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I'm currently installing some LED flood lights on my boat for night fishing... well more for navigation  and self preservation from other boats, especially while anchored for cat fishing. 

 

I went out the other night on the local river with a single incandescent light which I felt was inadequate  but it kept me from running aground and into floating debris.  Why would anyone want to get out on the water without some kind of driving lights... You don't drive a car without lights, why a boat ?

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29 minutes ago, Flatrock said:

I'm currently installing some LED flood lights on my boat for night fishing... well more for navigation  and self preservation from other boats, especially while anchored for cat fishing. 

 

I went out the other night on the local river with a single incandescent light which I felt was inadequate  but it kept me from running aground and into floating debris.  Why would anyone want to get out on the water without some kind of driving lights... You don't drive a car without lights, why a boat ?

You can operate a boat without a driver's license and without passing any kind of test as well. 

 

I use a spotlight that runs off my boat's 12V adapter plug to navigate when needed. Water is different than driving on land though. The reflections off the water can really mess with your perception. Sonar units with GPS are almost a must for navigating at night. 

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Because I fish lakes that have nothing floating in them and rarely have other boats on the water. Worst I could do is hit a dock, but I'm not driving more than a few mph and I'm not blind as a bat. 

I only drive with the lights that make me legal. Anything more on my lakes are obnoxious and would have homeowners at my throat for floodlights or headlights. 

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My usual night lakes of choice are either small, so I can idle, or the main bigger lake I fish is fairly well lit thanks to this.

Image may contain: night, sky and outdoor

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For running at night 

Brinkmann Max Million III

3,000,000 CP

 

At night one person operates the boat one handles the Q-beam!

 

 

502495340_download(3).jpeg.7a7389049db34112a6f48eda85dd13d2.jpeg

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I have a hand held like Catt. Works great. I’m a one man gang so I’m not moving around too fast at night. Hand on the wheel and the light on the other. I was gonna install a Gobee light but a few guys were telling me here in PA it’s not legal to run like that??????? Who knows, need to ask water way dude if I see one. But been wanting to do the Gobee for a while. Can install in combination with my bow light. 

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Last Friday 2 boats collided during a tournament at one of the lakes I fish. It was reported that both boats (a Nitro and a Skeeter) was under powered (not running wide open) at the time of the collision, sadly one fisherman was killed, another was transported to the hospital and a third was ok.  It happened during a evening tournament...  Navigational equipment didn't help them a bit.  

 

Now I'm not talking about being obnoxious running lights, but the areas I fish are so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face and the Cumberland river system thru Middle Tenn is loaded with debris and logs which included Dale Hollow, Cordell Hull, Old Hickory and Priest

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7 hours ago, Flatrock said:

Last Friday 2 boats collided during a tournament at one of the lakes I fish. It was reported that both boats (a Nitro and a Skeeter) was under powered (not running wide open) at the time of the collision, sadly one fisherman was killed, another was transported to the hospital and a third was ok.  It happened during a evening tournament...  Navigational equipment didn't help them a bit.  

 

Now I'm not talking about being obnoxious running lights, but the areas I fish are so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face and the Cumberland river system thru Middle Tenn is loaded with debris and logs which included Dale Hollow, Cordell Hull, Old Hickory and Priest

You do whatever makes you feel safe, and I don't say that sarcastically. It sounds like you have treacherous wide waters. Use floods! I doubt you'll be disturbing and homeowners or such. 

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Head lamp and Q beam.

it is illegal in many states to run with extra external lights.

Pontoon boats with accent lights under the deck are getting tickets.

Extra lights can raise hell with other boats navigation and can kill night vision.  I would check with your state before making an investment 

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The law requires running lights at night; bow green (right) starboard, Red (left) port, white aft ( stren). At anchor a white light light above the highest area of the boat.

Caution, LED lighting tends to cause night blindness or slow vision recovery. 

When you see another boat approaching you what side do you turn ...your right, away from the approaching red light.

Your depth perception is extremely reduced at nigh without light to luminate distant objects.

Tom

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Well gentlemen I don't disagree with a lot that has been said.  However in the state of Tenn, night time lights are not illegal.   With that said I mounted my new lights yesterday and went out last night and I can say I was disappointed in the results.  I experimented with lights on and off and I understand the night vision thing perfectly... but where I went last night had a lot of surrounding city lights....  On the river where I live is pitch black.  

 

I don't know if its the fact they are LED's or the fact they are combo flood,spot or mounted too low... but I just couldn't see as well as I had hoped.  I'm going to mount them higher and see if that helps.   Bass Pro shop has a light that is a spot GoBee navigational light system I might look at... maybe.

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Quote

However in the state of Tenn, night time lights are not illegal.

They are if they do not follow the below Regulation for lights.  

USCG Lighting Requirements:

 

Powerboats under 12 meters (39.4 feet) in length must have separate or combined red and green sidelights covering 112.5 degrees and visible for 1 nautical mile. The white masthead light must cover 225 degrees, be 1 meter above the sidelights and be visible for 2 nautical miles. The white stern light must cover 135 degrees and be visible for 2 nautical miles, or you can substitute one 360-degree all-around white light. For larger boats, the sidelights must be visible for 2 nautical miles and the masthead light for 3 nautical miles.

 

If you want the exact statute in the USCG Regulations it is:

 

Subpart C—Lights and Shapes

§ 83.20 Application (Rule 20).

 

(a) Compliance in all weathers. Rules

in this part shall be complied with in

all weathers.

 

(b) Rules concerning lights complied

with from sunset to sunrise; other lights.

 

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 as

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 lookout.

 

I just don't want to see you get a ticket.  If it is "customary" to run aux lights and your Wardens look the other way then you're good.  But you are not "Legal".   

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17 minutes ago, Flatrock said:

Well gentlemen I don't disagree with a lot that has been said.  However in the state of Tenn, night time lights are not illegal.   With that said I mounted my new lights yesterday and went out last night and I can say I was disappointed in the results.  I experimented with lights on and off and I understand the night vision thing perfectly... but where I went last night had a lot of surrounding city lights....  On the river where I live is pitch black.  

 

I don't know if its the fact they are LED's or the fact they are combo flood,spot or mounted too low... but I just couldn't see as well as I had hoped.  I'm going to mount them higher and see if that helps.   Bass Pro shop has a light that is a spot GoBee navigational light system I might look at... maybe.

Don’t forget about the moon phase.   It’s dark right now.  It’s very different during a full moon.  On the Cumberland River I think it’s best to assume you’re gonna hit a log at any time day or night so adjust your speed accordingly.  

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The most important thing is too slow down under low light conditions.  If everyone slowed there would be allot less problems.

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I've seen some really good boaters get completely turned around at night. Even on moonlit nights & lakes with shoreline lights.

 

GPS definitely helped 😉

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2 hours ago, geo g said:

The most important thing is too slow down under low light conditions.  If everyone slowed there would be allot less problems.

Where I have been, absolutely..  The fastest I go is high idle most times  although I have witness a few that like to show their ars..   I like my boat  too much for that.

 

1 hour ago, Catt said:

I've seen some really good boaters get completely turned around at night. Even on moonlit nights & lakes with shoreline lights.

 

GPS definitely helped 😉

 

Are you kidding me...  I live by my chart, I especially use the trail to find my way back to the ramp and to follow the channel in the bigger open areas.   There are two lakes J Pecry Priest and Old Hickory that will destroy your hull if you're not careful.

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I want to thank everyone for their input.. I've gone back to my incandescent lights for now.  They aren't as bright as the LED's, but I have noticed these lights are more spot orientated, to be honest they look more like driving lights with a flat line beam. 

 

I did read the regulations and my take is that lighting cannot interfere with the main navigational lights.  So I think as long as one can see the reg/green lights, one should be fine...  I mean look at the size lights a barge uses in its navigation...  You could call batman with it..  LOL

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I find it easier to navigate in the dark without any lights. Knowing the water well helps. I use landmarks like docks, lights, houses, etc. I’d turn on the nav lights if there were other boats around, or when entering/exiting the channel. 

 

I do everything I can to avoid turning on a light because when I shut it off again, my night vision is toast for about 5-10 minutes. Even shut off the depth finder a lot of times. 

 

Also so bear in mind that a super bright light that you may be using for navigating can be blinding for other boaters on the water whether you’re shining it at them or not. If you need to use it, I’d recommended using it as little as possible. 

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On 6/4/2019 at 8:11 PM, WRB said:

When you see another boat approaching you what side do you turn ...your right, away from the approaching red light

This is a point of confusion. Navigational lights and normal cockpit position on bass boats indicate you should go LEFT when meeting a boat head on. Shouldn't you "go" to the GREEN light?  The green light on an approaching boat is on your LEFT. Also, the steering wheel is on the right, indicating that boat traffic lanes should be the same as England, since cars there are right hand drive and they are opposite of the US.....

 

However, the USCG navigational handbook states port to port passing (going right when meeting head on) is the "preferred" method. Still, the green/red light does lead to confusion. Red means STOP or NO. Green means GO or YES....

 

 

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Boats do have traffic lanes and should always stay to the right side of oncoming traffic or channel markers or shoreline traveling in a counter clockwise direction. For example you enter a bay or creek arm on the right side and exit the bay or creek arm on the right side turning counter clockwise. Problems occur when traveling down the center for boats or cars. 

It would a good idea if boat operators were required to know coast gaurd rules and regulations, not usually required for fresh water lakes we fish on. California is starting to  require boating driver licenses, long over due. It's scary sometome out on the water with boaters who don't have a clue how to operate a boat safely.

Tom

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4 hours ago, WRB said:

Boats do have traffic lanes and should always stay to the right side of oncoming traffic or channel markers or shoreline traveling in a counter clockwise direction. For example you enter a bay or creek arm on the right side and exit the bay or creek arm on the right side turning counter clockwise. Problems occur when traveling down the center for boats or cars. 

It would a good idea if boat operators were required to know coast gaurd rules and regulations, not usually required for fresh water lakes we fish on. California is starting to  require boating driver licenses, long over due. It's scary sometome out on the water with boaters who don't have a clue how to operate a boat safely.

Tom

Day or night -

It's particularly helpful when both vessel operators know & follow nav rules.

Anything else is basically a free for all.

Seen it. 

MeetingOvertakingCrossingSituation.jpg.2968f485ae3f28cb2b3b8d40f5b6b445.jpg

 

A-Jay

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The 3rd situation or crossing is what scares me the most cause most times people think their boat is faster or fail to judge distance properly and believe they can cross before the other vessel gets there... god for bid they have to adjust their path.

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25 minutes ago, Flatrock said:

The 3rd situation or crossing is what scares me the most cause most times people think their boat is faster or fail to judge distance properly and believe they can cross before the other vessel gets there... god for bid they have to adjust their path.

Like I said ~ Free for All.

A-Jay

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Fishing night bass tournaments most of the anglers are very good at following the regulations and good boaters, always a few who don't.

It's the weekend recreational public who don't know what they are doing. 

Back in the mid 70's I became a partner in a Uniflight 42' sport fishing yatch and took USCG courses so I would know how to operate  a larger boat on the ocean, my experience was fresh water lakes. Later we upgraded to a 52' Pacifica sport fisher got tournament fishing and had about 35 years experience operating those yatchs in coastal marinas from San Diego to Newport and trips to Cabo San Lucas. Nothing can prepare you for the general public operating power and sail boats in marine harbors, it's a nightmare.

Holidays on fresh water lakes are congested but nothing like ocean harbors with expensive yatchs operated by people who are clueless or could careless about boating rules.

A-Jay was in the Coast Guard and my hat is off to him, can't imagine what experiences he had.

Tom  

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