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boat headlights

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  • boat headlights

    I would like to mount two small offroad or foglights to my boats bow for nighttime navigating ie,I see a fair amount of logs in area lakes in the daytime,dont want to hit them.Is it legal?.Im in N.C.I could see how they might obscure the nav. lights and figure I could turn them off if see other boat lights ahead.anyone tried this and what lights might be good to use?I would mount them just under the bow of a lrg jonboat.

  • #2
    Re: boat headlights

    Docking lights or "head lights" can not be used in open water, only Nav. lights.


    • #3
      Re: boat headlights

      what is the definition of open water,and what about smallish rivers?


      • #4
        Re: boat headlights

        bad ide3a--read previous posts on the topic. Use your night vision and watch for surface anomolies
        A man of constant boat tinkering.


        • #5
          Re: boat headlights

          If you are travelling at night, you should be not going fast enough to have damage hitting a log. How fast were you planning on running?
          1998 Wellcraft Eclipse 24 Cuddy
          Volvo Penta Duo-Prop 7.4L "LK"

          2006 Sun Tracker Party Barge 21
          Mercury 90 4-Stroke FI
          "Common sense is not very common"
          "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." -- John Wooden


          • #6
            Re: boat headlights

            You would be better off using a hand held spot light. I installed a couple of driving light mounted to the very top of the windshield to use and docking lights. For chits and giggles I turned them on out on open water and it didn't light up much of anything.

            Just my .02

            ''Fish Me Gone''

            Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give it to those who are not......Thomas Jefferson

            Find out how you can help prevent the spread of Zebra mussels.


            • #7
              Re: boat headlights

              I installed 2 - 25watt tractor lights on my boat for night time use. They do not work very well when fog is out. I also get glare off the boat because I mounted them on the front of the cuddy cabin roof. My driving windsheild is back farther and higher than the cuddy cabin.
              Coast guard inspection never said anything about my aux. lights. They check my nav. lights and informed me the anchor light needs to beable to be on all by it's self when you are not underpower. My red/green, center white light (anchor light) and stern light are all off one switch.
              I told them I never plan to anchor at night and if so they would be commig to find me.


              • #8
                Re: boat headlights

                Handheld spotlight or an actual bow rail mounted remote control spotlight is the only way to go. And they are NOT for constant illumination. Only use them long enough to find a marker, obstruction, landmark, etc, then turn them OFF.


                • #9
                  Re: boat headlights

                  Thanks to eveyone for your advice.I was at the boat mechanics and there was a camo duck boat that had rectangular pivot mount lights right on the bow.I would mount them under the bow ,no boat glare,and wont trip on them,and I would only use them intermitantly? while under power. maybe a momentary thumb switch on the throttle.I am somtimes alone and steering,throttle,spotlight w two hands is tough. anyway I will cont.wildlife and see what they say,I dont want a ticket.


                  • #10
                    Re: boat headlights

                    For occasional use I guess it's no different from using a spotlight. But use it very, very sparingly. It destroys your night vision, and that's a lot more valuable for night running than anything else. You don't want to blind another boater, either.

                    Second, there are legally preescribed configurations for navigation lights. Red/Green at the bow that can only be seen through a specific "arc", white all-around at the stern or masthead. ANY OTHER CONFIGURATION coukl confuse another boater, with tragic consequences. Don't be "that guy"- there's already enough risk in night running.

                    Be safe- have fun!
                    John and Linda
                    Long Island, NY
                    Escapade III
                    1992 Carver 26 Command Bridge
                    Twin Merc Alpha 4.3 'Gen +'


                    • #11
                      Re: boat headlights

                      keep in mind that the night time speed limit in most states is 10 mph.... sometimes that is too fast..... your best bet is to not use a light except to look for markers.... on a moonlit night you should be fine and on a really dark or foggy night run at idle speed and be ready to throw it into neutral when you hit a log

                      But, where are the reevets?
                      1981 Wellcraft V-20 CC Fisherman (FREE BOAT)
                      1989 Wellcraft Monte Carlo 28(Build thread here)
                      1992 Hotsports Jet'n'Cat Yam 701 WR3 drivetrain "SS George Washington"
                      90's Yamaha WRIII and a pair of 95 Kawasaki ZXI-900's
                      Fresh clean cheap oil is better then old dirty expensive oil any day


                      • #12
                        Re: boat headlights

                        I keep a 1.5 million candle power hand held spotlight in the carry case it came in, in the storage locker. The odd time I have found myself out later than expected (fish were biting!) it comes in handy as I approached the dock - and you can point it any direction you want...
                        1999 Princecraft 166 Pro
                        1998 Evinrude 70hp
                        2003 GMC Envoy 4.2L 4x4