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Old 04-27-2012, 10:23 AM   #1
Rattlesnake Gal
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Arrow Running Lights on a Three Person PWC

The question of putting navigation lights on a three person PWC was brought up in the very fun and informative thread, Things I Have Learned at the Lake. Seeing how this is a boating issue, I thought it should have it's own thread.

I sent the following e-mail to Marine Patrol:

Maybe you could clear up a question for me. Can a three person PWC, which is considered a boat, have navigation lights and a stern light added to it for night time boating? I realize that a PWC could be difficult to use in the dark, but it would be very helpful for twighlight time.

Thanks!

Celia

I got this very thoughtful and informative response:
(I hope it is alright that I post MP's response!)

Dear Celia,

The answer is yes it can. But as a caution, we have heard stories that insurance companies have refused coverage and that your liability is at risk when you add something to the vessel that is not factory installed. This would become an issue if there was an accident or other situation where there is personal injury or damage. The other problem with putting lights on a PWC is that the 360 degree white light must be above the operators head so that it CAN be seen for 360 degrees. I hope this has answered your question.

Bruce A. Klinger, Dispatch Supervisor
New Hampshire Department of Safety
Division of State Police
Marine Patrol Bureau
Headquarters - 31 Dock Road Gilford NH 03249
603-293-2037* Fax HQ: 293-0096 Disp: 271-1153
www.marinepatrol.nh.gov
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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Default Now to find just the right lights

Thanks, RG, for getting the answer. I am going to print it out, laminate it, and put it in my Jetski!

Now... the solution. As was suggested in the Things I learned at the Lake, which I started, and then hijacked with this new topic, , I will look at lights designed for kayaks.

The problem with suction cups is that they make pop off. There are battery operated all around whites available that could be modified to be higher for the rear. I happen to have a stantion on mine for pulling a skier so could mount on that. There are clamp lights as well that could be modified.

I am going to love the twilight lights!

Next question... isn't there a sticker that we should get that indicates the PWC is a three seater? How does one get that, and what proof is required that the machine is a three seater?

Thanks, IG
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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I'd love to hear a true story about an insurance refusing coverage because someone added a light to a boat. If you insure it as a PWC and the policy states clearly that it is not covered for night use, then I can see how coverage would be denied, but if it's insured as a boat, night use is not excluded, and the lights are installed and used in a manner that meets legal requirements, I can't imagine how coverage could be denied. Definitely want to read your iunsurance policy...
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
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In this case, to save you time, unless you are in need of getting to sleep quick , go right you the exclusions section on the policy. Something like this would need to be specifically excluded from your policy. It is a safe bet that it is not, but I would not be surprised either
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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Default Thanks RG

I stand corrected on this one. Now it has me thinking about the type of lights. A pole mounted 360 degree light might be a pain. How about a head mounted light on the peak of my head? Think that would fly if its bright enough?
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:30 PM   #6
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Default All around white

It was suggested to me by cessnaair that a helmet with a white all around on top could be used!

would that be legal?
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIKSUKR View Post
I stand corrected on this one. Now it has me thinking about the type of lights. A pole mounted 360 degree light might be a pain. How about a head mounted light on the peak of my head? Think that would fly if its bright enough?
This would also be a great solution if you've ever been described as "not the brightest light" !!
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:00 PM   #8
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Default Good one McD

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude View Post
This would also be a great solution if you've ever been described as "not the brightest light" !!
I have but that was a candle telling me that,but I digress.

Never saw the McDude funny bone before.Keep em coming.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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Default Next Question

Next question... isn't there a sticker that we should get that indicates the PWC is a three seater? How does one get that, and what proof is required that the machine is a three seater?

Stickers are no longer issued for PWCs in the state of NH. You are required to display the registration number and validation decal.
Though capacity plates are not required for PWCs or sailboats, most newer PWC's have a round capacity decal near the operators position.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:49 PM   #10
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Full wave marine makes an led navigation light kit but the rear mast light is too short to be legal according to the MP response.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:38 AM   #11
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I had been under the impression that PWC's were illegal at night and that's why they did not come with lights. Thanks for having the record set straight!

There are a variety of nav-lights that plug into sockets. You may need to modify them or make extensions to get them high enough to be seen at the legal distances, as suggested above.

For those who are thinking of wring their kayaks, I did this to a canoe I had. There are small dry-cell batteries (about the size of a brick) available. You can get them on-line from retailers like Cabella's or at a local battery store. This is the same thing used as a backup for burglar alarms.

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:14 AM   #12
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A "Ski Craft", defined as a motorized vessel that is less than 13 ft and is capable of exceeding 20 MPH and has the capacity to carry no more than 2 persons can only be operated between sunrise and sunset.

A 2 person PWC is a "Ski Craft".
A 3 person PWC is an inboard motor vessel.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:05 PM   #13
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Thumbs down Not a wise option.

Iíve been boating on Winni for better then 15 years and have graduated up from a 17ft runabout to a 25 Baja and 26.5 Chaparral. I can tell you that boating at night under good conditions can be risky. Taking a low profile craft like a jetski, 3 person or not, out on the lake at night would be pushing ones luck.
You have a wide variety of boats out at night and the bigger ones throw up huge wakes which during the day can be seen and you can set yourself up for it. But at night you are running blind. Iíve run all over this lake at night and hit some waves in my boat that left me wondering where the hell it came from. You hit that on a small boat and get tossed out and, well a lot can happen and not all good.
You could be planning on just a short ride staying close to the shore but if you planed on going across any large area IMHO your not taking safety seriously.
I believe there is a reason the boating industry elected not to install running lights on this type of water craft.
Good luck if you choose to take this route, I hope we don't read about a tragic outcome in the papers.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:55 PM   #14
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Default Ice Cream

Our purpose in having running lights would be for twilight rides back from ice cream runs. Later in the summer when the sun sets earlier we often barely make it back before we could get ticketed.

I don't think a couple of older riders are nutty enough to go joy riding after dark.

Just need a precaution in case we get caught with the sun down.

So here is a question.... One day one of our machines died in the broads near sunset. One of towed the other back to shore, arriving after sunset...but still light.

Had we stayed our there waiting for help, could we have been ticketed for being out there after sunset?

For all these reasons.... I want running lights.

IG
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:14 PM   #15
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I think the rules say running lights must be used 1/2 hour AFTER sunset. NB
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:45 PM   #16
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Default The Rules

For navigation lights.... At sunset and sunrise
http://boat-ed.com/nh/handbook/lights.htm

For speed limit... Half hour before sunrise, half hour after sunset.

IG
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:04 AM   #17
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I share Belmont Residents concerns 100%.

Island Girl -- I see, and commend your point as well ... and respect the fact that ---"I don't think a couple of older riders are nutty enough to go joy riding after dark."

My fear would be that running lights on PWC's become the new "Thing" on our Lake !!

Once that happens you all know as well as I that we will see more and more of these low profiled / erratict (direction) operating PWC's across the Lake as a whole -- including in the middle of the Broads. Unfortunately not all are "older & Wiser" as you state Island Girl

Please do not get me wrong -- I am a former owner of a 3 person PWC & loved the machine!!

But with regard to night riding (and I understand you are referring to dusk or shortly after - thus exempt from this rant of mine) I cannot tell you the number of times that I have been SPOOKED--- and then downright shake my head in amazement shocked -- to find a Kyak or canoe with "simple" battery operated Nav's literally POP Up in the middle of nowhere (yes, the Broads among other spots) and as I said in the other thread there is the inevitable Rogue wave that gets you ... and they are NOT uncommon, as Belmont Resident can probably attest to.

Sorry for My rant All .....
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