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  #1  
Old 05-04-2006, 12:50 PM
HuntFishSled HuntFishSled is offline
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Default Boat lighting for night fishing/travel

What type of lights do you guys use for nighttime navagation when traveling at night besides your running lights? Do you use handheld spotlights or do have some other type of setup?

Also when traveling ends and fishing begins what type of lighting do you use to see what your doing? All different thoughts and ideas on this subject would be helpful.

Signed,
I'm in the dark
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2006, 01:00 PM
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Well, for running I have a handheld spotlight that has a connection to directly hook to my battery....and i always have a spare battery on board just to make sure nothing bad happens. I have an interior light on my boat that just connects to one of my accessory switches. You'll probably want the interior light on it's own switch, that way when you have your other items on during the daytime, you're not running your interior light. I also carry a headlamp with me for the small things. But i would always recommend a spare battery that's most important, because if your alternator ever fails and your battery stops charging you'll be stuck down the rivah!
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:01 PM
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A spot light that you can hook into your power outlet would be better, i don't have that yet though, or you can get one of those lights that mount on your bow
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:16 PM
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Roccus Roccus is offline
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I use none, once the eyes adjust to the darkness you can see quite well, keep your speed down and know you surroundings, I have floor lighs in the cockpit of the boat and another that illuminates the eel bucket... I dont own a spot light, I consider them dangerous ... once you flick it on now you need a good 15 minutes to adjust again ...

just one cranky night fishermans opinion.....
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:25 PM
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i fish the river and the canal at night all the time from shore. roc is right once your eyes adjust you can see more than you would think, the only light i frequent is an led headlight with both white and red light, i use the white light to see my way through the terrain and once at my spot the only light i use is the red one, when i need to re-tie or change bait. the red light allows your eyes to stay adjusted to the dark. most of the time the moon lights my way.
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:42 PM
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I will agree with the other posts, but i carry a spotlight because where I go when it's high tide there is about 10 feet of water, but when the tide starts to go out there is only a couple feet of water, so i use a spot light to check the water and to navigate through the deeper part of the river to make sure i don't end up in the mud....I sometimes will throw my trolling motor down
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:28 PM
HuntFishSled HuntFishSled is offline
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Thanks for the info. Guess I'm all set as I have a spot light to use if neccessary and I've walked into enough deerstands and turkey blinds in the dark to feel comfortable with my night vision. I was just curious to find out what the more experienced guys felt was needed.
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2006, 07:11 PM
K-Cube K-Cube is offline
 
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Im with Roccus, I dont use any lights at all. When on the scene, I use the light that eminates from my stern, which is on a pole and dimly illuminates the entire boat. When traveling, I use weird looking tree sillouhettes as land marks, because the tree horizon is easily recognizable. Knowing the water is key to getting in, I memorize landmarks so that for example, when Im at marker X and point the bow at weird looking tree X, it will line me up for the channel I need to get in to get back into my creek.

Unless theres no moon, you can see fine, and even without a moon, you can still see the horizon, especially if theres a city behind it (baltimore in my case)
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:26 PM
Anglerj Anglerj is offline
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I agree with K Kube, on the mighty Hudson I run at night with no lights at about 15 knots, no problem. The Hudson gets real shallow. I've been 100yards off shore and been grounded in a saiboat because my idiot friend has no depthfinder. You need a depthfinder, not lights. I was afraid at first, then my buddy and i kept going at night because we both have 3 kids and no time other than the night. Sex with the wife or stripers, we take stripers, and my wife is hot!
We do however use a spotlight to dock the boat.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2006, 09:38 AM
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I have a spotlight for unfamiliar waters at night.. mainly to light bouy reflectors.. but never shine it near the boat cuz it does cripple your night vision... while anchored I run nothing but a blacklight on board or use small head lamps to tie by... run the nav lights while on the go.. that's about it..
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  #11  
Old 05-05-2006, 10:24 AM
TonyDB TonyDB is offline
 
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We've had discussions on this topic before. Some of us don't believe in spot-lights, others do. I have one and use it sparingly....to navigate around lobster bouys mostly, or infrequently, to locate the next bouy (relective tape). Always be respectful of others when employing these. IMO, if you don't known the area you're boating in at night pretty well, you shouldn't be out there fishing, spot-light or not.

My personal opinion is that every boat should have a spot-light as a safety item. If another boat has capsized and there are people in the water with their reflective PFD's, you'll be able to better distinguish them from lobsta bouys using the spot-light. I once got my prop badly tangled in a lobsta bouy rope. Without the spotlight to see, I would have had to take a knife to it to get free.

As far as boat lighting requirements at night, here's a brief overview of the regs.

Power-driven Vessels

Vessels of less than 20 meters in length should show red/green sidelights (or a combined bow light), a white sternlight, and a white masthead light located in the forward half of the craft. Vessels of less than 12 meters in length may show red and green sidelights (or a combined bow light) and an all-round white light in lieu of separate masthead and sternlights. Vessels of less than 7 meters with a top speed of less than 7 knots may, in lieu of normal running lights, show an all-round white light and, if practicable, red and green sidelights (International Rules only). There are distinguishing lights for towing vessels, fishing vessels, pilot boats, air-cushion vessels, and other special types of vessels and vessels in special situations. Be sure to check the Navigation Rules for proper light locations and ranges of visibility.

Anchor Lights

Vessels at anchor must show an anchor light unless located in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary of Transportation. For vessels less than 50 meters in length, the light should be an all-round white light visible for two miles. It should be located where it may best be seen. Many sailboats have masthead anchor lights. It must be kept in mind that these are located well above the line of sight of many small coastal vessels likely to be encountered at night. A safer alternative is a light hung at the lowest height from which it can be seen in all directions. Vessels less than 7 meters in length are not required to display anchor lights when anchored in an area clear of vessel traffic.

BTW, 7 meters is a 23 foot boat.
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2006, 02:12 PM
K-Cube K-Cube is offline
 
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Thats a good point, I do carry a spotlight occasional when running through strings of crab pots.
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2006, 12:18 PM
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sea sea rider sea sea rider is offline
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I carry a spot light. but I'm with Rocco,no lights use your eyes.
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  #14  
Old 05-14-2006, 02:10 AM
rancidafi9959 rancidafi9959 is offline
 
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i have a remote spot light on the front of my boat plus a hand held one..i also have spreader lights....i have red lights too that dont affect the pupils of your eyesso you can see at night...its very nice....
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