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where do we put nav lights?

We are presently fitting out our new 50ftx12ft avon barge and need advice on where to position our navigation lights and how many we need? We plan on going to Europe eventually. thanks tina

Asked by: tina ware  | 2.10pm, Tuesday 11 November

WW says:

The answer is both easy and difficult...!

You need a 5 lights:

a) a masthead (steaming)light, which shows a white light 225 degrees

b) port (red) and starboard (green) lights, each showing 112.5 degrees from the centreline (the sidelights)

c) a stern light (white), showing 135 degree

d) a all-round masthead light (white) for use at anchor/moored

Now, the positioning is quite important- and are detailed in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea ! This is also given in a book by the Royal Yachting Association, and is well worth buying.

The lights have to conform to standards laid down, mainly due to visibility (such as 3 miles for steaming, 2 miles for sidelights). Ask a decent chandler and you should be able to find the right lights.

For positioning, the steaming light needs to be 2.5m above the level of the gunnel, the sidelights not more than three quarters the height of the steaming light. The stern light should be around the same height as the sidelights....

Got that? Well, practically, if you mount the steaming light and the anchor light on a mast, so it is above the wheelhouse, and then the sidelights on the wheelhouse, you can't go too far wrong. The sternlight could be on the back of the wheelhouse. Just make sure that the sidelights don't overlap- so they are parallel to the centreline of the craft. Barges often (well, should) use screens, painted matt black, to help stop unwanted glow.

I would recommend reading the RYA book G2/95 to learning more. Also, the guide to CEVNI is useful as well, for the waterways abroad.

Hope that helps

Mark Langley  | 9.24PM, Tuesday 18 November

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