Asked by: Liliya Zalter
sports sailing

When should you use your boats navigation lights?

Last Updated: 23rd March, 2020

Whenever you are operating between sunset and sunrise, or in other times of restricted visibility, such as in fog or rain, you need to display the appropriate navigation lights so that other boats can see you and take the appropriate action to avoid a collision.

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In this manner, do I need navigation lights on my boat?

Navigation Light Requirements - Overview and Powered Vessels Vessel operators must make sure that their vessels are equipped with the proper navigation lights and use the lights during these conditions: When away from the dock between sunset and sunrise. During periods of restricted visibility such as fog or heavy rain.

Likewise, what are the navigation light requirements for human powered boats? According to the Collision regulations an operator of a power driven vessel of more than 12 metres in length, and underway, may display, from sunset to sunrise: masthead light (white) forward, sidelights (red – green) and, sternlight (white).

Just so, what lights does a boat need at night?

The operator of a sailboat operating under sails at night shall, from sunset to sunrise, display: sidelights (red - green) and. sternlight (white). If less than 20 meters in length, the three lights may be combined at or near the top of the mast.

What side do you pass a boat on?

Collision rules A boat must always be navigated on the starboard side (right) of a river or channel. Each boat alters course to starboard (right) and passes port to port (left). Always assume this situation exists. A boat approaching from your starboard (right) side has right of way.

Related Question Answers

Erol Navaz


When boating at night what does a single white light mean?

Encountering Vessels at Night
When you see only a white light, you are overtaking another vessel. It is the stand-on vessel whether it is underway or anchored. You may go around it on either side. When you see a green and a white light, you are the stand-on vessel.

Jeronia Korte


Can you have headlights on a boat?

most boats do not have headlights as it hampers navigation. The ones you may see on some boats are actually Docking lights meant to be used in tight quarters when docking.

Arkadiusz Larrinoa


Can you drive a boat at night?

Driving at night can prove to be harder than during the day, but it's by no means an impossible task, and the same goes with boating at night. Cruising at night means your vision is going to be limited and things can jump out at you while out on the water.

Donghai Ustoa


Why are navigation lights red and green?

Sidelights: These red and green lights are called sidelights (or combination lights) because they are visible to another vessel approaching from the side or head-on. The red light indicates a vessel's port (left) side; the green indicates a vessel's starboard (right) side.

Numbers Bonvehi


What color are boat navigation lights?

In general, all navigation light systems include red and green sidelights, which indicate the port and starboard side of your boat, as well as one or more white lights. It's also important that you have a flashlight on board, as you never know when a navigation light might burn out.

Jianguo Haart


Is Starboard red or green?

When it is dark, it is customary to have a red light on the port side of a boat or plane and a green light on the starboard side.

Hidaya Ouahi


What action should you take if you are approaching another boat at night and see a green and white light?

If you meet a vessel and see a green, red and white light, you are approaching another power-driven vessel head-on. In this situation neither vessel has the right-of-way. Both operators must take early and substantial action to steer well clear of the other vessel.

Weibin Reigadas


What do lights on a boat mean?

Navigation lights help you and other boaters determine which is the give-way vessel when encountering each other at night. The red light indicates a vessel's port (left) side; the green indicates a vessel's starboard (right) side.

Yissel Schapermeyer


What does four short blasts of a horn mean?

One blast of the horn means passing to your port. Two blasts means passing to your starboard. Three blasts means going astern. Five blasts means distress or immediate danger. Why did four blasts not get assigned ?

Lamya Lennard


When should anchor light be on?

Regulations and Safety on Anchor Lights
Anchor lights must be all-around white lights, which means that the bulb cannot at any point be restricted. This means that the key to placing an anchor light is to put it where it is visible for 360 degrees.

Yeraldin Wieking


What do ship horn blasts mean?

One short blast = Passing on ship's port side. Two short blasts = Passing on ship's starboard side. Three short blasts = Operating in reverse. Five short blasts = Danger signal.

Hermelando Profulla


Mariasol Garcke


What is a masthead light?

A masthead light is a white light placed over the fore and aft centreline of a pleasure craft, shining constantly and so affixed as to show the light from straight ahead and to either side of a pleasure craft. The arc of the lights and color allows you to determine the direction a vessel is moving.

Roca Jivoluk


What lights are all vessels required to display when moored or anchored?

All vessels are required to display a white light visible in all directions whenever they are moored or anchored away from dock between sunset and sunrise and/or during periods of restricted visibility.

Imma Amengual


What do visible white and green lights indicate?

Sailboat B: When white and green lights are visible, it means one is approaching the starboard side of a powered-vessel.



What is navigation lights on a boat?

Navigation lights are used to prevent collisions at night or in times of reduced visibility, and are an essential tool in keeping you and your vessel safe. You are legally responsible for displaying lights of the proper color, intensity, location and visibility on your boat.

Ricart Golluri


How tall should stern light be?

It's all good ! Your white stern light is supposed to be at least one meter above your green and red sidelights on the bow. Actually, the USCG regs say that the sidelights must be at least one meter below the stern light, but same difference.

Aithana Xian


What should you always inform your passengers of before departing from the dock?

Before departing, have a safety discussion with everyone on board. Some of the things you should point out are: Locations of safety equipment—lifejackets and PFDs, manual propelling device, anchor, fire extinguisher(s), visual signals, first-aid kit, and bailers/water pump.

Viktoriia Jatzuba


How do navigation lights work?

Port sidelights are red, starboard sidelights are green and both shine from dead ahead to 112.5° aft on either side. Stern lights are white and shine aft and 67.5° forward on each side. (Thus, the sidelights and stern light create a full circle of light.) All-round lights are white and shine through 360°.