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ddsbyday

Why is it so hard to turn your lights on?

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I just got off the lake. It is Thurs. before the 4th. Went out at dusk. Legally I needed to turn my lights on when I left the dock. I just pushed a button. It was easy,legal and safe. The lake I was on is narrow. I fished for an hour and a half. I had a fish break my old line. Not enough light to tie on a new rig. I dodged boats all the way back. Most had no lights until I got close. Some would just flip on their white light. Whats up with that? Turn your lights on. If the bugs are bad get off the lake. I don't want your family suing me because you go to flip on your navigation lights on at the last minute and they don't work. Why is this so hard?

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Isn't this what they call Natural Selection? People are morans and there's a ton of them. I like to be seen when I'm on the water, others think no one knowing where they fish is more important.

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I drives me nuts and I scan for unlit boats driving the boat in the dark. Sure wish I could hand out those $300 tickets.

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Last night around 11:00 p.m on Lake Superior I was about 3 feet away from going through a sailboat broadside. He was out with no lights or horn. The best part was his wife started yelling at me for almost going through them. I was going slow and able to slam the boat in reverse otherwise it would have been a bad deal for them. I did have a talk with him informing him about lights and his lack of common sense.

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Some people have no concept why some rules are made and then get POed when something happens that would have been prevented by following the rules.

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I hear you about the lights but then you tell us what time it was so we have no idea about how dark it was or even if it was dark. Only that it was dusk. At what point does it become unlawful to not have one's lights on, sunset, dusk (whenever that is), or dark (to what degree)?

How often it is that it's raining, snowing, or foggy and people don't turn on their vehicle lights according to MN law.

Regarding the white anchor light. MN law only requires navigation lights when one is under way. While at anchor or not moving only the white light (anchor light) is required.

Bob

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Actually, I think, if you are not moored or anchored, you need NAV lights. Even if "not moving" if you drifting at no speed, you need full NAV lights.

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Here's the rule from the 2008 boating guide.

Navigation lights must be on from sunset to

sunrise (see sunrise/sunset schedule at end of booklet).

When underway, motorboats less than 40 feet

long display:

(1) A 225 degree combination red and green bow

(front) light.

(2) A 360 degree white stern (rear) light. When at

anchor, only the degree; white light is

necessary.

As you can see the lights are required from sunset until sunrise, which means they must be illuminated before it actually gets dark.

As BoxMN has pointed out, while at anchor only the white light is needed otherwise all lights must be illuminated. In other words, if your anchor is not holding you in position, you must illuminate all of your navigation lights.

Bob

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I must admit. I am guilty of incorrectly displaying my lights. I certainly have been using them after dark but I now realize that I should have been turning them on a bit sooner.

Also, I am guilty of not using navigation lights while adrift.

I am now educated. I thought I understood the code but I obviously didn't.

Thank you,

Bob

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I don't know. I turn on my light when sun starts to set. Commen sence. I want to be around tomorrow and the day after.

Agreed, I just pop mine on when you can tell it's starting to get dark. I can't see a down side to having your nav lights on.

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Starting to get dark and sunset are not the same thing. It's actually quite light for over a half hour after sunset. That's where most of us make the error. Legally, we need the lights on at sunset. By the time we think it's getting dark we've been illegal for probably half hour to 45 minutes. I think that's part of what the OP was talking about.

Bob

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I've been in the boat for some real close calls. It is hard enough driving across the lake at night without having to watch for boats without lights. It is a sure thing for a mid-lake "education".

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What about boats that are moored out,like say sail boats outside a marina. Why dont they need to be lite?????

On a personal note. I dont always get my stern light to work, sometimes it does, sometimes it dont. It is the luck of the draw for some reason. But there again, it keeps the bugs at bay a little missing the rear light and only having the bow opporational

Hate to buy a new one when the electrical system will be changed out in the off season and not compatable with the current one.

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I personaly turn on all lights way before sunset. The $300 dollar ticket makes that an easy decission. Not to mention the run-n-gun fishers who don't care about the 50mph speed limit. If you are not lit, or they are running by GPS you are not going to be able to get out of their way fast enough. Death comes swiftly. I find it hard enough to miss the dock that are a half-a-mile long, or the rafts anchored out 1/4 of a mile. Then all of a sudden a boat pops out of no where flicks his light on and yells at you. Do you catch more fish when you do it illeagle?

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You can by a flashlight for a couple of bucks. Have it for a back up. Cheeper than a ticket or a funeral. They have portable bow lights and stern lights with c clamps that just have flashlights attached. The bow light has a green and red lens. Cheep prevention of a serious accident.

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FYI...your Lowrance GPS unit will tell you the sun/moon rise and set times. It is in one one of the menus. I have this on my H2O, and my 520c. I use it frequently.

Also, for a couple of bucks, I just put a spare set of light bulbs in my boat...just in case.

Jon

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Borch- Contact me and I may be able to help you out...

"I drives me nuts and I scan for unlit boats driving the boat in the dark. Sure wish I could hand out those $300 tickets."

mjmartin10 at hotmail dot com

mm

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If we're going to be out near dark we bring one of those 2 million candle handheld lights with us. Makes trailering a lot easier, plus you can turn it on every hundred yards or so to spot any obstacles for the next 150 yards of boating.

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