When you are taking your boat out on the water for any reason, it is essential that you are prepared with the necessary safety gear, including the proper lighting. Knowing which lights are positioned at various locations on your boat is an essential aspect of being prepared for a safe boating experience.
Firstly, there are a few general rules when it comes to boat lighting. Boats must always be equipped with navigation lights, which must be used between sunset and sunrise. Additionally, boats that are greater than 16 feet in length must also have an all-around white light visible from a distance of at least two miles away.
Now, let’s take a look at the specific lights that are positioned at various locations on a boat.
1. Bow Lights – Also known as port and starboard lights, these lights are positioned on the front of the vessel. They can be either red or green and must be visible from at least one mile away. The green light should be positioned on the starboard side of the boat, while the red light should be positioned on the port side.
2. Stern Light – Positioned at the back of the boat, the stern light is an all-around white light that is visible from at least two miles away. This light must be used when the boat is anchored or drifting at night.
3. Masthead Light – This light is positioned at the highest point on the boat and shines from forward to 22.5 degrees aft on both sides. This white light is also visible from at least two miles away.
4. All-Around Light – This light is positioned on a pole or other elevated location and is also an all-around white light. It can be used in place of a masthead light if your boat does not have a mast.
5. Anchor Light – When you are anchored at night, you must display an anchor light at the highest point on your boat. This light can be white or yellow and is visible from at least two miles away.
Knowing which lights are positioned at various locations on your boat is crucial to ensuring safety while boating. Make sure that all of your lighting is functioning properly before taking your boat out on the water, and always use caution and common sense to avoid accidents. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable boating experience.