting or don't give a s--t about their safety? How about THEY spend less than a hundred bucks so that THEY aren't breaking the law or are the cause of a marine accident/fatality. WAKE UP AMERICA!

+2

silverfoxcharters.net

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Woah woah there.  I'm not suggesting the onus is on you to buy night vision or radar.  Mine happened to be a unit that I got for hunting as well.  All I'm saying is there is a way to operate safely and it makes me feel better.  I can't control what some numbnuts in a rowboat does, but I can use the equipment I have at my disposal to feel comfortable navigating at night.  

 

The only other options are to run without special equipment and hope that there aren't any morons in your path....or just accept the fact that if you do it long enough you're going to kill someone (who's probably more in the wrong than you, but still...).  Unless you can think of a way to get these people to stop doing what they're doing...I just don't see any other options.  

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Just looked up NY State boating laws with regards to lights. Manually powered boats dont need anything more than a lantern or flash light. So much for common sense.

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I generally run with my spreader lights on and continue to leave them on when boats are around.  I don't intentionally try to blind other boats but I like to be seen. If coast guard gives me a ticket so be it, but I would think they would give the ticket to the guys that can't be seen first.

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Same here Chas, but I didnt see anything in regs about other light other than the minimum requirements per vessel type.

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A reasonable alternative is battery operated Nav and Stern lights for boats not required to have them, It's for your safety! Like having an anchor aboard if not required to. Some things are left up to us for safety. Be safe....Have fun! Steve.......

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 After a large boat clears the channel, gooses the throttle, bow in air.....he can't see any other boats (no lights!) After the Doctors get done stuffing your guts in and sewing on your legs and arms....Go after the driver of that boat that hit you and tell him you weren't required to have lights on it! Hopefully, you will survive! Steve....

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Crap even glow in the dark tape on the side of the boat would be better than nothing!

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Hi guys, I love these kinds of threads because I always learn something from them. When in doubt, search... so I found these NY State Nav rules on pg 8 of 14 in the following pdf file.

 

Regarding the legality of using lights other than those required, this states, "No other lights that may be mistaken for required navigation lights may be used."

 

And when anchored at night, this..."All vessels are required to display a white light visable in all directions whenever they are moored or anchored outside a designated mooring area between sunset and sunrise."

 

It's also important to know that anytime your vessel is moving, even with engines off and drifting, your vessel is "Making Way" and the required nav lights must be on.

 

https://www.boat-ed.com/abc/abc_specific_images/pdfs/ny_law.pdf

 

 

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