You are required to screen the suitable lights at night or during times of diminished visibility.

You are watching: Red and green boat lights at night

Navigation lamp are offered to stop collisions at night or in time of reduced visibility, and also are an important tool in keeping you and your courage safe. Nav lights permit you to see other adjacent vessels, and enable other ship to watch you.

Nav lamp also carry out information around the size, activity, and direction of travel. By expertise the characteristics of Nav lights, you can determine an suitable course of action as you approach another vessel.

On any type of vessel, navigation lights have actually a specific color, (white, red, green, yellow, blue), arc of illumination, variety of visibility, and also location, as forced by law and regulations. Because that the objectives of this course, we will certainly concentrate on pleasure watercrafts under 65 feet in length. Knowledge of navigating lights is important to a small-boat skipper because that separate, however important, reasons.

You room legally responsible because that displaying lamp of the ideal color, intensity, location and also visibility on your boat. Girlfriend are forced to display screen the proper lights at night or throughout times of reduced visibility. Discovering the form and heading of one more boat.

Legal Requirements

Vessels are forced to display the appropriate navigation lamp from sunset come sunrise in all weather conditions, an excellent and bad. Throughout these times, no various other lights that can be mistaken for lights specified in the rule of the Road deserve to be displayed, nor any kind of lights that impair the visibility or distinctive character of navigation lights, or interfere v the keeping of a appropriate lookout. The Rules also state that navigation lights have to be shown in problems of diminished visibility, and also may be presented at various other times thought about necessary.

It"s Your duty

It is the responsibility of the owner/operator that a vessel that she show the suitable navigation lamp for she size and the waters in which she is operating. The is no the duty of the manufacturer, importer, or marketing dealer. Many boats are delivered with lamp that do not accomplish legal demands with respect to technical features or location on the vessel. Mental also, the the angle of visibility should be met once the boat is underway-if your watercraft rides at a far-reaching bow-up angle, take that into consideration when installation and/or checking your lights.

Navigation Lights because that Powerboats

Power driven vessels underway shall exhibit a masthead light forward, sidelights and a stern light. Vessels less than 12 meters in size may exhibition an all approximately white light and also side lights. Strength driven watercrafts on the great Lakes may bring an all around white irradiate in stead of a second masthead light and also stern irradiate combination.


Sidelights - Colored lights - red on port and also green top top starboard - showing an unbroken arc the the horizon the 112.5 degrees, indigenous dead ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on each side.

Combination lamp - Sidelights may be an unified in a solitary fixture carried at the centerline the the vessel.

Stern irradiate - A white light showing over one unbroken arc of the horizon of 135 degrees, centered on dead astern.

Navigation Lights because that Sailing


A cruising vessel of less than 7 meter in size shall, if practicable, exhibit continual navigation lights, yet if not practical, she shall have actually ready at your disposal an electrical torch or lantern showing a white irradiate which shall be exhibited in enough time to protect against collision.

Diving Lights

Another light display screen that you may see in will areas, or waters that have actually wrecks or reefs, is the night diving configuration. This has actually three upright masthead lights, that have a red-white-red sequence. You must maintain a great distance from these vessels, and also you should likewise be mindful that there may be divers close to you.

Interpreting what you view

It"s good that you"re learning the basics of lights - what is required and when they"re required. But, this in just the beginning. You must likewise learn how to analyze the navigating lights the you see once you space underway in ~ night- and also for your safety-learn the well.

For instance, if you watch a courage approaching that reflects a irradiate pattern such together the ones to the right, you instantly know that you space in a crossing situation, and that you need to yield come the other vessel - that"s why it is red.


Seeing a eco-friendly light over a white light indicates a fishing vessel proactively trawling. You no only have to avoid the vessel, however you likewise need come remember that it could potentially have actually a very large net deployed the you will likewise need come avoid.

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And there are countless other lights and combinations the lights the you must have the ability to instantly identify - the lights because that a sailboat that is privileged over a motorboat, the distinct lights of various fishing vessels, a dredge or a vessel not under command. Examine the needs for navigating from the viewpoint of a "looker" and also a watercraft owner.