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Are power boats required to have navigation lights?

Old 01-03-2012, 10:38 PM
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Default Are power boats required to have navigation lights?

Either I missed seeing them, or the boat I am picking up on Saturday doesn't appear to have the red/green bow navigation lights, or the stern (white) light.

Are boats required to have these? It is a 196 Key West BayReef - I would think the manufacturer would have installed these - maybe I just didn't see it.
Old 01-03-2012, 10:45 PM
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They are required for operation from dusk to dawn and in periods of restricted visibility but are not required to be installed at the factory or on any boat.
Old 01-03-2012, 10:50 PM
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You probably just didn't see them, but you only are required to have them if you operate between sunset and sunrise... But you should have them....what if you have engine trouble and can't get home as fast as you plan...

Rule 20 applies..
Old 01-03-2012, 10:57 PM
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Are you sure they are not flush mounts in the hull? The stern light is probably just a mast that pulls out of the socket and gets stored away.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:00 AM
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Grey,

No offense, but if you are asking that question its clear you have not taken a boating safety course. That is one of the first topics covered. Friendly advice is to register for a course today. They are actually quite interesting.

While we on THT are a network of boaters/fisherman to help answer questions, nothing can substitute for a licensed boating safety course
Old 01-04-2012, 05:58 AM
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They are not required to be installed on a boat. They are required to be on at night as well as in periods of restricted visablity. I looked at a couple of pics on google images and looks like they came from factory in center of bow. Did PO remove them ? Cheap and easy to install as long as you have access to run wires.
Old 01-04-2012, 06:09 AM
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Most if not all manufacturers install nav lights. I am sure Key West does, they are probably flush mounted/ manual pop ups. I also agree that if you are not sure about nav lights, you NEED to take a boating course... Good Luck
Old 01-04-2012, 06:18 AM
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From the looks of the pics of your boat, they installed the trolling motor over the bow light or took it off. There is something under the prop of the TM but I can't tell. Looks like a plate in the port stern where a pole light would plug in.
Old 01-04-2012, 06:25 AM
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In my area you would think nav lights are optional. I see people all the time cruising around with no lights or just one or two lights working.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by debugger View Post
From the looks of the pics of your boat, they installed the trolling motor over the bow light or took it off. There is something under the prop of the TM but I can't tell. Looks like a plate in the port stern where a pole light would plug in.
Agreed w/above. (I also saw your thread with photos) Note there is a "NAV" switch on the dash. Plug-in recepticles are common in boats that size for the anchor light, but that trolling motor would block a normal bow light installation. Your best bet, ironically, might be to install a bow light on TOP of that trolling motor.
Old 01-04-2012, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
Agreed w/above. (I also saw your thread with photos) Note there is a "NAV" switch on the dash. Plug-in recepticles are common in boats that size for the anchor light, but that trolling motor would block a normal bow light installation. Your best bet, ironically, might be to install a bow light on TOP of that trolling motor.
Good eye with the nav switch on the console.
Old 01-04-2012, 06:41 AM
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I agree with the suggestions to take a boating course. If you don't know if a boat is required to have navigation lights, there will be many other important things you don't know and need to know to boat safely.

If you don't feel like or cannot take a course in person, you can take on-line courses. You can also buy books on the subject.

On the subject of navigation lights, I seriously doubt that your boat was manufactured without navigation lights, but if you bought it used, some genius might have removed them or lost them if they were the removable pole type.

If you boat after dark, early in the morning, or in fog, you are required to show navigation lights. You may think you will never boat under these conditions, but you cannot predict when fog will roll in and you might have a problem with the boat and end up returning to shore after dark so you really should get your lights installed and/or working. Aside from the legal requirement, these lights are there so other boaters can see your boat. The lights provide safety for you and your passengers.

And take a boating course.
Old 01-04-2012, 07:41 AM
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There's a one day course at the Coast Guard Auxiliary building in NPR on Feb 4th.

Tipsy
Old 01-04-2012, 08:16 AM
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You will need to have life jackets aboard as well
Old 01-04-2012, 08:19 AM
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My Tidewater 21 has flush mount sockets for removable nav/anchor lights.
Old 01-04-2012, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by gfretwell View Post
Are you sure they are not flush mounts in the hull? The stern light is probably just a mast that pulls out of the socket and gets stored away.
Just got confirmation of that - seller said that exactly
Old 01-04-2012, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by joemat View Post
Grey,

No offense, but if you are asking that question its clear you have not taken a boating safety course. That is one of the first topics covered. Friendly advice is to register for a course today. They are actually quite interesting.

While we on THT are a network of boaters/fisherman to help answer questions, nothing can substitute for a licensed boating safety course
None taken Actually, I did take a boater safety course and just got my card. The problem is that I took it over the course of 3 weeks online, during the holidays, and while I did quite well on the test I obviously didn't recall whether it was mandatory that the boat have lights on it, or whether that was just a requirement if you boated at night.

Trust me - I'm VERY safety and education oriented, and have bought and am reading many books right now on boating. I want to be as prepared as possible. But again, I was getting conflicting information regarding legal requirements for nav lights in the various places I was looking, which is what spurred the question. I'm going to take advantage of the free USCG/Power Squadron safety inspection as well.
Old 01-04-2012, 12:40 PM
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Default PWC are classified as power boats

Most PWC do NOT have nav lights installed. Even if you install nav lights on your PWC, many states will not allow navigation after sunset/before sunrise. Somethng about "the operator is likely to become separated from the PWC during operation" or some BS like that.

Other than that, every vessel over 17ft or so that I have seen has some sort of nav light setup from the factory.
Old 01-04-2012, 03:05 PM
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Default Nav Lights

Navigation lights are required on boats if they want to be ABYC or NMMA certified.

Navigation lights are not only used at night, they are also required during inclement weather during the day: rain, snow, fog.

Old 01-04-2012, 03:33 PM
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Where a boat may be equipped with a bow mounted trolling motor many manufacturers are including the quick mount socket (flush to the hull) for both bow and stern lights. The insert light pole for the bow light is long enough to allow red/green lights to be visible above the trolling motor but way shorter than the stern light. My Skeeter is this way and I have seen other boats set up similarly. So, look around your boat for a short mast pole red/green light - I think that is what your seller meant when he said the bow light was flush mounted.

Ray

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