Everyone loves a good sunset, especially the sunsets in Florida. And what better way to view a sunset than out on the water? For some new boaters that may seem a little scary. Have no fear; there are a few (common sense) rules about boating in the dark!
Slow down: Just like driving in the rain, some people have the mindset of “I know how to drive; I’ll be fine going the normal speed limit!” Well no one can account for the unseen issues that may arise when dealing with darkness, so slowing your speed down when in the dark would be your best bet.
Get rid of distraction: Back to the car analogy, when driving in a car you are most distracted by lights with in the car. Same goes for when you are at the wheel of your boat. Make sure to dim all interior lights and lift your vision above the windshield to save yourself from reflections.
There are a few questions when it comes to being on your boat past sunset. Here are a few that we feel are most helpful.
What is an anchor light for? A white light that shines so it is visible from all around the vessel required when anchored or moored between sunset and sunrise. The best place for this light is usually at the top of the highest mast.Once successfully anchored we turn on the anchor light. Masthead light or steaming light.
When must navigation lights be displayed on your boat? During night navigation, from sunset to sunrise, or in restricted visibility (fog, heavy rainstorms, etc.), by displaying the appropriate lights so other boats will know if you are under sail, power driven, or at anchor.