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Night navigation lights (Read 9358 times)
04/29/12 at 09:22:52

Los Humungos   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Sometimes wears a Wally
Werderich costume

Posts: 1365
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If your navigation lights are not illuminated (broken or otherwise) while you are paddling on the river at night, what are the official safety rules of the MR 340?

Hut,
Wally
 

Sometimes when you are man, you wear stretchy pants...its for fun... -Nacho   
You do not get guns like these from riding a bike. -Matt Strieb
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Reply #1 - 04/30/12 at 08:23:38

Scott Mansker   Offline
Race Staff
12X MR340 Safety Boat Pilot

Posts: 8007
************
 
If one nav light breaks, you should hopefully be able to rig something up with a spare flashlight or headlight.  Unlikely that all 3 lights would go out at once.  But if a boat went completely dark and couldn't get the 3 lights restored, they would have to layover until sunrise or have their ground crew find them and fix the problem.
 
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Reply #2 - 04/30/12 at 12:14:10

Los Humungos   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Sometimes wears a Wally
Werderich costume

Posts: 1365
**
 
Thank you.  It was a topic of conversation this weekend amongst my family that I did not know the answer to.
Hut,
Wally
 

Sometimes when you are man, you wear stretchy pants...its for fun... -Nacho   
You do not get guns like these from riding a bike. -Matt Strieb
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Reply #3 - 04/30/12 at 13:30:53

Scott Mansker   Offline
Race Staff
12X MR340 Safety Boat Pilot

Posts: 8007
************
 
Just to clarify, because it's been asked before, if a team were to switch off their nav lights to avoid detection, they would be disqualified.  The only reason a boat should be moving in the dark without lights is to get to shore and fix the problem.  It is doubtful that there would ever be a scenario where a boat would not have a single working light aboard... flashlight, headlight, etc, with which they could improvise some sort of fore and aft lighting.  A completely dark boat running stealth is both poor sportsmanship and dangerous.

Good question, Wally.  Thanks for bringing it up.
 
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Reply #4 - 05/01/12 at 07:23:37

Vicki   Offline
10X MR340 Safety Boat Pilot
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 113
**********
 
As a safety boat, we've seen lights fail each year.  The best and quickest fix I've seen is to have light sticks which are easily affixed to your boat to keep the vessel visible until a proper fix can be made.
I also recall a McGyvered headlamp-ducttape rig on a stern light.  It got the team through the night with no problem.
 
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Reply #5 - 05/01/12 at 08:41:52

Scott Mansker   Offline
Race Staff
12X MR340 Safety Boat Pilot

Posts: 8007
************
 
Light sticks are a great idea.  Not as a primary but as a backup as Vicki describes. 

LED lights, as sold by KC Paddler, are almost bullet proof.  They last 100 hours.  They are very bright.   Water doesn't seem to hurt them.  They come conveniently in red, green and white.

Scott

 
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Reply #6 - 05/01/12 at 11:14:42

Seko   Offline
6X MR340 Veteran

Posts: 84
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Road ID also makes a great red/green LED...  I used them in the race last year without having to change the batteries. Smiley
 
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Reply #7 - 05/01/12 at 16:21:25

Hellbender   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Kawnivore Veteran
Gritty Fitty Veteran
Race Volunteer
paddl-in dave

Posts: 259
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When I first read this I thought  i was busted for that 45 minutes my bow light was out coming into hermann a couple years ago lol.  (BTW I had a head lamp and a glow stick on)

Which is the lesser sin? running w/o a bow light or the two AA batteries the other racer ie I mean kind passer by provided and installed for me on water so we didn't have to go all the way over to shore to re up the lites.   I mean theoretically  cause I would hate to admit to a foul.   You might want my finish medal back...But then again maybe that falls under racers obliged to render assistance I mean if someone had helped me.
 

Hellbenders have flat bodies and heads, with beady dorsal eyes and slimy skin
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Reply #8 - 05/01/12 at 21:34:57

Scott Mansker   Offline
Race Staff
12X MR340 Safety Boat Pilot

Posts: 8007
************
 
Dave,

I like the question.  If it's a matter of safety, like fixing a light or changing a battery, no worries.  In fact, I've watched boaters turn on each other's lights on the water at night.  Perfectly fine and practical.  The spirit of the rule is to not create scenarios where racers have worker drones around them for the sole purpose of providing aid and draft. 

What you describe, fixing a broken light for safety sake, is ok and encouraged.

Thanks for wearing the headlamp and glow stick.  It's hard to imagine any good reason for a boat having zero lighting.  Improvise something or pull over.

Scott
 
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Reply #9 - 05/02/12 at 16:02:26

Vicki   Offline
10X MR340 Safety Boat Pilot
Ground Crew Veteran

Posts: 113
**********
 
the way that racers watch out for each other is one of the reasons I bring up the rear at an often mind-numbing idle.
I can't imagine a DQ for a kindness!
Be prepared!  Glow sticks and a headlamp don't cost much in either the weight or wallet department!
 
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Reply #10 - 05/03/12 at 19:00:38

River Runner   Offline
Future Participant

Posts: 1
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Don't get the ones from Texas. Those lights always seem to go out.
 
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Reply #11 - 05/03/12 at 22:49:49

agottman   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Springfield, MO

Posts: 337
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It's foolish to spend a lot of money on nav lights.  Cheap walmart LED camping lights ($10 per light) will last the entire race and they're bright.

It's amazing what you can do with heavy duty Velcro.  Use industrial Velcro to securely fasten your lights to your boat.

I did this in the October race and both the lights and Velcro lasted thru torrential rain storms.  Never had to change the batteries the entire time.

Total cost of lights and Velcro less than $25.
 
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Reply #12 - 05/04/12 at 13:00:49

Scott Mansker   Offline
Race Staff
12X MR340 Safety Boat Pilot

Posts: 8007
************
 
Speaking of receiving support while on the water, the following would be considered illegal.

http://youtu.be/moR4Gd5Qs5Y

No injuries at last report.
 
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Reply #13 - 07/14/12 at 23:00:37

Tango Whiskey   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Gladstone, MO

Posts: 50
**
 
I am using an actual led Bow Light, but is a white glow stick adequate for a stern light?
 

"To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing." -- Robert Gates
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Reply #14 - 07/15/12 at 16:47:16

Scott Mansker   Offline
Race Staff
12X MR340 Safety Boat Pilot

Posts: 8007
************
 
Adequate.  But remember that the purpose of a stern light is so that a powerboat flying downstream in the dark can discern your presence and differentiate it from reflected starlight/moonlight on the water.  A glow stick "glows".  Which is sort of an underwhelming verb.

Maybe 3 glow sticks is a better solution.  But a sweet little LED will almost blind the people behind you and can be taped off with duct tape so that it only shines 180 degrees behind you.  Always a good idea because otherwise it will light up your paddle and hurt your night vision.

Short answer, glow sticks "ok" use more than one.  Better to have an led light, taped off for 180 degree effectiveness for behind you and to your left and right.
 
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