If you cannot arrive in daylight, then stand off well clear and wait until dawn.  After all, that's one of the things God made boats for--to wait.       - Tristan Jones


Navigation Lights

All boats must display the correct navigation lights at night, and a sailor must know how to  interpret them.


Running Lights

Steaming Light (also called a Bow or Masthead Light)

Indicates that a boat is moving under power.

A fixed white light over the centerline of the vessel.

Visible from ahead at an arc of 22.5 degrees.

(A sailing vessel NOT under power does not display a steaming light.)

Side Lights

Red and green lights on the port and starboard sides of a vessel.

Visible from an arc of 22.5 degrees abeam to directly ahead.

Must be lower than the steaming light on boats under power.

Red light on port side (Port wine is red)

Green light on starboard side 

Stern Light

A white light near the stern of a vessel.

Visible astern at an arc of 22.5 degrees.

Anchor Light

A 360 degree white light that is displayed when anchored.

(It is not necessary to display an anchor light in a recognized small craft anchorage.)


Interpreting Running Lights


Other Running Lights

RAM = restricted in ability to maneuver due to the nature of her work, e.g. dredge. PD = power driven vessel, which includes a sailboat using its engine. NUC = not under command, e.g. a vessel with steering gear failure. CBD = constrained by draft, e.g. a vessel that must remain in the channel to avoid running aground. 


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