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bobn

RO# 30338

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  18:33:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I didn't want to hijack another thread, but one of the responses has me wondering.
Below is the response that I'm curious about. The thread had to do with running at night.

You needed a search light to see? I hope you were not running with your spotlights on. THAT would be dangerous.

When running at night I, and most others in my area, use our spotlights at night. The spotlight is pointed down at the water in front of us. What is dangerous about this when running at low speeds?


Homeport: Decatur, AL

carver 2557

RO# 11591

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  18:39:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I travel at night quite often...I go dead slow and always have my spot/flood light on pointed at the water in front of me...I want to see what"s in front of me...
I see nothing dangerous about it, but see it as a safety measure...



Homeport: Go to Top of Page

HOGAN

RO# 3813



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  18:39:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Blinding yourself and your fellow boaters. It is a very dangerous thing to to.

Let your eyes acclimate to the dark and learn to read navigation and other boat lights.


_________________________


1999 Trojan 440 Express
2005 Scout 175 Sportfish
Achilles LEX 96
MMSI# 338049724




Surly to bed, surly to rise...

Homeport: SS3 @ PennyBridge Marina, Stony Point, NY Go to Top of Page

carver 2557

RO# 11591

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  18:46:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why would someone who has a flood/spot light pointed at the water just in front of the boat be blinding someone?...If fellow boaters are that close, there is a problem about to happen...
If there is something/someone in the water just in front of me I'm going to see them or it...




Homeport: Go to Top of Page

HOGAN

RO# 3813



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  18:49:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ever hear of reflection off the water?

Someone coming towards you is going to see your bright light and be unable to see your running lights.

At the least, it will ruin your night vision.



_________________________


1999 Trojan 440 Express
2005 Scout 175 Sportfish
Achilles LEX 96
MMSI# 338049724




Surly to bed, surly to rise...

Edited by - HOGAN on Dec 01 2009 18:49:42

Homeport: SS3 @ PennyBridge Marina, Stony Point, NY Go to Top of Page

Gregory S

RO# 2620



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  18:59:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hogan is correct. Degrades your night vision and that of oncoming boaters and is confusing to other boats. May also make it impossible to identify your boat's running lights which would be an infraction of the Navregs.


Homeport: Norfolk, Va Go to Top of Page

bobn

RO# 30338

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:01:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hogan, I have to disagree with you on ruining your night vision. Maybe it has to do with the width of the waterway, I can see a possible problem on a narrow stretch of water, but the Tenn river isn't what I'd call narrow. I've met boats with their spotlights on and it hasn't had an adverse effect on my night vision and I've been able to see their running lights. Like Wayne I want to be able to see what's in front of me.
I don't see a difference in using a spotlight on a boat and a car at night. Passing an oncoming car at a much closer distance than passing a boat and night vision isn't adversely effected.



Edited by - bobn on Dec 01 2009 19:05:31

Homeport: Decatur, AL Go to Top of Page

HOGAN

RO# 3813



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:04:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm glad I don't boat on the Tennessee river.

_________________________


1999 Trojan 440 Express
2005 Scout 175 Sportfish
Achilles LEX 96
MMSI# 338049724




Surly to bed, surly to rise...

Homeport: SS3 @ PennyBridge Marina, Stony Point, NY Go to Top of Page

Gregory S

RO# 2620



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:16:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's the problem Bob, you don't see the difference between a spotlight on a boat and a headlight on a car. When someone hits you in the eyes with the high beams, how's your night vision? If you are constantly looking at a bright spot on the water in front of you, you are killing your own night vision. You'll have a hard time seeing dangers that aren't illuminated in front of you. You're giving yourself tunnel vision and I don't want to be anywhere near someone on the water at night with poor vision.


Homeport: Norfolk, Va Go to Top of Page

rommer

RO# 12280



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:24:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A boat with a running spot light makes it virtually impossible to see the PROPER navigation lights on a vessel.

quote:
I don't see a difference in using a spotlight on a boat and a car at night. Passing an oncoming car at a much closer distance than passing a boat and night vision isn't adversely effected.


What an incredibly dangerous statement. Define adversely in your world? The CONTINUOUS use of a spotlight at night is dangerous and a selfish thing to do. Blinding others so that you can see what's in front of you? Please. Spotlights are there so you can pickup a buoy or a dock they are not there so you can see in front of you while underway. Proper use of your night vision is the proper way to go.

I don't have the exact nav reg at the moment but any EXTRA light that masks or hinders the visibility of the required lighting is forbidden by rule. Blinding other boaters so they can't see your nav lights fits that definition.





Boats, yup, 5 of em...
WLC - We love Champlin's!

Homeport: Liberty Landing Marina, NJ Go to Top of Page

bobn

RO# 30338

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:24:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gregory, the spot on the water isn't that bright to me. I'm not concentrating just on the flood area of the spotlight, I'm also looking to the sides. I can't speak for others but it doesn't adversely effect my night vision. Car lights, even not on bright, are brighter than my spotlight and the ones I meet.



Homeport: Decatur, AL Go to Top of Page

Caryl-d

RO# 7966

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:26:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greg hit it on the nose as did Hogan. The spot light will mess your night vision as well as any one who looks your way. It also makes it very hard to tell your navigation lights apart. Can make it hard to tell if your comming or going. The difference with a car is most areas are lit up so you really dont rely on your night vision. No other lights on the river other than the navigation lights on your boat. I used to love traveling at night on the water. But due to older age now my night vision is not as good as it used to be. If I come across a spotlight being on I lose my night vision and trust me when I tell you that I am blind for several minutes till it comes back. THis year I have gone as far as turning off all my dash lights to try and improve my vision.

Butch
The Gov of "B" Dock

Homeport: SS3@Penny Bridge Marina Stony Point, NY Go to Top of Page

Radioactive

RO# 3238



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:35:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've logged many hours at night and I have have the always available spotlight in operation for probably far less than 10 minutes of those very many hours. In short, protect your night vision ( and that of others ) and you rarely need to use a spotlight.

Those who leave their spotlight on actually see less and they also impair the night vision of others around them.

Turn it off.


Bill

"No matter where you go, there you are." -- Buckaroo Bonzai
"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - Kenneth Grahame

Homeport: MS Gulf Coast Go to Top of Page

SPIKE

RO# 4024



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:40:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Both ways have merit. By running "Dark," others can better see your Nav lights, and you are not blinded by your own lights. Good boating tecnniques ~ the right way. You are better able to react and respond. However, if the other boaters that don't see you ~ because you only have Nav lights on, you become a stealth boater (to them) ~ it's about them (perhaps distracted). So..my experience... I run Dark, I have a dedicated person with a strong light on the stern at night... watching for boats zipping on us from behind. Granted... this protects us only from behind ~ but works on the river. Search light goes on to see where I am at in regards to confirm the bouys, then off. If we don't like what's coming at us, we light up so they can see.

2002 Chaparral Signature 260
1948 Chris Craft Deluxe~

Homeport: CT River Go to Top of Page

November Charlie

RO# 824

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:42:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bobn

Gregory, the spot on the water isn't that bright to me. I'm not concentrating just on the flood area of the spotlight, I'm also looking to the sides. I can't speak for others but it doesn't adversely effect my night vision. Car lights, even not on bright, are brighter than my spotlight and the ones I meet.




Yes, but your ability to SEE anything to the sides is drastically diminished. It's a physiological fact - there's no escaping it, there's no immunity to it. That bright white light in front of you IS destroying your night vision, and anybody else in it's path. On a clear night, once you've acclimated, you can see better than during the daytime, I kid you not. Once you chuck that white light into the mix, it's out the window and you're only seeing what's in the light. You will NOT see that low-lying target (small boat, deadhead, aid, manatee, circus clown, whatever) on the periphery of that light.

Even when just flicking the light on and right off again to light up the retroreflective tape on a floating aid to navigation to confirm a RADAR target (goes back to the notion of using all available means, and not relying on a single one, even Saint Raytheon), an experienced professional will keep one eye tightly shut and the other just cracked, if open at all. Better to have -one- of the lookouts do the dirty work and keep your own eyes straight.


My signature line is cooler than your signature line.

Homeport: Northeast Go to Top of Page

sbw1

RO# 24048

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:47:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We seldom use our search light but do use it on two occassions. The first is to pick up a bouy in the river to make sure we are where we think we are. Since we transient areas that we know at night, this is seldom required. We always use the light when docking due to the location of our slip in an area that has little ambient light. We simply can not see the dock when the moon is not out. We do routinely see people running up and down our lake on plane with the spotlight aimed straight ahead. This is probably a violation of some regulation and certainly annoying to the rest of us.


Homeport: Go to Top of Page

Gregory S

RO# 2620



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  19:47:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now that's the words of a professional Bob. The close one eye trick is great. Thanks Mike.


Homeport: Norfolk, Va Go to Top of Page

Radioactive

RO# 3238



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  20:08:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Those of us who grew up in cities come to believe that we need light fixtures to see at night. But the fact of the matter is that humans are pretty well adapted to living without lights. ie: our night vision is actually petty good. But you must "tend it carefully".

Our eyes got through two stages as the sun goes down: 1) within about 15 to 45 seconds ( varies mostly by age ) the iris increases in size and allows more light to enter the eye. 2) the use of the "cone cell receptors" becomes less and the use of the "rod cell receptors" increases in importance. Rod cells rely upon rhodopsin or "visual purple" to increase our light sensitivity. In the strong presence of rhodopsin the rods are about 100x more light sensitive to light than the cone cell receptors. Strong light decreases the availablity of rhodopsin, and prolonged low light increases the availability.

Thus, one blast of bright light will "bleach" your visual purple and greatly reduce your night vision. And it can take a while for levels to increase ( 15 to 45 min, again, age related ). For best results, take special care of your eyes as the sun goes down, ( wear heavy sun glasses ) and once the lights go out, avoid -all- sources of bright light including even brief blinks of the spotlight or a "flick of your Bic".

The "shut one eye" trick is a good one, as is the only one lookout with "sun burnt eyes" while all others remain dark-adapted.

As a quick test, pay attention next time you wake in the middle of the night. The night light, if present will be quite bright, your digital alarm clock will light the entire room, and a look out the window will show far more stars than you saw just before you turned out the lights...

Take care of your eyes, and you willfind you have excellent night vision. It is a tool. Care for it, use it.


Bill

"No matter where you go, there you are." -- Buckaroo Bonzai
"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - Kenneth Grahame

Homeport: MS Gulf Coast Go to Top of Page

speedo

RO# 14386

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  20:11:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I frequently run at night at about 5 mph, the legal max on my lake after dark. It's one of the best times for boating as far as I'm concerned. I always have my spot with me on the bridge but the only time I use it is when I'm near shore and looking for a place to beach or tie up. Even then my Maglite is sometimes a better option.

I was heading toward the sheriff one night well after dark and he had someone stopped about a mile or so ahead of me and he had his blue lights flashing. Since he was so far away I just kept heading toward him figuring I'd stop or he'd approach when we got closer. I guess he decided he wanted me dead in the water where I was 'cuz he hit me with his spot light and kept it on me for a few seconds. He blinded me for a moment and absolutely ruined my night vision. Probably not the brightest thing I've ever done, (pun intended,) but I was pissed so I hit him back with my spot(2 million candle power) and stopped dead in the water and waited for him to come to me. He came at me on plane (5 mph speed limit 30 minutes after sunset, mind you) and stopped along side my idling boat. I faced him with my hands on the grab rail on the fly bridge and he asked me if I knew what the speed limit was on the lake at night. I cited the local regs better than he knew them and told him I was also allowed to maintain control of my boat and I had been proceeding at my boat's idle speed. I also suggested that blinding me with his spotlight was unnecessary since I was obviously proceeding in his direction. (Maybe he didn't know how to read my nav lights)

I've been stopped frequently at night, sheriff or ranger looking for a DUI, and I've met most of them and they know I don't cruise around drunk. Sometimes they'll approach me and then flare off when they see it's me. This particular guy was a rookie and he had a civilian on board that I guess he was trying to impress. (Local orders require two people on their boats after dark or when the water temp hits 55 or 60 and they don't have budget for sworn officers so they use civilian volunteers as the second body.)

Oh, yeah, back to the topic. Don't blind yourself and others with a spotlight. It ruins your own night vision, and it can be disabling if you hit someone with it...even the reflection.


Speedo
Chico, CA
1978 SRV 240 Sedanbridge
"Albert Again"
Home "Port" Lake Oroville, CA

Homeport: Go to Top of Page

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  20:34:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Spotlights destroys your night vision and blind others! Maybe, just maybe, in an area with a lot of debris, IF the spot light is mounted at the bow and aimed straight at the water 20' ahead, it would be "acceptable". if it's mounted anywhere beyond the bow, even jsut the glare on your bow rail will affect your ability to see.

i've been blinded by too many idiots who dont' realize a boat doens't have headlights for a reason... dim all the lights, incl electronic displays (another sign of incompetence) and in most cases you will see a lot of things you didn't know you could see.

in fact, not more than a couple of hours ago... some jackass was pulling a skier 90 minutes after sunset in the Okeechobee waterway! he had a pair of spotlight on his arch (small ski boat) and i coudn't see anything...

I do a lot of night running, I really like it, and i only use the spotlight to find a marker, just a second or so. then it's off.


Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page

carver 2557

RO# 11591

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  20:41:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My light is mounted at the Bow and I point it about 10 feet in front of the boat...I use it when going through the Gallop Canal which is a fairly tight area... My light does not shine on my railings and only down on the water...I do agree that our eyes will adjust to the dark, but when there is no moon, dark is dark and there is nothing for your eyes to adjust to...I keep my light on Flood and not Spot, so I don't think I am blinding anyone else...


Homeport: Go to Top of Page

Gregory S

RO# 2620



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  20:46:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good description of rods and cones Bill. I guess if these guys were pilots, they'd be flying around with the landing lights on all the time. I learned to use my night vision years ago flying at night. It's amazing what you can see on a clear night if you don't do things to destroy your night vision like using white light or smoking. I remember as a student pilot having my instructor make me land without the use of the landing lights. Never a problem. Once we were on the ground, the landing light would come on and then the tunnel vision would start.


Homeport: Norfolk, Va Go to Top of Page

SPIKE

RO# 4024



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  20:55:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Pascal ~ good stuff,,,,, agree and we snap on the spotlight only to confirm position ~ then off. And perhaps an on off light may even alert someone to our position. Radar could be an assumption.

I find that not all boaters are aware of their positioning, especially at night. As an experienced night running boater, what do you do when you wish to light up, and make sure the other boater sees you? Inquiring minds want to know.....


2002 Chaparral Signature 260
1948 Chris Craft Deluxe~

Homeport: CT River Go to Top of Page

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  21:08:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
it depends on the boat... usually with a flybridge boat, I leave the lights on downstairs (saloon, aft deck) to make sure someone who's blinding himself with his spotlight and full bright electronics will see me... on a small boat, yuou dont' have a lot of choices since you need to keep all the lights off around the helm... nav lights work, in an emergnecy (if the other guys doenst seem to see me), then it's 5 blasts and the spotlight.

Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page

sortie

RO# 2043

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  21:13:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The majority of our private charters are run at night,consquently, I spend a lot of my time running in restricted visibilty. Mothing is more dangerous then the use of a spot light or docking lights full time. The constant use of a spot is not only dangerous, it shows a lack of respect for the others on the water.

As stated, you inpede others ability to identify your vessel and its heading. In addition your spot ,regardless of your angle blinds every person with the scope of your beam. If you leave your spot light off and allow your eyes to properly adjust, you will discover you have improved vision and superior depth perception. There is a reason why, your instrument and compass lights are not white. Vessels that do a lot of night running will frequently be using subdued red light to ease the strain on the eye sight.

Among experienced boaters the guy who runs with his spot light on is the single most cursed boater. Check with the guys and gals in your area who are running at night all the time, inform them of your position and see what reaction you get. Better yet go with one of these folks on a night run, and see for yourself. Please read the regulations and abide by them.

John


Life is To Short To Own An Ugly Boat

Homeport: Merritt Island, FL Go to Top of Page

speedo

RO# 14386

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  21:18:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've left my cabin lights on for better visibility, but if I have to go below from the fly bridge, my night vision is screwed. I prefer to leave them off and use the spotlight, indirectly, instead, if necessary.

Speedo
Chico, CA
1978 SRV 240 Sedanbridge
"Albert Again"
Home "Port" Lake Oroville, CA

Homeport: Go to Top of Page

In the know

RO# 20824

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  21:31:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Everytime I see someone running with their spotlight on, I want to take my .22 and shoot it out.

Nothing like destroying your own and others night vision.


--------------------------------------------------------

The enemy of society - the HUTAL

Homeport: The Ocean State Go to Top of Page

bobalong

RO# 19429

Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  22:22:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I noticed some new pontoon boats on the river this fall. On the top of each pontoon on the most foreward position possible are new factory lights. They are white docking lights incorporated into the red green nav lights. Guess they are so proud of them they run with them on. (docking lights) All you can see are two white lights, pointed foreward, about 18-24" off the water. After they pass, then you can make out the green and red, not much help by then.

The first couple of times I saw them coming I couldn't tell what it was, or which way it was headed. Thought is was an old Chrysler coming to haunt me. Turns out it was just a moron.




Homeport: Sutherrrn Indianannna Go to Top of Page

Gregory S

RO# 2620



Posted - Dec 01 2009 :  22:58:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I see pontoons running all the time with those docking lights on. I believe they think they are headlights and should be used that way. I guess there is nowhere to store a Chapmans or rules of the road on pontoon boats.


Homeport: Norfolk, Va Go to Top of Page

stmbtwle

RO# 7934

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  04:52:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use my spotlight intermittently to identify hazards and navigation aids. I do NOT run with it on. On a dark night once my eyes are adapted my navigation lights are usually enough to pick up crab buoys and nav aids before I have to worry about hitting them. When docking, I do use a docking light, as I'm already half blinded by the floodlights so many people put on their docks.

As for running with the spotlight trained 10' in front of the boat, my guess it does more harm than good. I couldn't stop in 10' if I DID see something.

Agree about pontooners.... It seems many of them just plain don't have a clue. I've even seen a couple with the red & green lights reversed (hard to do).


Willie: Look Ma no paddle!

Homeport: Tampa Bay, FL Go to Top of Page

rnbenton

RO# 31163



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  05:47:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
99.9% of the time I run my boat from the FB. When running at night I have all electronics as dim as they will go and I have a hand held light with a on/off trigger that I use for spotting markers only.

I VERY seldom turn on my spot light but, when I do it's usually just to give a very quick flash to an oncoming vessel if I have doubts that he sees me. I make sure the light is pointed down at the water.

If there is still doubts about him seeing me I first try to raise him on the VHF but, if as susal, there is no response I give another flash of the spot light along with the the proscribed 5 blasts. With the noise of his own vessel underway and wind noise I don't have all that much confidence of his ability to hear my horn. A low aimed flash of the spot light usually does it



Bob


Key West 196 Bay Reef, 150 Yamaha
USCG 50 Ton MMC, Tow Assist Endorsement


Edited by - rnbenton on Dec 02 2009 06:00:41

Homeport: Palm Coast, FL Go to Top of Page

infojohn

RO# 23912

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  05:48:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I once came into an anchorage after dark at dead idle perfectly able to see boats and anchor lines and a fellow boater decided to make sure I saw him from across the anchorage and turned his spot light right into my helm. At that point my night vision was gone for the next 20 minutes! He could have used his anchor light or even his position lights but use of the spot light was rude, unacceptable, and illegal. Never a torpedo when you need one!


Homeport: Betterton,maryland Go to Top of Page

PascalG

RO# 12212



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  06:06:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
last month I was coming down Hobbe Sound, just north of jupiter, I ran into a small tug with a couple of mega spotlight. coudlnt' see it was a tug from a mile or two away so i called on 16 asking him to turn the damn things off.

he replied in tugglish, mumbling that he needed the light because he was pushing a wide barge... i though it would be unusual for a large barge to be heading up that way. when i passed by, it was a small tug, pushing a barge barely wider than the boat i running... night vision was totally gone, luckily I had plan to anchor off teh channel in that area so it dind't matter too much.


Pascal
1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
16' Hobie Cat
13' Sandbarhopper

Homeport: Miami, FL Go to Top of Page

HOGAN

RO# 3813



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  06:47:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sortie


Among experienced boaters the guy who runs with his spot light on is the single most cursed boater.

John



Amen to that!


_________________________


1999 Trojan 440 Express
2005 Scout 175 Sportfish
Achilles LEX 96
MMSI# 338049724




Surly to bed, surly to rise...

Homeport: SS3 @ PennyBridge Marina, Stony Point, NY Go to Top of Page

Veebyes

RO# 11224

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  06:50:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm with stmbtwle, hogan & others of the 'minimal' use opinion. A spotlight is indeed a SPOTlight, used for spotting things, not a HEADlight. You are not on a highway.

I am also a frequent night runner. Channel markers have reflective tape. By going slow & with my night vision not destroyed by some dayboaters spotlight, I am usually well aware of where I am. If in doubt I pick up my handheld spotlight, aim it in the direction where I think my mark is, & give a short sweep to find it, then turn the light off.

If you are not familiar whith your whereabouts at night, turn cabin lights off, put a towel over instrument lights, slow down, stick your head out of the window & let your eyes get used to the dark.

Ya gotta love the people with their spotlights who see your navigation lights, can't figure out what they mean so they turn the mega candlepower spotlight on & aim it right at you. IDIOTS!!!!



Homeport: Bermuda Go to Top of Page

Shadowcruzr

RO# 1702

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  06:57:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
5 years of sea time taught me the folloing night lookout tricks:

If you want to use a spot light at night to illuminate retroreflectors and other nearby items: Replace the clear lense with red transparent plexiglass. It will light up retro tape hundreds of yards out and you will see logs and circus clowns nearby and still have your night vision.

The other trick to good night vision is to use the sight lines in the periphery of you vision. Looking right at something will darken it.


Paul
ETC, USCG, Ret
My oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic..., did not end when I retired. I stand by it till the end.

Homeport: Elizabeth City, NC Go to Top of Page

WALSHIE

RO# 2124



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  08:12:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Agreed using spotlight continuously is rude. We have a train yard near our marina with tall lights in it. To get home, I track the beam of the light as it reflects on the water....any boats or debris will be shown.

Try it without any lights and then with a spotlight. You'll be amazed at what you see with less light.


Favorite Quote: Don't sweat the petty things...AND...Don't pet the sweaty things!! - Steven Tyler

Homeport: Hudson River Go to Top of Page

Tommy Allen

RO# 366

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  08:45:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use the spot light to spot markers and an occasional pan of the shoreline to make sure exactly where I am. The thing that bugs me is the barges that continuously run the biggest brightest spots known to man.


Homeport: Sleepy Creek, NC Go to Top of Page

Tommy Allen

RO# 366

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  08:45:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And to spot tow boats with NO stern lights.


Homeport: Sleepy Creek, NC Go to Top of Page

Joeshoes

RO# 1967

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  08:50:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


You can talk all you wish about using a spotlight while running but if you read the Navigation Rules it is prohibited.


"What Difference Does It Make?"

And "she" wants to be our next president?!??

Homeport: Manhasset, NY Go to Top of Page

Ghost

RO# 689



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  09:14:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bobn


When running at night I, and most others in my area, use our spotlights at night.



That's because you can't see the guys who don't and are not aware of them until you get your spot on them.


What part of GALE WARNING did you not understand?

Homeport: Everett Wa Go to Top of Page

Monterey10

RO# 12830

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  09:31:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I avoid using a spot when boating at night

I will give a couple of observations of mine. Figure out if the moon is up or down. If it's down, the horizon will look like ink, up, down, left or right. Your only reference will be your steering wheel and dash lights. In the old days, we didn't have a GPS map. A GPS map will make quite a difference.

Figure out if you will have a lot of shore lights to give you reference. Know what your harbor lights look like from the outside. Our harbor has a single Green light, in amongst the city lights. The red light is behind a sea wall (and the green light) Not being aware of this can leave the skipper confused and unsure of his training.

If you're out watching fireworks, when they're done, let the idiots clear the anchorage. To keep from getting run over, I will turn on my deck/mast lights. I remember one night, coming across a group of kayaks paddling in the dark. Huge power boats were zooming by inches away. I pulled in behind them and turned on every light. I lit them up with my spot. Large, high speeds boats flew past us with inches to spare. Since this episode, I've noticed that Kayaks are using lights at night.

Some channels are marked by pilings. In the old days, the pilings were lit. These days, there is a trend to put reflective tape on the pilings. A spot light is helpful for seeing these reflective pilings at night. In the south bay, it's 2' of water outside the pilings.

Make absolutely sure that your instruments are working and you are intimately familiar with the area, before going out a night.Some areas, like the San Francisco bay have restrictions at night. Know what they are.

This reminds me of another boat story. My buddy went out on the SF bay at night. He got pulled over by the shore patrol ninjas. They checked his paper work, secret compartments and safety gear. At one point, the Coxswain and my buddy noticed that the city lights were occulted. (a large dark spot on the horizon) A quick check of the radar showed a ship was bearing down on them. My buddy was instantly given the OK and both boats made a run for it.




Edited by - Monterey10 on Dec 02 2009 09:39:14

Homeport: Capitola, CA Go to Top of Page

TurboWarp

RO# 27630



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  18:48:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use my spot light at night to avoid crab traps. It is pointed down as pointing it very far up does not enable me to see anything. I drive from the fly bridge. My nav lights are nowhere near the spot light. Like Pascal said, it depends the boat... and the way the spot light is used.


Homeport: Go to Top of Page

Tim R

RO# 2009

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  18:49:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm surprised no one's posted the actual Nav rule yet;

Rule 20

"The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out."

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/rules/Rule20.htm

It is irrelevant whether your spot is actually blinding someone or not... running with a spot can and will cause another boater to mistake the light for a specified running light. Ironically, this is more likely to occur when visibility is bad, which is when people are more apt to run with a spot.

Don't do it... it's dangerous to you and others!




Homeport: Northwest, NJ Go to Top of Page

Radioactive

RO# 3238



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  19:07:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
--> Tim R, "I'm surprised no one's posted the actual Nav rule yet"

Mostly because a) it is more fun to chew on the topic for a while, and b) many folks ignore Rules that make no sense to them. By explaining that it is better to -not- use a spot than it is to continuously use one, they might actually turn off the < insert expletive > spotlight.

You are correct, of course. Constant use appears to violates the RoR.

--

I must admit to, from time to time, having thoughts similar to ITK's.


Bill

"No matter where you go, there you are." -- Buckaroo Bonzai
"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - Kenneth Grahame

Homeport: MS Gulf Coast Go to Top of Page

Maycpa

RO# 3197

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  19:31:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Radioactive,

A spot light is not a navigation light and does not fall under the colregs.

But more on topic: using a spotlight and having it affect your "night vision" mainly is due to where the light is mounted. Ours is located on the bow pulpit and I would not have it any other place. If it is located on the duck bill or your hard top, you can get a lot of glare off the fore deck and that is truly where the problem lies. A hand held can be much worse as the light is right next to your face and we all have a tendency to look at the light as opposed to that which is being illuminated. If you have to use a hand held, you might have crew member sit up on the fore deck and you can have them search for cans or other such things you may be trying to locate in the water. Or, us a mag lite. While they are less powerful, their beam is quite focused and hopefully you won't "night blind" yourself.

my 2 cents


Arnold May
"After Taxes"
2001 Silverton 453
USCG 50ton Master License

Edited by - Maycpa on Dec 02 2009 19:37:43

Homeport: Ottawa, IL Go to Top of Page

Maycpa

RO# 3197

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  19:35:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
[

What an incredibly dangerous statement. Define adversely in your world? The CONTINUOUS use of a spotlight at night is dangerous and a selfish thing to do. Blinding others so that you can see what's in front of you? Please. Spotlights are there so you can pickup a buoy or a dock they are not there so you can see in front of you while underway. Proper use of your night vision is the proper way to go.

[/quote]

You are making a bold assumption that everyone who is using their spot light has it shining directyly into the eyes of any approaching vessell.
A spotlight is not used to find boats, it is used to find ATON;s and any non illuminated debris in the water.
If a boater is stupid enought to go out on a river with no nav lights, he deserves to get a spot lite in the face.

And anyone here who would shine their spot lite into to bridge or pilot house of another vessel should be reported to the coasties.


Arnold May
"After Taxes"
2001 Silverton 453
USCG 50ton Master License

Homeport: Ottawa, IL Go to Top of Page

rommer

RO# 12280



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  19:47:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Arnold

Please read the following several times.

"no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out."

The rules are very clear.

Do you really think that by shining the light down towards the water it does not reflect off the surface and cause a hazard to other's vision? If the spotlight is turned on, it IS blinding other boaters.



Boats, yup, 5 of em...
WLC - We love Champlin's!

Homeport: Liberty Landing Marina, NJ Go to Top of Page

HOGAN

RO# 3813



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  20:01:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
some boaters are just plain selfish and stupid, unfortunately, their selsfishness and stupidity oftentimes affects us.

It's simple, DON'T RUN WITH YOU SPOT/FLOOD LIGHT ON!!!!


_________________________


1999 Trojan 440 Express
2005 Scout 175 Sportfish
Achilles LEX 96
MMSI# 338049724




Surly to bed, surly to rise...

Homeport: SS3 @ PennyBridge Marina, Stony Point, NY Go to Top of Page

bobalong

RO# 19429

Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  20:22:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It depends on the boat and the way it is being used.


Homeport: Sutherrrn Indianannna Go to Top of Page

HOGAN

RO# 3813



Posted - Dec 02 2009 :  20:26:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bobalong

It depends on the boat and the way it is being used.



No, it doesn't!!!

Learn how to operate at night without using your spot/flood light, or stay at the dock.


_________________________


1999 Trojan 440 Express
2005 Scout 175 Sportfish
Achilles LEX 96
MMSI# 338049724




Surly to bed, surly to rise...

Edited by - HOGAN on Dec 03 2009 06:57:48

Homeport: SS3 @ PennyBridge Marina, Stony Point, NY Go to Top of Page
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