Running at night

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by FisherTim, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    reeltordarius likes this.
  2. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    Running at night, at speed is questionable even if you have great local knowledge, proper electronics, suitable boat and luck.

    Slow down adequately and even if you hit something, you/your vessel will have a way better chance of avoiding disaster.
    bones likes this.
  3. ratherbefishing

    ratherbefishing Active Member

    I have operated high speed vessels at night for years (work) and I can't imagine why someone would want to do it by choice. That being said, I believe there are two approaches to how one could operate: (1) As many bright lights covering the area in front of you vessel as possible. These light should be as far forward and below the operator as possible and include both spot and flood lights. While it is nice to get the lights up high, when running on the rain/snow/fog you lose a huge amount of vision due to light wash. I always painted the bow area with a matte black finish to reduce. In my opinion, the lights really don't serve much purpose other than to soothe the operators nerves as obstacle avoidance at higher speeds becomes more problematic and then there is (2) Absolutely no lights. And I mean none. I typically would turn down the radar as low as possible and cover the screen with smoked plastic to cut light transmission even further. I covered engine gauge lights and if things got iffy I would often turn off the nav lights (that green light can be bright!) - yes, flame away for turning nav lights off but trust me, there was nobody around. I would often run with my head out the window as even with minimal light inside there was still some reflection.

    Radar and plotter are 100% mandatory IMO and a person should know how to tune the radar to optimize the image. I have tried FLIR and it is OK, but again at high speed I question the value.

    One other consideration, I always ran aluminum props as hitting something is inevitable. I much preferred changing a prop that blowing out a lower unit.
    bones likes this.
  4. happy hooker

    happy hooker Well-Known Member

    have you watched the video? You can literally see in the dark. Rocks and logs have a different heat signature.
    Gypseas likes this.
  5. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    I looked for the video you speak of. Could you post it?
    For my situation I think it would be more of a distraction holding my camera out the window for I'm certain it would not see through my windows particularly when my espar is blasting heat on them.
    Its a very nifty device tho. I want that!
  6. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

    Not from the link but gives you a idea.
    Sotally Tober likes this.
  7. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

  8. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    Same opinion from me, 18" deadhead still hard to sea and a disaster waiting to happen at 20kts.

  9. happy hooker

    happy hooker Well-Known Member

    I agree would be tough on the phone. These marine units are incredible though.
  10. happy hooker

    happy hooker Well-Known Member

    Would probably be unnerving to run and only look at a screen too, would definitely take some getting used to.
  11. Fisherf

    Fisherf Active Member

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  12. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    I think this is almost ideal. To bad these companies that manufacture these can't get with the times and make these lights will a LED spot flood combo.
    Again this light will not work unless it is right on the tip of the bow. A buddy of mine got one of these for night travel and mounted it on his hard top. He just can't see because the bow deck is lit up so much.

    I have this style of inset lights but I can't get LED lights for them. Unfortunate because it could be a big improvement.
    I think what is ideal for lights these days is inside boxes in the bow for lights. Then you can put any lights in them you want and keep up with the times.
  13. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    Found this LED spot/search on eBay but its cheap. moxvx0nrnowGTjfMpwsyfdA.jpg
  14. bones

    bones Well-Known Member

    if you have the lamp number you can get led replacement lamps for them. that 5" lamp tho is 250,000cp and the led wont be as bright further out than that spotlight. cooling them could be an issue as well.
    KC Hilities might have a 5" or 7" droppin

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  15. eriks

    eriks Active Member

    Apparently in some US states (NY in particular), you're only allowed to use your navigation lights, because of how blinding it is to others passing you at night.
    I've run at night many times in the city, I'll most often vary my course to run directly into the moonlight or other lights that reflect off the surface, thereby shortening the distance of having to run completely in the dark. I'm also barely on a plane.
    I'm with JAC, who earlier said you're better off running with no lights on. FLIR is the way to go, but I think the helmet/head mounted units would be simplest to use.
    Big $$'s though.
    Tugcapitan likes this.
  16. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    Around here (Tofino) small craft turn off their lights while approaching one another.
    Tugcapitan, agentaqua and trophywife like this.
  17. Redfisher

    Redfisher Well-Known Member

    Friend who is very experienced mariner took his Bravo 3 leg off his 30 foot landing craft running in the daylight at 20 knots last week. Hit a big hemlock deadhead and all went bad. Had 2 guys with him and they were able to keep the boat from sinking by jamming boat stuff into the hole in the stern as the leg was literally hanging there. They got out a distress call and were lucky enough to get someone with a 2" pump nearby to come to their aid and with the pump working full bananas tow them in. Running in the dark at high speed.........why?
  18. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    I only do it for 3 reasons. Fishing Tuna, surf trips, and work occasionsaly. But I have found that I can not, absolutely not run(plane the boat) at night in swell of any sort. Its just imposable. You can't see stuff and you can't see the swells and getting airborne is inevitable. Thats no fun in the dark.
    chipstealer likes this.
  19. bones

    bones Well-Known Member

    Savage concepts design on facebook. It's a facebook company. They seem to have a ton of led lights replacement and retro fit. Some prices look good, 9w button lights for $4.50, osram light bar spot or flood or combo
  20. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, BN - and should be also for every other spot on the coast, too. Common courtesy and common sense should make it obvious that we should try to help preserve the other operator's night vision too. ALWAYS turn-off your spotlight when it is directed near another boat - and throttle down until past the other boat. Same reason people dim their brights while on a highway....

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