Nav­i­ga­tion light­ing

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: Experts -

QI have no­ticed that nar­row­boats de­picted in your mag­a­zine sometimes have nav­i­ga­tion lights and sometimes not but they never seem to have the com­plete and cor­rect set of four. The red and green (port and star­board) lights vis­i­ble through an arc of 112.5 de­grees are clear to see but I have searched in vain for the sin­gle white light at the bow (vis­i­ble through an arc of 225 de­grees) and the sin­gle white light at the stern (vis­i­ble through an arc of 135 de­grees). Are there any reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing nav­i­ga­tion lights on canals or are the afore­men­tioned port and star­board lights just for show?

GOR­DON DRANE

ATONY REPLIES: Are there are no re­quire­ments for nav­i­ga­tion lights on canals. The sit­u­a­tion on most rivers is rather dif­fer­ent IF you are go­ing to be nav­i­gat­ing at night or rid­ing at an­chor. The reg­u­la­tions are ex­plained at https://www.wa­ter­ways.org.uk/boat­ing/ nav­i­gat­ing_y­our_boat/vhf/nav­i­ga­tion_­lights There are plenty more web­sites. Over and above that there are min­i­mum height di­men­sions that are not so easy to meet on a nar­row­boat and would be im­pos­si­ble on canals. The nav­i­ga­tion lights you see on many nar­row­boats are lit­tle more than or­na­men­tal be­cause they are too small, not bright enough and in the wrong po­si­tion form the length of boat.

For nar­row­boats up to about 64 ft (20m) suit­able lights are avail­able from sev­eral sources spe­cial­is­ing in lumpy wa­ter boats. For longer boats you would need to use a sup­plier who deals with com­mer­cial craft.

Be aware that even though a given light may be listed as suit­able for boats up to 20 me­tres it does not mean that its po­si­tion will be within the reg­u­la­tions. The bow light would be re­ferred to as a mast head light while the stern light is known as just that. If you can not find a suit­able white lamp, but I think you will be able to, you may have to mount a white light in a “box” to only show white through the re­quired arc.

You can of­ten see sim­i­lar one sided things for nav­i­ga­tion lights fit­ted to sail­ing boat shrouds or to lights mounted on the cabin roof of com­mer­cial/ pas­sen­ger craft.

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