It is time to start a new series of posts, a series that returns to explore COLREGS. The series of posts will start its dive into the Navigation Light Rules with the most common set of lights seen deep sea, a power-driven vessel of 50 metres in length underway.
Note: These posts will not reproduce the Rules word perfect, so please refer to copy of the Regulations for the original wording.
What Rule covers power driven vessels underway?
RULE 23 Power-driven Vessels Underway
It is important to note when interpreting this Rule two of the definitions in Rule 3, namely
- That Power-driven vessel means any vessel propelled by machinery
- Underway means that a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground
What is contained in Rule 23?
- (a) What a power driven Vessel Underway must exhibit
- (b) What an air cushion vessel should exhibit
- (c) What a power driven vessel of less than 12 metres in length should exhibit
What lights must a power driven vessel underway show?
- Masthead light forward
- A second masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one; a vessel of less than 50 meters in length shall not be obliged to exhibit such light but may do so
- A stern light
The lights of smalI power driven vessels
Of less than 12 meters in length
May insted of the masthead lights and side lights lights exhibit an all-round white light and sidelights.
Of less less than 7 meters in length whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots
May exhibit an all round white light instead of masthead, side and stern lights, but shall, if practicable, also exhibit sidelights.
How may the positioning of the lights of a power driven vessel less than 12 meters in length differ?
The masthead light or all-round white light may be displaced from the fore and aft centerline of the vessel if centerline fitting is not practicable, as long as the sidelights are combined in one lantern which shall be carried on the fore and aft centerline of the vessel or located as nearly as practicable in the same fore and aft line as the masthead light or the all-round white light.
The size requirements list simplified
- 50m: Two masthead lights required
- 12m: May combine masthead and stern lights in all round light
- 7m/7knts: May replace all the lights with an all round light
The next post will look at the meanings of the key terms in Rule 23.
A Really Handy Guide to learn the Collision Regulations
This was the first in the series of Kindle revision guides covering the COLREGS.