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Bo and Susan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: LED Docking/Running lights.
    Posted: 08/25/2011 at 10:04am
We have been checking out lights. The problem is that we don`t know what we need. Are docking lights and running lights the same thing? If not, what is the difference? We fish a lot at night and need (headlights) to get to where we`re going, would these be called running lights? When would docking lights be used? Do we need both? They look the same Confused.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 11:30am
There's no such thing as running lights in boating as far as I know as that'll get you a ticket. Now there are plenty of boats that do use running lights for automotive on boats for docking purposes (the only time its allowed to have white lights on in front of the boat). Some of us use spotlights (million candlepower remotes) for those times you need a quick look like when you approach a shoreline or something. Its something you'll have to check local waterway regulations for. Some may not do any enforcement of the lighting regulations.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 11:37am
Ditto.  Also, my docking lights do not put out enough light to use as running lights to see anything early enough.   I carry an automotive combo flood and spot light for safety.  Garmin 1450 Nav for night work plus go slower for me.  My 2cts.Big smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 12:07pm
Ok, think I got it now. White lights on front are ONLY used for docking (or getting on the trailer) after dark.  We do go extremly slow but the lake we are using right now has bouys all over it marking different courses for pwc and skiers etc. Fishing is allowed in these areas, but only at night or when the courses are not in use. We have been using a hand held spotlight but thought something mounted would be a lot easier. Thanks guys!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 12:22pm
I use my docking lights to spot bouys or other obtructions at night. Not on all the time, but they do a good job of picking them out from a pretty good distance.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 12:41pm
Originally posted by rickdb1 rickdb1 wrote:

I use my docking lights to spot bouys or other obtructions at night. Not on all the time, but they do a good job of picking them out from a pretty good distance.
Thanks Rick. Gonna go look and see what you`re using.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 1:05pm
Mine came with the boat. Look to be just regular halogen lights, but they are pretty bright. Much better than the automotive type I mounted on my older toons..
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 2:00pm
As for running lights is she talking about the red & green Nav. lights.I know down this way I hear some calling them running lights.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 2:15pm
naw, she was wanting docking lights I think (which for some they call them running lights) since she didn't mention nav lights, but yeah, I see the relation as you're right, folks do call them running lights too. Depends on what one refers to I think at the time of discussion Big smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2011 at 2:54pm
Nav lights, green and red (only on when moving at night). We have a stick thing with D batteries. Stern light, white (on at all times at night), We have a stick thing with D batteries. It is docking lights that I wanted to know about as I kept seeing people say docking and running lights, and I didn`t know the difference. If anything should be called running lights it should be the nav lights(green and red) correct? So I gather from all this, that we need docking lights, just to dock and load up and keep using the spotlight when on the move at night to periodicaly checking for bouys etc. And of cause upgrade from our D battery stick things.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/26/2011 at 12:56am
I think you got it. Just remember, boats don't get to use "headlights".
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2011 at 3:31pm
Originally posted by Bo and Susan Bo and Susan wrote:

Nav lights, green and red (only on when moving at night). We have a stick thing with D batteries. Stern light, white (on at all times at night), We have a stick thing with D batteries. It is docking lights that I wanted to know about as I kept seeing people say docking and running lights, and I didn`t know the difference. If anything should be called running lights it should be the nav lights(green and red) correct? So I gather from all this, that we need docking lights, just to dock and load up and keep using the spotlight when on the move at night to periodicaly checking for bouys etc. And of cause upgrade from our D battery stick things.
 
After docking at night a couple times with two flashlights, I thought a couple headlights, I mean docking lights, would be a good idea.
Last weekend, while on a sunset cruise on lake Keowee, we decided to ride down to the marina, where a live band was playing at the Tiki Hut.
Upon arriving I was surprised to find the docking area was dark, so I got the opportunity to try out my newly install headligh, er, docking lights. They worked great, and revealed all the slips were full, so we started back to the campground.
About 300 feet from the dock, still in the no wake zone, I noted a green light ahead, with a white light above it.
I was telling the other couple that the green light indicated to boat was traveling to our starboard, or right, when it turned red.
Ok, I explained, he has now he has now made a turn and is going to our port side. As we watched the now red light, it turned green again.Confused
By this time, we are all watching the light. Sure enough, it again changed color to red, and, I realized I had no idea how far away this boat was.
I grabbed for the docking light switch and flipped them on. There, 60 feet away, coming at us was some kind of pointed boat, the stern low in the water. As my lights lit up the area, someone on the other boat yelled, and the boat turned hard to starboard. He wasn't going fast, but fast enough to show us the bottom of his boat and give us the jitters the rest of the ride back to camp.
 
Right now, I want more lights, and brighter lights. I'm thinking LED rope lights, red on the port and green on the starboard, all I can get away with.
 
I highly recommend docking lights
 


Edited by ressless1 - 09/09/2011 at 3:32pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2011 at 8:31pm

Thanks for the post ressless1. We fish mainly at night so I think we`ll be lighting up as much as possible also. I like the idea of the green and red rope lights. We will also have headligh, I mean docking lights, for sure.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2011 at 12:31pm
Coast Guard and state regulations do not allow lights that could interfere with or confuse navigation lights.  Red and green rope lights, if visible outside the boat, could fall into that category.
That boat that was showing you a red light then a green light, then a red again was actually headed right at you.  As the boat headed a little to its left, then alittle to teh right, then left again, that's why you saw the color change.  Turning on your docking lights helped this boater realize there was another boat in front of him/her.  Since they did not seem to understand your legal navigation lights, adding additional colored lights into the mix might have made it worse!


Edited by CGbosun - 09/13/2011 at 12:39pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2011 at 1:56pm
I know the Bosun's comments seem to go against logical thinking of "more is better", but his comments are very true. The Coast Guard has very specific regulations regarding lights on boats and they justifably are particular about them.  This is especially true in any areas near the coast or major rivers that contain commercial boat traffic. Infractions may not be policed as closely on inland waters but you should be careful to not deviate much from the standard.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2011 at 8:52pm
I agree Woody. I have had to come back in without radar more than once. We turn the lights down, cover the gps with a towel to block light and have two watchers. Its nerve racking but you can tell whats going on by the lights for the most part. Bright lights tend to ruin the night vision and with the standard Coast Guard lights you can anticipate what is ahead. I also agree though, that on smaller inland lakes without commercial traffic it may be better to have some auxillary lights, especially if your docked or anchored.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/14/2011 at 3:32pm
After the incident I checked my navigation lights to be sure they were working and all, top white and front red and green,  were working well.
 
I believe the other boater was looking at the marina/restaurant lights directly behind and above me, or had lost my navigation lights in the background.
 
My rope lights comment was meant to be in jest, but will be looking into brighter LEDs, and making sure I don't get caught in that situation again.
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 11:41am
Spotting another boat at night, even a properly lite one, is not always an easy thing. That is why it is so important to protect your night vision, using low lighting around you, and preferably red light. My instrument lights are too bright, I usually shut them off at night. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 1:09pm
Agree.  And my Inst lights are bothersome also.  Wish they had a dimmer.  Maybe that's something we need to find? Thumbs Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 1:35pm
How about something like this.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 1:41pm
That would work -- but at $80 I think I'll just shut 'em off!  LOL  I'm sure I could find a rheostat that is affordable, but I've not tried.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 1:46pm
Originally posted by adakops adakops wrote:

Agree.  And my Inst lights are bothersome also.  Wish they had a dimmer.  Maybe that's something we need to find? Thumbs Up
 
I'll send you the one I have that I'm not going to install. Don't remember what I gave for it or even where I ordered it from.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 2:01pm
I took a used 1998 Explorer headlight/dimmer switch I had laying around & mounted it in my console. I connected the "dimmer" side of the switch in series with my EZACDC navigation rocker switch as well as changed the bulbs to RED & it works great. I use the navigation rocker switch to turn everything ON/OFF & dim the lights as needed through the headlight switch.

The bulbs in the Explorer instrument panel have the same wattage rating as the RED ones in my boat gauges.  Cost of installation? About 45 minutes of my time & a scrap piece of aluminum I had laying around that I painted Black & two SS #8 screws. It works great. Cost of a used headlight switch at the local junkyard if you take it out of the vehicle? Maybe $5.00 at most. Works great AND a LOT cheaper too.


Edited by VaGent - 09/15/2011 at 2:03pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 2:06pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 2:26pm
and here's a dimmer that's cheaper too, doesn't look anything like mine but somewhat similiar its 43+ so on 2nd thought, I think I'll keep and even install my dimmer switch but at least I'll see where I got it once I find out what model it is, because I don't remember spending a lot on it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 2:44pm
I like that one..Thumbs Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 4:04pm
I like that one too but I think I'll stick with what I have now considering the price. LOL I DID bookmark that one for future reference. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 5:49pm
Looks like we all want a dimmer.  The one Rick found is more in the price range I'd like.  And Charles, with all your lights you better keep your switch and install it.  Now if the instruments just had both red and white switchable lights!!  LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 7:28pm
With all the lights Charles has on  his boat he is gonna need a "whole house generator" to power up everything. LOL Next time I go to Nashville I'm gonna make sure I go by to see him & see that boat all lit up under his canopy. I might need to bring my sunglasses along with me too.  Thumbs Up  I think he deserves an "ATTA BOY" award for figuring out where to put all those lights. I would have never thought about where to use all of them myself.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2011 at 7:41pm
and I'm not even done installing them all yet - still got the transom and under the rub rails left LOL
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