Masthead light

Revision as of 07:56, 5 October 2007 by Ted (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

The masthead light is a white, forward-facing light that must be displayed by boats at night when operating under motor power. This light is often referred to as the "steaming light" (despite the fact that very few boats actually use steam power). The light must shine forward over an arc of 225 degrees. Like all navigation lights, the masthead light must be on between sunset and sunrise.

On sailboats, this masthead light is not at the top of the mast, as the name seems to imply. The light is usually placed about 2/3 of the way up the mast. The masthead light on a sailboat should not be confused with the tricolor light or the anchor light, which are both located at the top of the mast.

On vessels under 12m, the masthead light and sternlight can be combined into a single all-round white light.

Required visibility of the masthead light
Length of vessel : Visibility
over 50m (164 ft.) : 6 miles
20m (65.6 ft.) - 50m (164 ft.) : 5 miles
12m (39.4 ft.) - 50m (164 ft.) : 3 miles
less than 12m (39.4 ft.) : 2 miles

External Links

USCG Navigation Rules