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Collision Regulations

by Nigel Richards 10 Feb 2018 11:19 UTC
Collision Regulations © Island Cruising

Each month I will be looking at a section of the Collision Regulations and writing to remind all our sailors out there about the rules that we are bound by when at sea.

This month it's a reminder about what we should be displaying when our vessels are at anchor. Rule 30 of the Collision Regulations, or Colregs as they are more commonly known, covers the subject..........................

"A vessel at anchor shall exhibit where it can be best seen: (i) in the fore part, one ball." Now at night that ball should be augmented with "an all-round white light where it can be best seen."

Those regulatory items are for vessels under 50m in length, which covers most of the members boats. Of course, most yachts now use an all-round white at the top of the mast to show they are anchored. Beware that your light does not merge in with land lights behind you or the stars over your head. I have heard tales of those excuses being used to defend a collision!

You may have seen larger vessels, super-yachts and ships alike, with an all-round white light in the fore and a lower all-round white light in the stern and lower. This is to denote a large vessel and the difference in the light heights is so that you can tell which end has the anchor chain.

Vessels bigger that 100m also must light up their decks between their anchor lights. You would not want to go sailing between them that is for sure!

Remember, it is a requirement to display these objects. Ask your insurer their opinion, I'm sure they will have view.

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