Fluorescent Lights
Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lights
Navigation Lights
  • Sailing vessels under 20 meters are required to carry red and green sidelights and a white stern light. Under 20 meters, these lights may be combined in a single lantern carried at the top of the mast, popularly know as the masthead tricolor. Under power, even with sails raised, the tricolor is not legal and the regular sidelights and stern light must be shown along with a white bow (mast) light.  (Upgrading the Cruising Sailboat, p. 181)
  • Oil lamps can be fastened to boards on the shrouds and the stern lamps carried on the stern rail. The lamps should be removable from the mounting boards from refilling and bringing below in rough weather. Properly sealed electric lights are easier to deal with and certainly less expensive.  (Upgrading the Cruising Sailboat, p. 181)
Navigation Station Lights
  • Illumination should be bright and broad; the lamps should be overhead so a minimum shadow is cast on the chart while the navigator is working. Fluorescent lights are inadvisable, since they can generate interfeerence with Loran-C.
  • A good addition is one or two small, gooseneck-type chart lamps, one of which should have a red light for night use. However, if part of the chart table extends under the boxes holding the instrument dials, the dial lights may prodvice enough illumination without needing for additional lighting, which could wake the crew sleeping below and interfere with the night vision of the crew on deck.
  • Nighttime lighting is very important and frequently inadequate. A dim light is essential for protecting night vision but of no use whatsoever if it is not strong enough to properly illuminate a chart (this is frequently the case with the red lights installed in navigation stations), causing the navigator to turn on a flashlight or a regular light.  (Cruising Handbook, p. 134)
  • Some flashlights for spotlighting hard-to-see dials can be mounted in accessible holders so the navigator can reach them without standing up.  (Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts, p. 224)
  • I have a heavy-duty “push-pull” switch for these [the main nav station lights] lights, mounted immediately foreword of the E-80 radar/chartplotter, and immediately above the Sondenberg chart light…(see chrome knob)…this allows for easy lighting to be switched on whenever needed, no matter how fast asleep you were…  (
Oil Lamps


Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lights
Navigation Lights

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