Why are Navigation Lights Extremely Important for Every Type of Boat?
Proper understanding of the use of navigation lights is important for every sailor. Marine navigation lights also referred as running lights are basically colored electric lights fitted on ships and used to specify the size of the ship, direction in which the ship is navigating, and the angle where these lights should be visible. It is the duty of the boat owner or operator to show appropriate light to avoid any miscommunication or collisions while travelling in sea waters.
Every boat operators should be well aware of the rules that are to be followed while sharing waterways for navigating safely. While sailing in a boat during night time or during restricted visibility, a boat operator should be able to identify other boats by their color and positioning of their navigation lights to figure out where the other boat is and take appropriate actions to avoid collision.
What are Marine Navigation Lights?
Marine navigation lights, also referred as running lights, are basically colored electric lights fitted on ships and used to specify the size of the ship, direction in which the ship is navigating, and the angle where these lights should be visible.
Every boat must be fitted with navigation lights and help other boats to determine the type and relative angle of the boat and understand if there are any chances of collision. Along with the navigation lights, boats must show signs during special conditions such as show signs when it is at anchor. Moreover, navigation lights are used at ports and airports to indicate the length of the runway to avoid any major accidents at these sites. These lights play a major role in avoiding collisions during night or at times of reduced visibility. They are a vital tool in maintaining safety of the boat as well as of the sailor and other people on the boat during sailing. These lights help in detecting other nearby ships, and vice versa.
Navigation lights should be displayed by considering the rules of navigation between sunrise and sunset and in poor visibility. Every boat operator must ensure that their boats are equipped with suitable navigation lights and make use of these lights during conditions, such as when away from the port between sunrise and sunset and in periods of restricted visibility like storm, fog or heavy rains.
No other lights that can misguide other sailors should be displayed on boats during navigation. For instance, by law enforcement vessels, blue flashing lights are restricted to use for other boats and should be used only by boats involved in search-and-rescue (SAR) operations.
In short, navigation lights exhibit:
- the boat’s size
- the angle where they can be seen by other boats
- the direction in which the boat is navigating
- if the boat is in motion or anchored
Some Important Points to Remember about Navigation Lights
- Navigation lights must be installed in a boat by a professional or an authorized individual. Smaller vessels have numerous options such as bracketed or combination suction-capped lights. Various navigation light manufacturers deliver these types of navigation lights to boat owners.
- Navigation lights’ shape requirements rely on the boat’s length and type and also on the motion of the boat (underway or at anchor).
- Vessels that run on motors must meet the requirements for powerboats and sailboats.
- Boat operators should also ensure that the angle of visibility must be according the boat navigation rules when the boat is underway. In special conditions, such as if the boat sails at a substantial bow-up angle, it should be considered while the boat is being constructed or while checking its navigation lights.
- On any type of boat, navigation lights have a specific color, (red, white, yellow, blue, green), range of visibility, arc of illumination, and location, as required by law and regulations. Proper understanding about the use of navigation lights is important for every sailor for a number of reasons.
1. The sailor is legally liable for displaying lights of the right intensity, color, location, and visibility on the ship—especially during night or at times of reduced visibility.
2. The sailor is obligatory to exhibit proper lights for revealing the type and motion of the boat.
What makes Navigation Lights so Important?
Bad weather can be a serious threat during navigation in sea waters. Hence, boat sailors are required to display proper navigation lights from sunrise to sunset in all weather situations, good and bad. During sailing, a boat's navigation lights and shapes should be lowered if it is passing under a bridge. Ships involved in government authorized public safety events and commercial boats carrying out similar activities must display an alternately flashing red and yellow light signal. The rising necessity of proper navigation lights has surged in the recent few years due to strict navigation laws. As per statistics by Research Dive, owing to rising need and importance for navigation lights, the global navigation lights market is expected to obverse accelerated growth, registering a CAGR of 3.6% from 2020 to 2027.
Key Takeaway Message!
It is not the duty of the boat producer, importer, or selling dealer to install navigation lights in a boat. However, numerous boats are available in the market with lights that do not satisfy legal laws of navigation. Also, there are many boats equipped with navigation lights that do not consider the technical characteristics or type on the boat. It is the duty of every boat owner or operator to install proper navigation lights and demonstrate appropriate light to avoid any miscommunication or collisions while travelling in water.
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