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Old 20 March 2008, 19:20   #1
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Could I use this as a masthead light?

Rather than an all round white, I have a separate masthead and steaming light on my a-frame. This got me thinking. I have a projector type foglamp in the garage.It gives a lower half of a circle as a beam which is visible over an arc of around 225 degrees and illuminates enough not to completely destroy night vision, but should also significantly light up the water for about 50 yards ahead.

Is there any reason why I can't use it as a masthead light?
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Old 20 March 2008, 19:33   #2
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Matt,

IRPCS states:

Rule 21
Definitions:

a) Masthead light means a white light placed over the fore and aft centreline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees, and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel

b) Sidelights - not relevant

c) Sternlight means a white light placed as nearly as practicable at the stern showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 135 degrees and so fixed as to show the light 67.5 degrees from right aft on each side of the vessel.

d) Towing lights - not relevant

e) All round light means a light showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360 degrees.

f) Flashing Light - not relevant.

Rule 22
Visibility of lights:

c) In vessels of less than 12m in length:
  • a masthead light, 2 miles;
  • a sidelight, 1 mile;
  • a sternlight, 2 miles;
  • a towing light, 2 miles;
  • a white, red, green or yellow all round light, 2 miles
So, in short, there is nothing in Colregs that prevents you using the light mentioned above.

However, I would worry about the effect it would have on your night vision - small 12v lights are bad enough at night! In addition, if it has a narrow focused beam, it is less visible from someone looking down at you from a height - helicopter, container ship, etc.
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Old 20 March 2008, 19:41   #3
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It's quite visible from above-I've got a pair of them on my bike at the moment as headlights and they are more visible from above than the current masthead light.They don't ruin my night vision on the bike. The beam isn't very focused at all-the majority of it is over 180 degrees

I'm thinking it'd be useful to be able to switch between the current masthead light (which is so bright as to ruin my night vision completely) to the foglight which would actually light up where I'm going (albeit dimly) and provide enough residual light to light up reflective tape/create a shadow from pot buoys etc.
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Old 20 March 2008, 19:43   #4
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Well, provided it's visible for 2miles plus still, go for it!
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Old 20 March 2008, 23:05   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
-the majority of it is over 180 degrees
Maybe need to check that visibility for 2M is OK throughout the arc?

Quote:
I'm thinking it'd be useful to be able to switch between the current masthead light (which is so bright as to ruin my night vision completely) to the foglight which would actually light up where I'm going (albeit dimly) and provide enough residual light to light up reflective tape/create a shadow from pot buoys etc.
Let us know how you get on - I imagine we all suffer the same problem with white lights wrecking our night vision. Good luck with it
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