NPS making me very uncomfortable

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#21
Our local paper has a warning a couple of weeks ago they are cracking down on boaters using headlights at night. A lot of people think the headlights on many boats today are legal at night - they are not since they block a person in other boats on the lake from seeing the red/green navigation lights. The paper also said they were looking for boats with illegal or totally without the 350 degree white light in the stern of the boat. In our case this is due to a number of nighttime boating accidents with fatalities this summer on Havasu, but would not surprise me if this is the case for more than Arizona.
That's what I was told , The funny thing is ,Is that new boats are coming with illegal head lights and stern lights. Boaters beware.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
#22
Thanks Squirrel , I certainly am one of those. My last encounter was 4th of July night. My Daughter ,granddaughter, son in lay and I were driving out to watch the fire works next thing I new I was getting stopped , I asked why he was stopping me he really didn't know at first then he saw that I had lights across the back of the back seat , I guess any other lights are illegal after looking thru all my stuff he found that to be an $150 DOLLAR FINE. I wonder some times if they get a commission .
That is insane.
 

Lance Cue

Well-Known Member
#23
Our local paper has a warning a couple of weeks ago they are cracking down on boaters using headlights at night. A lot of people think the headlights on many boats today are legal at night - they are not since they block a person in other boats on the lake from seeing the red/green navigation lights. The paper also said they were looking for boats with illegal or totally without the 350 degree white light in the stern of the boat. In our case this is due to a number of nighttime boating accidents with fatalities this summer on Havasu, but would not surprise me if this is the case for more than Arizona.
On our last trip I watched a boat do a nice slow cruise across hall creek bay with lights on the wakeboard tower, came in from the main channel and was headed to their camp. Looked to be as safe as they could be at 10-11 at night when i saw another boat coming in from the channel, approached the boat and on came blue lights. They sat in the bay for at least a half hour then went separate ways. I can only assume it was because of the lights.
On another occasion, my buddy and i were testing some stuff in the dark on our duck boat at highline lake in gj when we were called to the ramp over their loud speaker and got a talkin to about our lights on the bow. They claimed that the white 360 light is on the back so when we had our light bar and dual fog lights on people would mistake that for the back of our boat and they might drive head on into us! Being a rational person that i sometimes am, i couldnt imagine anyone driving straight into what looks like freight train lights. We just said ok and went on our way. Nobody messes with us on the river at 4am when we actually use these lights though.
 

capt.catfish

Well-Known Member
#24
I recall a conversation I had with a commercial fisherman that was seated next to me on a flight from Kodiak to Anchorage. Somehow the topic of vessel lighting came up. Being a government vessel, with a rather anal retentive XO, we always adhered rigidly to the law; only our navigation lights were visible at night, otherwise we were dark ship with portholes covered and all other lighting secured. The fishing vessels in Alaska have huge halogen light towers on them that they used to locate fishing gear and see while working on deck at night; those lights are completely illegal, but that didn't stop them from running around with them on all the time. On the inside passage you can see the loom of their lights several minutes before they come over the horizon like a miniature sunrise. I'm not sure how we got to discussing it, but when he found out that we didn't even have a light tower he was flabbergasted and wanted to know how we could see to navigate at night... I just shrugged and never told him that his light tower was illegal. To my knowledge the USCG has never enforced this law...if they ever start, they can begin with the cruise ships that are lit up like a small city.
 

scubatim

Well-Known Member
#25
Our local paper has a warning a couple of weeks ago they are cracking down on boaters using headlights at night. A lot of people think the headlights on many boats today are legal at night - they are not since they block a person in other boats on the lake from seeing the red/green navigation lights. The paper also said they were looking for boats with illegal or totally without the 350 degree white light in the stern of the boat. In our case this is due to a number of nighttime boating accidents with fatalities this summer on Havasu, but would not surprise me if this is the case for more than Arizona.
Interesting??? We have a "Gobee" rotating spot (1M candle I think) w/remote rotates 240 degrees or so plus vertical, has the red/green built in. It is great for nite cruising back to HB; saved us many potential bad episodes !!! They cost about $200 or so and I would recommend to every one!! Let them pry it from my cold dead hand!!
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
#28
I am a bit surprised at some of the lights comments.

When we were at the San Juan in August, we were surfing at the very end of legal hours. I saw a Ranger in the main channel with his blue/red lights on quite a ways off, and we turned and surfed up the SJ. We got a couple of bends up before I called it off due to darkness.

We then floated just around a corner with my nav lights on plus my underwater lights and interior lights. Pretty soon, we could hear someone coming, ever so slowly. It was a boat without lights. Once he saw us, he slowed down even further, and waited a bit. It was NPS. I am pretty sure that he was trying to catch us night surfing. He finally turned his nav lights on, and continued up stream past us.

Is it legal to have the interior lights and underwater lights on if I am just floating? Either way, he left us alone.
 

capt.catfish

Well-Known Member
#29
Tx - any citations/rules/regs that spell it out??
The Rules of the Road, or Navigation Rules, both International and Inland, Rule 20 (b) states:

The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights as cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.
In other words, you can't have lights on that prevent other vessels from seeing your navigation lights or prevent you from seeing (e.g. bright lights that detract from your night vision).
 

Gem Morris

Well-Known Member
#30
One additional thought to what Goblin said about how the navigation lights are to be used when 2 boats are approaching each other:

From my pilots seat I can just see the edge of my navigation light on my bow - I can only see the green side which is on the right (same as the steering wheel) so it's very easy to remember which side is green and which side is red.

When I'm approaching a boat I think in my mind, is he approaching my red side or my green side?

Technically, if he is approaching my red side, it means HE has to STOP because he can see my red light, or yield to me.

But I never rely on that and assume he will not follow the rules as rarely anyone does.
 

capt.catfish

Well-Known Member
#31
Is it legal to have the interior lights and underwater lights on if I am just floating? Either way, he left us alone.
Technically, if you're hove to, you are still underway and should be exhibiting proper navigation lights, but if you were anchored you wouldn't have to worry about it (the rules even specifically permit deck-lights on vessels at anchor). If those enforcing the rules are being reasonable, issuing a citation to a vessel out of the way of traffic loading skiers and gear wouldn't really be in the spirit of the law; at least I wouldn't think it was. Also, his operating without navigation lights is a violation of the Rules of the Road; there's no exception for being a sneaky LEO.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
#32
Coming back from a long day on the lake repairing houseboats for aramark around mm 8 about 9:30, pitch dark playing the connect the dot game with nav lights on and dash/interior lights off ( i could always see better) and nps passed me about 75' away on my port side with their boat blacked out, scared the crap out of me. They either were running gps/radar or they were a ship of fools. Never found out if they even knew I was there.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#33
Technically, if you're hove to, you are still underway and should be exhibiting proper navigation lights, but if you were anchored you wouldn't have to worry about it (the rules even specifically permit deck-lights on vessels at anchor). If those enforcing the rules are being reasonable, issuing a citation to a vessel out of the way of traffic loading skiers and gear wouldn't really be in the spirit of the law; at least I wouldn't think it was. Also, his operating without navigation lights is a violation of the Rules of the Road; there's no exception for being a sneaky LEO.

I can see why they are cracking down. Our Hurricane Deck Boat had the "headlight" and while they were fine to turn on if we were setting up camp at night we usually turned them off in favor of the hanging light as they can be blinding... and when we used to go down to the launch ramp on holiday weekends it never failed people would come into the ramp with them on and they are so bright at night on the water they literally blind everyone around them also trying to trailer boats - this usually ended up making the AZ State Park Rangers pretty unhappy and they were quick to tell them to turn the lights off or they were going to ticket them. Makes me think boat manufacturers were not all that smart putting them on boats in the first place with so many boaters who do not know the laws.
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
#34
Here is a story from Saturday 9/16/2017: I was just outside the Antelope eastern entrance in a puddle of 'go fast' boats all sitting around in a group waiting for everyone to notice that they:
a.) have a 'go fast' boat &
b.) look pretty cool &
c.) they are really beautiful boats

(On a side note: While, at times, sounding great, they are ALL in violation of every loudness law in existence at Lake Powell anytime the engine is running and maybe even when it isn't.):eek:

I was a few hundred feet away lashing a 27' Sea Ray to a houseboat because I usually drive them both together into the marina and gas up or even put them into a slip together that way. Usually just me and my wife so it works out easier that way. Quick tip....just remember which side you put the littler boat on.

Anyway just as I was untying the tow line another boat decided to show us all how they could zoom away. This was not one of the 'go fasters' but rather a group of young folks in what looked like a wake boat. I pushed the Sea Ray away and as the wake hit it was just an inconvenience as we all bounced up and down. About that time an NPS boat goes by me code 3 with lights and siren screaming. As I finished my lashing and meandered toward the marina entrance the two boats were still sitting there discussing the intricacies of maritime regulations.

I'm not sure if the Lake Powell Challenge contributed but here are a few observations from the last few days:
  • A very small number of people either know or even care what wakeless rules are.
  • The very small number that try to follow wakeless rules have no idea what being wakeless even means.
On a fun note, the 'go fast' boats put out surprisingly little wake when doing about 80 mph. While driving a houseboat towing a smaller boat, I had two, flying formation, overtake me and pass in the Narrows. The flight lead passed about 30-40 feet off of my starboard and the wingman passed off the port at about 30-40 feet. Since it was almost simultaneous the wakes hit at the same time and cancelled each other out. Didn't even spill my coffee but the engine sound has me still trying to pry the seat cushion out of my rear end.;)

Goblin
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#35
Here is a story from Saturday 9/16/2017: I was just outside the Antelope eastern entrance in a puddle of 'go fast' boats all sitting around in a group waiting for everyone to notice that they:
a.) have a 'go fast' boat &
b.) look pretty cool &
c.) they are really beautiful boats

(On a side note: While, at times, sounding great, they are ALL in violation of every loudness law in existence at Lake Powell anytime the engine is running and maybe even when it isn't.):eek:

I was a few hundred feet away lashing a 27' Sea Ray to a houseboat because I usually drive them both together into the marina and gas up or even put them into a slip together that way. Usually just me and my wife so it works out easier that way. Quick tip....just remember which side you put the littler boat on.

Anyway just as I was untying the tow line another boat decided to show us all how they could zoom away. This was not one of the 'go fasters' but rather a group of young folks in what looked like a wake boat. I pushed the Sea Ray away and as the wake hit it was just an inconvenience as we all bounced up and down. About that time an NPS boat goes by me code 3 with lights and siren screaming. As I finished my lashing and meandered toward the marina entrance the two boats were still sitting there discussing the intricacies of maritime regulations.

I'm not sure if the Lake Powell Challenge contributed but here are a few observations from the last few days:
  • A very small number of people either know or even care what wakeless rules are.
  • The very small number that try to follow wakeless rules have no idea what being wakeless even means.
On a fun note, the 'go fast' boats put out surprisingly little wake when doing about 80 mph. While driving a houseboat towing a smaller boat, I had two, flying formation, overtake me and pass in the Narrows. The flight lead passed about 30-40 feet off of my starboard and the wingman passed off the port at about 30-40 feet. Since it was almost simultaneous the wakes hit at the same time and cancelled each other out. Didn't even spill my coffee but the engine sound has me still trying to pry the seat cushion out of my rear end.;)

Goblin

~LOL~ I'm used to the sound here at Havasu, but it is a pain when you are starting up to back off the trailer and one starts up and you cannot even hear if your own engine is running.. and now, as a rule they don't put out a bad wake when they are at speed, but when one of the two engines fail it gets very nasty, very fast. We had a couple of deaths this summer due to a go-fast losing one of the engines and making a hard turn and chining in.....
 

shanewave

Well-Known Member
#36
Tim, I totally hear you. Totally.

Reminds me of the old saying "everybody is guilty of something." I got the treatment this summer from a boatload of newbies. Several were in-training, which is fine, I guess. But the overall vibe is never positive...
 

Lance Cue

Well-Known Member
#37
On a positive note, we were camped in halls bay when two rangers beached 100 yds from our camp. Then one walked the perimeter around camp. When I approached him I asked if he found any poops on the beach? He replied loudly with a smile, you guys are awsome! It caught me offguard that he was so nice. We talked a little bs and they split. It is nice to see they were checking.
 
#38
Here is a story from Saturday 9/16/2017: I was just outside the Antelope eastern entrance in a puddle of 'go fast' boats all sitting around in a group waiting for everyone to notice that they:
a.) have a 'go fast' boat &
b.) look pretty cool &
c.) they are really beautiful boats

(On a side note: While, at times, sounding great, they are ALL in violation of every loudness law in existence at Lake Powell anytime the engine is running and maybe even when it isn't.):eek:

I was a few hundred feet away lashing a 27' Sea Ray to a houseboat because I usually drive them both together into the marina and gas up or even put them into a slip together that way. Usually just me and my wife so it works out easier that way. Quick tip....just remember which side you put the littler boat on.

Anyway just as I was untying the tow line another boat decided to show us all how they could zoom away. This was not one of the 'go fasters' but rather a group of young folks in what looked like a wake boat. I pushed the Sea Ray away and as the wake hit it was just an inconvenience as we all bounced up and down. About that time an NPS boat goes by me code 3 with lights and siren screaming. As I finished my lashing and meandered toward the marina entrance the two boats were still sitting there discussing the intricacies of maritime regulations.

I'm not sure if the Lake Powell Challenge contributed but here are a few observations from the last few days:
  • A very small number of people either know or even care what wakeless rules are.
  • The very small number that try to follow wakeless rules have no idea what being wakeless even means.
On a fun note, the 'go fast' boats put out surprisingly little wake when doing about 80 mph. While driving a houseboat towing a smaller boat, I had two, flying formation, overtake me and pass in the Narrows. The flight lead passed about 30-40 feet off of my starboard and the wingman passed off the port at about 30-40 feet. Since it was almost simultaneous the wakes hit at the same time and cancelled each other out. Didn't even spill my coffee but the engine sound has me still trying to pry the seat cushion out of my rear end.;)

Goblin
They may be in violation of noise but the Powell Challenge does raise $200,000 to 300,000 for diabetes and 100% goes to that charity!
 
#39
~LOL~ I'm used to the sound here at Havasu, but it is a pain when you are starting up to back off the trailer and one starts up and you cannot even hear if your own engine is running.. and now, as a rule they don't put out a bad wake when they are at speed, but when one of the two engines fail it gets very nasty, very fast. We had a couple of deaths this summer due to a go-fast losing one of the engines and making a hard turn and chining in.....
Actually the problem is when they have one drive lock up on a twin not the engine. Last time there was an accident due to that problem on Havasu was 5 plus years ago outside site 6
 
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