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Best place for an anchor light

Posted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:59 pm
by thinwater
I don't mind climbing that much, but bulbs burn out or corrosion ruins the connection at the worst times, and I'm not climbing up there a some rolly anchorage at the end of a long day, after dark, not just for a damn bulb. It's happened for the last time.

The rule does not say it has to be at the masthead. It says where it "can best be seen," which in my opinion--and many sailors agree--is absolutely not the masthead. Mostly it just looks like a star, way up there, giving no clue as to how far away it is, or helping anyone to actually see the boat. It can be confused with shore lights, and in an anchorage full of overlapping boats it's just confusing. I have always left a cockpit light on in crowded anchorages (LED), which alone is more visible than that useless masthead light, since it lights up the boat and warns off drunken late-night navigators. That is what I do when the masthead light fails, generally adding a cabin light for good measure if in a crowded place. In most creeks, the cockpit light is enough. It would also be nice if I could reach it or at least lower it to the deck for maintenance.

1. A pole on the stern.
2. On the hard top, forward and inside the shrouds.
3. Add a plug an run something up the flag halyard.
4. Use the steaming light and stern light in combination. That gives 360 white coverage.

Whatever I do will meet the 2-mile viability standard. No point in tempting liability.

Other ideas? But the masthead location is nonfunctional in my opinion.

Re: Best place for an anchor light

Posted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:50 pm
by doubledutch
I have a nice little LED unit with a photo eye that turns it on and off. It plugs into the 12 v outlet at the helm. I pull my main halyard back away from the mast with a line that attached half way back on my lazy jacks so it does not slap at night. With the halyard pulled back over the boom it provides a nice place to hang my light. I feel that late night power boaters are much more likely to see the light at this level.

Re: Best place for an anchor light

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:04 am
by jimlong
I have the same setup as doubledutch and use the Davis 3300 mega light attached to the halyard.

Re: Best place for an anchor light

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:01 pm
by thinwater
Yup, that's my set-up too.