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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
Megatower™
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
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Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
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Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
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Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
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NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
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Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
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Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
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HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
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Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
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LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
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Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
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Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
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Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
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Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Flashlights
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Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
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New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
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Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting
         

   
03/18/11 Nighttime Boat Navigation: Know Your Lighting

Boating at night for many is just another enjoyable aspect of the entire pleasure boating experience. Fishing and just plain tooling around for enjoyment take on whole new personalities when the sun goes down. Although nighttime boating can be a great deal more enjoyable than during the day, it also brings with it a great deal more danger. Navigating at night is almost an art and it requires a lot more forethought and a more critical awareness of the conditions you are operating under.

First and foremost, having the proper lighting on your boat and being able to determine the positions and configurations of other vessels by their lights is mandatory if you are to avoid problems while cruising at night. Without these two basics you are essentially an accident waiting to happen, not to mention flirting with racking up a few citations. Navigating open water at night is not an undertaking to be taken lightly and requires an extra degree of skill and focus not normally necessary during daylight hours. Darkness plays havoc with your senses and your vision becomes less effective as depth perception and the ability to determine distances and sizes is greatly reduced. In darkness, open water can become almost featureless, objects are harder to identify and thus it becomes much more difficult to properly judge their size and distance from your position.  

When navigating the water at night, your natural night vision becomes your best ally. You night vision is also easily interfered with by the lights from docks and other vessels as well as your own boats lighting equipment. In order to properly and safely operate your boat at night, you must understand and take into consideration all of these details and adjust your tactics accordingly. You must make yourself well versed in the colors and positions of navigation lighting and how to use them to judge positions and headings as well as they type of craft displaying them. You must ensure that your own navigation lighting is properly configured and that it meets the minimum standards according to Coast Guard regulations. You must also inspect your navigation lighting before leaving dock for each trip out at night.

Navigating at night is made easier by having a partner on board to help with keeping watches, identifying other vessels and operating any auxiliary navigational aids you may need to use. It also pays to have either a dedicated spotlight mounted in the proper location or an effective portable unit that your partner can use to illuminate markers and buoys, use as a navigational aid when moving through inlets or heading into dock, or to illuminate possible obstructions or debris in the water ahead of your course if necessary.

If you use a spotlight, be aware of the rules regarding their use and refrain from the impulse of trying to use them like you would a car’s headlights. On the water, a spotlight if used improperly can actually put you and other boaters in more danger than navigating without it would. As mentioned earlier, letting your eyes adjust to the darkness and relying on your natural night vision is the best way to go and it can also be easily hampered, particularly by an improperly installed or used spotlight.

If you decide to use a spotlight, use one that is going to do the best job possible. Don’t’ skimp and jeopardize your safety by simply buying the cheapest handheld unit you can find. Chances are you’ll end up with a poorly made spotlight that the salt water and marine environment will turn into a worthless hunk of corroded wiring and plastic in short order. GoLights like the HID Golight Stryker Spotlight from Larson Electronics are some of the most popular and effective units used by boaters and offer a wide degree of versatility as well as high power, remote control and dependable reliability. If you decide to permanently mount a spotlight, keep in mind the position you will most commonly be in when you use it. If you are going to be at the helm, you want to have the light mounted where it will have the least chance of affecting your night vision. The most common places for mounting are at the very front of the bow and as high above the canopy as possible. The idea here is to keep the light from directly illuminating yourself or any of the surfaces of your boat. If your light is not mounted far enough forward on the bow, it can easily produce enough glare when the beam hits the deck to destroy your night vision and even temporarily blind you. Likewise, if your light is not mounted high enough above the canopy so that the beam does not contact any railings or parts of the boat, it can again, blind you and leave you practically helpless until your night vision recovers. In a critical situation, this is an unacceptable problem to run into, so make certain to carefully consider your spotlights placement before permanently mounting it.

Another thing to remember when using your spotlights is that as easily as a light can ruin your night vision, it can also ruin other boaters night vision as well. Never shine your spotlight directly at another craft unless they require that kind of assistance and never use your spotlight while underway at speed except to occasionally illuminate markers or buoys. The Coast Guard has fairly straightforward rules regarding the use of spotlights on boats and most of them are geared towards keeping them from becoming more of a problem than a help. No spotlight can take the place of good night vision, a good partner and arming yourself with knowledge and planning. If used correctly, however, spotlights can be very useful and make all the difference between serious problems and an enjoyable night out on the water.

If there is anything to take away from all of this, it is that before you even think of launching your vessel for a night cruise, take the time to do your homework first. There is no excuse for poor planning and a little knowledge and foresight can spell the difference between a great night out on the water, or a tragedy that could have easily been avoided.  

 





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