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Boat Navigation Lighting Guide

Watersports > Boat Navigation Lighting Guide


Using the following Boat Lighting Requirements check-list will help you stay both legal and safe on the water. Please keep in mind: Various other light requirements are outlined in the standards regarding towing, vessels aground, and other special conditions. Consult the Inland Navigation Rules, 72 COLREGS, or USCG for details.

Power Boats Under 39.37 Feet (12M) Requirements:

1. Docking/Anchoring in non-designated location Requirements:
Must have either a white All-Round light, or Masthead/Transom light combinations (if combination used, light neets to cover 360 degree horizontal spectrum)

2. In-motion Requirements:
All-Round light or Masthead/Transom light combination with 2 mile rating
sidelights with 1 mile rating

3. Vertical Separation of lights:
All-Round (or Masthead/transom combination) light must be located a minimum of one meter (39-3/8) above the sidelight(s). *Light height measurment goes off light bulb's filament center

Small, Trolling & Oar-Driven Boats (max speed under 7 knots)

1. Docking/Anchoring in non-designated location Requirements:
Must have either a white All-Round light, or Masthead/Transom light combinations (if combination used, light neets to cover 360 degree horizontal spectrum)

2. In-motion Requirements:
Sidelight(s) with 1 mile rating
Transom light with 1 mile rating
Marine Flashlight or lighted lantern

3. *Various other light requirements are outlined in the standards regardeing towing, vessels aground, and other special conditions. Consult the Inland Navigation Rules, 72 COLREGS, or USCG for details

Light Type Illumination `

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

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