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Old 03-11-2007, 05:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvimatelot View Post
they seem to dim or fade with age....
Don't we all?

But seriously, I assume that the classification societies and maritime administrations have looked at this before sanctioning a particular manufacturer's product. It certainly will be interesting to hear what folks have to say about this though.

Stephen

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Old 03-11-2007, 11:28 AM   #16
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I asked a mate of mine about this. He is a Research Fellow involved in technological development at Charles Darwin University. He said the rate of fade is much less than for incandescent lights. But as the incandescent light fails on a more frequent basis, a new bulb will reinvigorate the luminescence. However he says before the LED's can be certified, they must burn and maintain their rated luminescence for the stated period of time...ie 30,000/50,000 hours etc. This relates only to the diodes and not to any reflectorised backing.

David.
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Old 03-11-2007, 02:35 PM   #17
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Hello ALL - In a recent SSCA issue the Captain of a cruise ship suggested that Sailboats light up their sails with bright white lights to be seen better ..His other thought was that regular running lights were useless in anything but calm seas and suggested everyone have tri colors on the mast...

Still in the Berkshires

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Old 03-12-2007, 06:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Farley View Post
the Captain of a cruise ship suggested that Sailboats light up their sails with bright white lights to be seen better ..and suggested everyone have tri colors on the mast...

TOM
After many years as a "big ship" navigator / master, I endorse the comment made by your "captain". Side lights at deck level are just about impossible to see in any kind of a seaway.

If it were not illegal, I would go for the masthead strobe light which really can be seen. I think the masthead tricolour is the best legal alternative. Perhaps we should lobby IMO for strobes to be permited. So that it would not be confused with other signals it could be programmed to flash an identifying morse code, e.g. ... ...- (SV) for sailing vessel.

Illuminating sails with a strong white light is an old method of bringing a sailing boat to the attention to the offier of the watch. It should only be done when an approaching vessel needs to be warned of your existance. Consider also that no other lights should be shown which can confuse or block out the light from the normal navigation lights.

Stephen

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Old 04-05-2007, 04:36 PM   #19
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Hello into the round and a special Hello to Nausikaa,

having been a fond reader of the cruiser log until now I would like to reply especially to this topic of proper lights at night.

To use the three-colour masthead light is most essential to be optically seen by all other boats out there.

That works pretty good in coastal waters, because everybody expects, that there is somebody else out there.

But as soon as you sail offshore, I am not so sure, that there is an optical watch on commercial ships all the time: Some years ago we (under sail in light winds) were almost run down by a reefer about 100 miles SW of the Azores during the daytime unter best visual conditions. He was very fast and we had to wait a nervewrecking long time until he changed course and only after we called him on VHF. (At least he realized that he did wrong and apologized with a bag of oranges he threw over board, so that we arrived with plenty of fresh fruit on the Azores...)

But what what did we learn: Don't rely on the eye of a sleepy or otherwise not so alert watch on the bridge! We should take other ways and means to draw the attention of the person on watch, or meybe the machinery he is working with and we installed a Radar Target Enhancer (which were by then new on the marked, even though very expencive!)

And that made the difference:

Two examples:

Sailing south but well clear of the Kadet Rende (Baltic Sea between Germany and Denmark, where dence trafic is normal,) we experienced a bulk carrier reducing his speed and using his search light to find the boat that matches the (obviously enormous) echo on his radar screen. Once he sorted out the situation he continued on his way east.

Sailing well offshore of Lisbon, Portugal on our way south,we attracted a coastguard ship that initially followed its course well inshore miles away from our position so that our red light could not have been the reason for him to change course...

Meanwile the commercial ships got used to yachts carrying RTE, but we feel that they are a big step towards safety at night (and of course during the day). And the nice side effect: The Radar Target Enhancer gives an audio signal as soon as they are triggered by a radar - so we hear way in advance, that there is someone else out there. Very good when sailing offshore - and in coastal waters we can turn the beep off when too many radars (with their ships) are around.

But now, the worst thing you could do now is to turn your RTE on and your lights off. We hope that no responsible sailor does this.

SY Aquaria
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Old 04-05-2007, 04:45 PM   #20
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@Aquaria



Welcome aboard - we look forward to much more of your informative input.
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:04 PM   #21
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@Aquaria

Great to see you here - and hopefully during the summer. More of my plans later by email!

Hope you enjoy your time here.

Stephen

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Old 02-18-2008, 11:33 AM   #22
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When sailing offshore we keep a 24h watch but sometimes we're not in the cockpit all the time. My trusty eggclock is ticking at 10-15 minutes if i need to do something down below or just want to sit down during those long night watches.

In the channel between St Lucia and Martinique we had a close encounter with an other sailingyatch crossing our path. He had no lights, no visible watch in the cockpit and didn't reply on VHF.

I spotted him/her/it as the lights on a cruise ship a couple of M away started to disapear strangely and in my binoculars i could se the outlines of a main and a headsail. Since I was following a couple of commercial ships on radar it was not in tune to spot smaller wessels. After calling him on VHF with no reply I spilled wind out of my sails and let him pass 100m infront of us while studying him. I could not se any lights nor anyone in the cockpit or below (what I could see).

My conclusions were that he was comming from an atlanticcrossing, sleeping during the night and just by luck missed the two islands and all the ships between them. He was sailing a pararel course to us doing the islandhopping.

I usually have a hard time deciding how to do with my radar, should it be on a high scale tracking bigthings far away or small tings close? If I tune it to spot sailingyatchs at below 40' it will be hard spotting the big ships at a safe distance with it. Sure one can spot the big ones opticaly but sometimes weather stop that too.

My thoughts on commercial wessels seing cruicers, my opinion is that they don't and it's my resposibility to keep away from them. I've often called up ships on VHF with no respons, but now with AIS and DSC it may be easier then before I hope, calling a ship by position, speed and course should be enough to get someones atention in my opinion but if the watch is occupied playing doom on the computer he might miss it.
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