Home' Afloat : August 2013 Contents 54 AFLOAT.com.au August 2013
cool or warm white
• G4 back or sidepin: 8 SMD $15.00
10 SMD $20.00
15 SMD $25.00
• Festoon 37mm or 42mm
6 SMD $15.00
MR11- 6 SMD $15.00
MR16-15 SMD $25.00
• BAY15D Tower 18 SMD $35.00
For full details see our website
11 Babbage Rd, E-Roseville NSW 2069
Tel: 02 9417 8455
Fax 02 9417 8423
by Kurt Küpper*
Boating tragedies in recent years,
especially the Miranda and Bradleys
Head accidents in Sydney Harbour, have
highlighted the importance of the correct
use of navigation lighting.
Our regulations incorporate the
International Regulations for Preventing
Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs)
published by the International Maritime
Organization. They include the navigation
lights that need to be carried and shown
between dusk and dawn on coastal and
Masthead Light is a white light on
the centre line of the vessel showing from
right ahead to 22.5° abaft the beam on
either side of the vessel, i.e. in total an
arc of 225°. This light is also referred to
as a Steaming Light.
Side Lights mean a green starboard
and red port light, each showing from
right ahead to 22.5° abaft the beam on its
respective side, i.e. in total an arc of 112.5°
long, the Side Lights may be combined in
a Bicolour Light.
Stern Light means a white light
showing 67.5° from right aft on each side
of the vessel, i.e. in total an arc of 135°.
All-round Light means a light visible
from 360° on the horizon. This light is also
referred to as an Anchor Light and, all too
often, incorrectly as a Masthead Light.
On vessels over 12m, the uppermost
light must be at least 2.5m above the
gunwale. On vessels under 12m, the
Masthead or All Round White Light must
be at least 1m above the Side Lights.
The regulations also specify visibility
angles in vertical planes, to ensure that
the lights remain visible when the vessel
pitches, rolls or is heeled over.
Lights must be bright enough to be
visible as follows:
A power-driven vesselunderway must
display a Masthead Light, Side Lights and
a Stern light. A power-driven vessel of less
than 12m underway may display only an
all-round white light and sidelights.
A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit
Side Lights and a Stern Light. In a sailing
vessel of less than 20m the above lights
may be combined in one combination light
carried at or near the top of the mast where
it can best be seen, commonly known
as a Tricolour Light. Tricolour Lights are
usuallyfitted in addition to the side lights
and are mostly used at sea, but not in
A sailing vessel is considered to be a
power-driven vessel when being propelled
by machinery and must conform to the
requirements for such vessels.
Vessels less than 50m in length
anchored or aground must exhibit an
all-round white light where it can best be
seen unless they are anchored in a known
anchorage and not in a navigation channel.
There are further rules governing lights
to be displayed during diving, fishing,
trawling and towing operations etc., as
well as for vessels longer than 50m, the
details which we shall not discuss here.
In order to ensure that nav lights
sold comply with the regulations,
manufacturers are required to submit
their lights to laboratories accredited by
organisations such as the US Coast Guard
for approval. Only approved lights may be
fitted to boats, and any modification to the
lights voids the certification. In particular,
the light source may not be changed, e.g.
a light certified with an incandescent
lamp would immediately lose its approval
if retrofitted with an LED replacement,
regardless of how adequate the LED may
or may not be.
It is also essential that lights be fitted
totheboatcorrectly, as mountingthem at
the incorrect angle relative to the vessel's
centre line or the vertical or horizontal
planes would result in incorrect angles
Ensuring full compliance with these
regulations is in every boater's interest, to
avoid fines, to maintain insurance cover
and above all to ensure the safety of all
aboard your and other vessels.
Stern & Side Lights
White all-around Light
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