Navigation Lights-Power Driven Vessels

Navsregs>COLREGS>Power Driven Vessel

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.

Power Driven Vessel Lights

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?Power Driven vessel end on

  • 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
  • sidelights
  • 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 Power Driven Vessel from Asternpracticable 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.


Click to view this Handy Revision Guide for Kindle on AmazonA Really Handy Guide to learn the Collision Regulations

This was the first in the series of Kindle revision guides covering the COLREGS.

Click here to view on Amazon>

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