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Author Topic:   MONTAUK 17 Navigation Lighting
lmillan posted 01-18-2013 06:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for lmillan   Send Email to lmillan  
Hi all. I have been restoring my 1978 Montauk for several years now. I have it finally up and running, and it is on its second winter season here in Florida. I am very happy with the way it has turned out, although there are still many modifications and additions in my plans to do on it. One of them is the addition of running lights. I have opted to go with separate port and starboard sidelighs and a sternlight--not sure where I can mount it. All I can think is to mount it right on the outboard maybe and run wires through the cover, or right over my head on the T-top. Or maybe, place two--not sure if that is legal--on either side of the outboard on the transom. I hate to have extra wires running thru the wet tunne. Any ideas?

Cheers and Alohaz,

jimh posted 01-18-2013 07:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I believe that according to the Navigation Rules, if strictly read, a boat using individual sidelights must have the white all-round light on vessel centerline. On a small boat with a narrow beam, I don't imagine there is too much risk in being off-center by a foot or two.

For guidance, see

jimh posted 01-18-2013 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Also, strictly speaking, the white all-round light must be 1-meter higher than the sidelights, and be high enough to be visible all-around. I know many fishermen put a white lamp on their outboard motor cowling, but I don't think that complies with the rules.
Buckda posted 01-19-2013 04:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
If you actually plan to run the boat at night or early in the morning--in complete darkness--then you want the white all-round light up high, on the T-Top would be good. On the outboard cowling looks, uh, suspect, and it is illegal (unless your outboard cowling is taller than YOU are when standing at the helm). And to make matters worse, when you do what a prudent captain does, and check all around you from time to time, you will be blinded and lose your night vision due to the white light in your eyes.

I recommend buying or refurbishing the bow light with chock that came with the boat as OEM equipment and running the wires up under the rub rail from the stern. That light, combined with your white all-round light on the T-Top should provide you with a setup that covers the legal requirements and also gives you good functionality.

Believe me, navigating at night is MUCH more enjoyable and safe if you have the lights set up correctly.


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