Increase Your Visibility & Safety with Nav Lights
Boating during the daylight hours is great, but boating at night can be simply amazing, especially when you’re out on the water on a clear night. With all of the stars in the sky visible and the water gently lapping against the side of the boat, the experience is simply amazing. Unfortunately, boating at night or during low visibility conditions can be dangerous if you don’t have the right equipment. Having navigation lights on your boat is extremely important, but far too many people are shocked to learn that their navigation lights are not placed in the right spot, or that they don’t have enough lighting.
One tip to see if you have enough lighting, and to know if your lighting is in the right position, is to turn on all of your lights at night and to walk around your boat. This will give you a good idea of where you’ve got good lighting and where your lighting is a little weak. When it comes to nav lights, you not only need to be able to see other boaters, but they need to see you as well. Don’t take for granted that the navigation lights that your boat came with are installed correctly or that they’re bright enough, as these components are generally pretty far down on the list of importance for boating manufacturers. Most people find that they need to put their own navigational lighting on to be assured that it is done correctly.
When it comes to powerboats, the legal requirements are that a boat that is less than 39 feet long needs to have red lights on the port side, green lights on the starboard side, and white light that is visible for 360 degrees. The colored lights that you have on your boat need to be visible for at least one nautical mile, and the white light has to be visible for at least two nautical miles. You may want to download a boating safety video online to remind yourself of these and other state-based requirements on a fairly regular basis.
If you’ve already got lights on your boat, make sure that they’re in the right place and that they’re able to be seen the correct distance away. Turn on your lights at night and walk as far away from the boat as you can. Can you see the colored lights? If you can’t, you likely do not have strong enough lighting and should look into getting a better choice for your vessel. Get the most powerful bulb possible for your boat, and try to get a lens that is designed to amplify the power of the light.
It is also good to always carry spare bulbs that are the right size and the right power, and to constantly check your lighting to make sure that it is still in the proper position and to ensure that no condensation has started to build up inside of the light. If this occurs you have a leak and the foam or rubber gasket needs to be replaced. Any metal reflectors should be polished regularly as well. Remember: nav lights can help to keep you and anyone on your boat safe during the night or during a very foggy day. .