Often asked: What Lights Do I Need On My Boat?

The required lights are: Red and green sidelights visible from a distance of at least two miles away—or if less than 39.4 feet (12 meters) long, at least one mile away—on a dark, clear night. An all-round white light (if vessel is less than 39.4 feet long) or both a masthead light and a sternlight.

Are navigation lights required?

You are required to display the appropriate lights at night or during times of reduced visibility. Navigation lights are used to prevent collisions at night or in times of reduced visibility, and are an essential tool in keeping you and your vessel safe.

What color lights must be on the front of a boat?

A masthead light is a white light at the front of the boat. The masthead light needs to be visible across 225 degrees and from two miles away. A stern light, which is a white light at the rear of the boat. The stern light needs to be visible across 135 degrees and from two miles away.

What lights do you need at anchor?

Recreational vessels at anchor All recreational vessels must show an all-round white light while at anchor. If the vessel is drifting (underway but not making way) the vessel must display sidelights, masthead light and stern light.

Do all boats need navigation lights?

Powerboats need to have a masthead light forward, sidelights and a stern light. Vessels less than 12 meters in length can have an all around white light and sidelights. For sailboats that are less than 7 meters long, the general boat navigation lights apply.

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Can you use a spotlight on a boat?

There is a natural tendency for a boater to want to use a searchlight or spotlight at night, just as one would use headlights on a car. But headlights won’t work on the water. Secondly, other boats will not be using searchlights (headlights). The only way you’ll have to spot them is by their green, red or white lights.

What does a blue light on a boat mean?

(a) Law enforcement vessels may display a flashing blue light when engaged in direct law enforcement or public safety activities. This light must be located so that it does not interfere with the visibility of the vessel’s navigation lights.

What does a single white light on a boat tell you?

What Does a White Light Indicate? If only a white light is visible, you may be approaching another craft from behind. You are the give-way-craft and must take early and substantial action to steer well clear by altering your course and passing at a safe distance on the starboard (right) or port (left) side.

What color lights are on boats?

Sidelights: These red and green lights are called sidelights (also called combination lights) because they are visible to another vessel approaching from the side or head-on. The red light indicates a vessel’s port (left) side; the green indicates a vessel’s starboard (right) side.

When must powerboats use a muffler?

When do powerboats need a muffler? Every boat equipped with a motor other than a stock (unmodified) outboard engine must have a muffler and use it while operating within five nautical miles (9.26 km) of shore.

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When should anchor light be on?

Anchor lights, the lights that are visible when a boat is anchored at night, are a key factor in making nighttime boating both easier and safer. If you only take your boat to a designated mooring and never plan on anchoring, then it is not necessary for you to use an anchor light.

What are riding lights on a boat?

If a vessel is crossing your path, the colour of its sidelight shows you which direction it’s travelling:

  • red sidelight – crossing your path from your starboard (right) side to your port (left) side.
  • green sidelight – crossing your path from your port (left) side to your starboard (right) side.

When should you use your boats navigation lights?

Navigation lights must be used on any pleasure craft that operates from sunset to sunrise or during periods of restricted visibility.

What do 3 short blasts of a horn indicate?

One short blast tells other boaters, “I intend to pass you on my left (port) side.” Two short blasts tell other boaters, “I intend to pass you on my right (starboard) side.” Three short blasts tell other boaters, “I am operating astern propulsion.” For some vessels, this tells other boaters, “I am backing up.”

What side should you pass a boat on?

If you meet another boat head-on: Under the boating rules of the road, vessels approaching each other head-on are always supposed to pass each other port to port — or left to left, just like on the road.

How tall should stern light be?

Your white stern light is supposed to be at least one meter above your green and red sidelights on the bow. Actually, the USCG regs say that the sidelights must be at least one meter below the stern light, but same difference.