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  • Night Navigation

    So I am thinking of navigating from Oak Island to Wilmington Friday night (around 9:PM) The channels are very well marked, the red nav markers light up, it will be 1/2 way through high tide so the water will be up around 2.5 feet, I have done the run about 6 times in the day and have the course lines in my plotter, I know the river, have charts, its about 30 miles. The weather is clear and it will be 1/2 moon. It will be the longest run I will have made at night. Any input/thoughts are appreciated.

    Only concern is well its night and there is the port of Wilmington so there may be big shipping boats the channel.
    2013 Bayliner 255CR
    5.0MPI S/N:2A044802
    http://seawenchnc.blogspot.com

  • #2
    Re: Night Navigation

    I have not done the night boating in big water but on the lake the biggest concern for me is not being able to see the waves size, speed, or direction so the ability to adjust for them is nill. I wouldn't think that is as big of a concern on a larger boat.
    2008 Tahoe Q7i 5.0L MPI Mercruiser/Alpha One Gen II Drive
    14.25 x 17 Michigan "Apollo" 3 blade Stainless (From iboats store)

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    • #3
      Re: Night Navigation

      I have done lots of lake navigation at night.
      2013 Bayliner 255CR
      5.0MPI S/N:2A044802
      http://seawenchnc.blogspot.com

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      • #4
        Re: Night Navigation

        Not a problem. Stay within the markers and watch the depth on the dash. It is summer and be more worried of tourists than the commercial shipping. Many rarely use their boats and lights are not something they think about. The commercial traffic will be well lit. I keep 3 hand held spotlights on my boat, 2 are rechargeable and 1 is 12 volt. LISTEN for others and if you hear and cannot see them light the area with 2 million candle power. Most will see you and if not impaired or sleeping will avoid you. I HAVE seen 2 boats anchored in the ICW channel at night w/o lights. Thankfully, there will be very few on the water after dark.
        EdgeWater 205 EX
        Yamaha 150
        2012 Dodge Hemi

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        • #5
          Re: Night Navigation

          Originally posted by agallant80 View Post
          So I am thinking of navigating from Oak Island to Wilmington Friday night (around 9:PM) The channels are very well marked, the red nav markers light up, it will be 1/2 way through high tide so the water will be up around 2.5 feet, I have done the run about 6 times in the day and have the course lines in my plotter, I know the river, have charts, its about 30 miles. The weather is clear and it will be 1/2 moon. It will be the longest run I will have made at night. Any input/thoughts are appreciated.

          Only concern is well its night and there is the port of Wilmington so there may be big shipping boats the channel.
          My biggest concern when navigating at night is seeing debris in the water. Some places this is not a concern, but I boat on the Potomac River a lot and you have to keep an eye out for logs and other stuff that come down the river (esp. after a good rain).

          At night I tend to go a lot slower so that if I hit anything I didn't see it won't hurt so much.

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          • #6
            Re: Night Navigation

            Good luck, I have done some night boating, though boating through the erie canal in pitch-black conditions was not fun. All I could see was the contrast between the shore and the water and barely.
            2000 Maxum 1900SC
            4.3L Mercrusier w/ Alpha One Gen II

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            • #7
              Re: Night Navigation

              Originally posted by ssobol View Post
              My biggest concern when navigating at night is seeing debris in the water. Some places this is not a concern, but I boat on the Potomac River a lot and you have to keep an eye out for logs and other stuff that come down the river (esp. after a good rain).

              At night I tend to go a lot slower so that if I hit anything I didn't see it won't hurt so much.
              YES! Me too, the debris issue is terrible sometimes. The Potomac has already ate 2 of my props! I did the July 4th thing in DC on the river and had to navigate back to Leesylvania at night, that was a little scary with all the drunk boaters out and not being able to see very well.

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              • #8
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                Re: Night Navigation

                Agree, the biggest concern is stuff floating inthe water that you can't see. Second concern are other boats (pleasure) that don't know what to make of navigation lights.

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