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Can any member please advise on the navigation lights arrangements they have made to comply with the COLREGS on their boat? I am finding it difficult to understand the regulations, but believe that as the Tiki 38 is under 12m, all I have to do is fit a tricolour masthead light. However, I would prefer to mount port and starboard side lights on the coach roof, as these would be easier to maintain, and perhaps run the cables through the sandwich construction roof. But there again, I believe I would still need to have white stern and steaming lights? It is all so confusing!
What have other builders and owners done? If they had their time again, would they have done things differently? Thank you in anticipation of your advice.
Adrian Hall ( slowly building Kira, a Tiki 38)

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On my tiki 26 I have port and starboard lights at the forward corners of the cabins, and a stern light mounted on the aft alumlnum beam. I'm a coastal sailor, near a busy port, and the deck level lights were recommended for this context. For blue-water sailing, having masthead nav lights is usual. For awareness of the commercial traffic, my vhf has an AIS system.

Just be sure that you position your lights so as not to spoil your night vision when moving around the boat at night.


My Tiki 38 has the Aqua Signal Tricolor/anchor/strobe combination mounted on the main mast, which has worked well for four years (with one bulb replacement). The bulbs aren't cheap.and if I were doing it today I would go the LED route, and I would be tempted to have a duplicate set of side and stern lights mounted near deck level. The masthead may not fully satisfy COLREGS when the boat is under power depending on how you read them. I like the masthead light when we are sailing because it doesn't interfere with our night vision and it unambiguously tells other boats we are a sailboat under sail. The second set of lights is a good backup, and also says unambiguously that we are a boat under power when in use. Up to you if the extra expense/trouble is worth it, but it is nice to be able to replace a dead bulb without having to go up the mast, although replacement will probably be much less frequent with LED's.

Yeah, but the real fun starts when you try to put a steaming light and stay within the regulations.  I would like to ask if any of you have a good (better?) solution to the one Nev came up with.  Ours works, but it is a bit fiddly

I have a separate steaming light mounted on the foremast, but am not sure it meets COLREGS when using with the masthead tricolor. That's why I was thinking of adding deck level sidelights so I could use them with the steaming light  and the white all around anchor light when under power. Might not be entirely legal, but we would look like a (very small) ship from any distance, and might get us a little more respect.

Our steaming light also has a deck light that shines down on the foredeck, which we have found useful for anchor drags and the occasional foredeck panic when the wind suddenly comes up.


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