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Old 06-13-2010, 05:12 PM
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Default Docking lights used for driving at night!

Just throwing this out there.
Lately I have seen a resurgance in alchohol besotted pontoon driving hillbilly's running docking lights at night to navigate by. Am I the only person bothered by this behavior?
I'm not sure of the legality of this behavior but I can't help but spotlight the neanderthal captain doing this and point out that he is blinding everyone on the river.
So far this week I have warned two boats, one took it OK, apologized and proceeded to turn off all their lights and head off downstream. Great.
Second boat full (probably overloaded) of drunken cretins who threatened to kick my ass et.... Blah blah blah.
So the question is:
What is the proper etiquitte in this situation?
What is the law/responsibility on the boat owners part?

I passed OUPV and 100 ton courses and don't recall any mention of this. Other than using a spotlight to find markers at night, thats the only reference I could find.

Help.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:49 PM
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is illegal lights blind you from seeing nav lights
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:56 PM
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someone please tell that to commercial tugboat operators with their deck lights
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:19 PM
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It's illegal but then again being a douche bag should be as well.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:37 PM
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2 words:

Navigational Hazard .

Proper etiquette for stupid drunken watercraft behavior is to hail authorities . You could be saving your own or someones else life.

As far as threatening to kick your ass. The words are most likely BS and that is the verbal defense mechanism turning on cause they really are morons the rest of the time on and off the water. If they are extreme stupid or violent and actually tried to board to kick your ass than that is piracy. Remember now you are in fear for your life and crew. After you use your harpoon, remember to tell the coroner you want the dart back. If no harpoon, A Stainless Steel S/W 32 that shoots long rifle bullets happens to be a real nice easy to shoot gun . Before you carry get all the necessary permits and courses for your state. Hope it is like your epirb and life raft. The other things you don't want to have to use.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:13 PM
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Thanks for the guidance. I'm very polite when I hail them and tell them I can't see because of their lights. I even address the operator as "captain" (sic). I guess I could radio the local authorties, we don't have the USCG, only local law enforcement (large inland lake system, not considered navigable withing state boundries). Local law enforcement guys are pretty good eggs. Next time I'll just hail them on 16 and give them a heads up with description and #'s of the boat.
I'm not trying to ruin anybody's night but I can't abide drunken unsafe boaters at night. Gives me the willies. The only chance I get to enjoy my boat due to my schedule is at night. Just don't want to end up a statistic.

Thanks
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasin 25 View Post
Thanks for the guidance. I'm very polite when I hail them and tell them I can't see because of their lights. I even address the operator as "captain" (sic). I guess I could radio the local authorties, we don't have the USCG, only local law enforcement (large inland lake system, not considered navigable withing state boundries). Local law enforcement guys are pretty good eggs. Next time I'll just hail them on 16 and give them a heads up with description and #'s of the boat.
I'm not trying to ruin anybody's night but I can't abide drunken unsafe boaters at night. Gives me the willies. The only chance I get to enjoy my boat due to my schedule is at night. Just don't want to end up a statistic.

Thanks
There is a good deal of that going on with the "headlights" being already installed on deck boats as well as some other style craft. Most of the idiots purchasing these craft don't have a clue what lights should be displayed and when. You did your best but the gene pool has degenerated and we are left to deal with it.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:05 PM
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Not to pick on Chasin, but there are a whole lot of folks here who think that laws and rules don't apply to them unless they like/approve of 'em. Just sayin', mind you...
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:20 PM
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Kinda wierd..."docking lights"...hmmmm, docking sounds familiar...
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:20 AM
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We have a guy like that in our marina (dry stack, I don't know him). If we're sitting on the dock we can see him a mile away comming up the river to the marina "headlights" on. I don't know why he has never wondered why other boats don't have headlights, it's possible he figures his boat is newer or better equipped.

This is another argument for mandatory boater training and licensing but on the other hand, you can't fix stupid.

BTW: A private citizen trying to correct other citizen's behavior seldom works out well.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:25 AM
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BTW: A private citizen trying to correct other citizen's behavior seldom works out well.
X2

A couple of million CP searchlights back at them, or go the other way. If you choose the searchlight option, they'll start a conversation with you. Make sure they hear that they're being recorded on several cameras so hope there's no excessive alcohol or underage drinking goin on.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
X2

A couple of million CP searchlights back at them, or go the other way. If you choose the searchlight option, they'll start a conversation with you. Make sure they hear that they're being recorded on several cameras so hope there's no excessive alcohol or underage drinking goin on.
While shining a searchlight back at the operator seems like a logical response, you now have two blinded operators on the water.

And you are now in the wrong for intentionally blinding them. Their only offense was being ignorant.

Reporting them to the authorities as possibly drunk is about the best you can do. It might bring someone out, it might not.

A dock neighbor called the police on a boater who was circling the marina at high speed and creating a big wake while waiting to load the boat at the adjacent ramp. By the time the police got there, they were gone and the police stoped another boater loading his boat.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:07 AM
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Funny, how all the sports and weekend warriors get up in arms about lights on a boat. I hear the hall monitors(coast guard aux) yelping at the other boats about what they can and cant do. So why are all the commercial boats by me lit up like a damn football field. If it was so illegal, state police and the real cg would be all over them.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuris View Post
is illegal lights blind you from seeing nav lights

Think about that one for a second... If their boat is all lit up from flood/spot lights, what difference does it make if you can see their nav lights?
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:08 AM
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Think about that one for a second... If their boat is all lit up from flood/spot lights, what difference does it make if you can see their nav lights?
Nav lights are on other boats as well as some buoys and markers.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasin 25 View Post
Thanks for the guidance. I'm very polite when I hail them and tell them I can't see because of their lights. I even address the operator as "captain" (sic). I guess I could radio the local authorties, we don't have the USCG, only local law enforcement (large inland lake system, not considered navigable withing state boundries). Local law enforcement guys are pretty good eggs. Next time I'll just hail them on 16 and give them a heads up with description and #'s of the boat.
I'm not trying to ruin anybody's night but I can't abide drunken unsafe boaters at night. Gives me the willies. The only chance I get to enjoy my boat due to my schedule is at night. Just don't want to end up a statistic.

Thanks

You better stay away from Lake Allatoona in GA. They whiz by in 40' speedboats at 80 mph, around 3AM, totally drunk. Someone told me there is a wreck or twow every weekend. After a week there I believe it..
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:03 AM
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Nav lights are on other boats as well as some buoys and markers.

Yeah I suppose. I guess I'm just used to running with the radar and a plotter. I don't trust that everyone has working nav lights.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:10 AM
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As a guy who runs night charters quite a bit on Biscayne Bay in a small skiff.... Anytime I see anyone with headlights on running anywhere near me I treat them as the dangerous idiots they are - with extreme caution.... Before we ever leave the dock at night I point out to my customers (one or two anglers, maybe a third...) that the only real dangers we'll face on the water at night is other boaters. I ask them to shout out if they see something I've missed and I make a real point of keeping out of the way of idiots, period.

One other thought, unless it's a boat that is restricted by draft and has to be in a particular channel, whenever I see someone at night under way using a spotlight I automatically assume they a). don't know where they're going, or b). don't know what they're doing, or c). all of the above.... At that point, even if they're competent and cautious they get treated as though they're not. I've had a few close calls over the years but following the above principles has been proven to be pretty good tactics considering the "Law of Gross Tonnage". That's something they don't teach in the captain's course, or in any book. Stated simply, the little boat keeps out of the big boat's way. If your next of kin is in court arguing your case, you've already lost....
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:03 PM
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The headlights are just one of two problems here. The second problem is the kid on these boats with a spotlight. They shine it right in your eyes.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:12 PM
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I guess I could radio the local authorties. Next time I'll just hail them on 16 and give them a heads up with description and #'s of the boat.
Use your cell phone.
The DBs may hear you on 16 and turn the lights off.
You want the law to find them with the lights on, not off.
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