Proper Lights for Coastal Navigation

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What kind of safety lighting is required on my sailboat?

Proper Lights for Coastal Navigation

As a licensed sailer, it is your responsibility to ensure your boat lights meet any and all requirements; these requirements are different for different types and sizes of sailboats. Required lighting configurations apply to sailboats from sunset to sunrise and during types of limited visibility, such as fog or bad weather. The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules encompass lighting requirements for every type of watercraft. To determine which lights you need to have for your individual sailboat, you can research these rules online. Here are some examples:

Sailing vessels under 20 meters can exhibit lights along the stern or they can use a single combination lantern at the top of the mast. Sailors in vessels less than 7 meters can carry an electric torch or lantern as long as it can be displayed in enough time to prevent an accident. Anchor lights are also required for sail boats, although in certain situations they are not required on boats under 7 meters. Be careful when obtaining information about lighting requirements as there are punishments for not following such boat navigation rules. Taking a proper sailing course is one way to cover this topic adequately and be safe on the water.



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