13 Dec: Stern Nav Light

I installed a switch in the cockpit to allow the Stern Navigation Light to be switched off when using the side nav lights in combination with the all-round masthead light when motoring. In total my nav lights (which are all LED) consist of: a NASA “SuperNova” at the mast head providing either a tricolour or an all round white; red and green sidelights mounted on the cabin sides; a white stern light aft of the mizzen mast; a white “steaming light” on a short pole which can be slotted into a holder on the cabin top. With the new switch I now have the following combinations:

  • (under sail) masthead tricolour, or side lights plus stern light;
  • (under motor, mast up) masthead all-round white (boat <12m) plus side lights;
  • (under motor, mast down) side lights, cabin roof steaming light, stern light;
  • (anchored) masthead all-round white.

Before installing the switch, when motoring using the masthead white light and side lights, I was also showing a second stern light. The alternative – side lights and stern light would imply I was under sail. With the mast up the cabin top “steaming light” would be hidden behind the mast. Now I can show the correct lights – whether anyone can see them against the lights of Southampton is another matter!