When sailing at night, it’s important to have proper lighting on your boat to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the water. Running lights are a key component of a boat’s lighting system, and they play a crucial role in keeping vessels visible and avoiding collisions.
Running lights are mounted on the bow, stern, and sides of a boat and are used to indicate the boat’s direction and position to other vessels. They come in different colors – red, green, and white – to help other boaters determine the direction and position of a boat in the dark.
The red and green lights are usually mounted on the bow of the boat and are called “sidelights”. These lights indicate the port (left) and starboard (right) side of the vessel. The red light indicates the port side of the vessel, while the green light indicates the starboard side. When these two lights are visible to another vessel, it means that the boat is sailing in a safe and normal direction.
The white light, also known as the “sternlight”, is mounted on the stern of the boat and is visible from a distance of up to 2 miles. This light is used to indicate the position and movement of the boat. It is always on when the boat is underway and can be seen by vessels behind the boat.
In addition to these basic running lights, larger boats also have masthead lights and stern lights to further increase their visibility. Masthead lights are white lights used to indicate the presence of a larger vessel, while stern lights are used to indicate the stern of the boat.
When sailing at night, it’s important to keep all of your running lights in good condition and to make sure they are turned on before you set sail. Failure to do so can result in accidents and collisions that can cause serious damage to your boat and endanger your life.
Running lights are a vital component of a boat’s lighting system when sailing at night. These lights help other boats to see you and can prevent collisions and accidents. By knowing and understanding the function of these lights, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable night-time sailing experience.