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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    lexington
    Posts
    435

    Question head lights for a boat

    I need your guys opinion on what type of light to buy for my boat. I have seen several types. The suction cup single light, the lights that hang from the sides of the boat, the remote control lights. I have a 20 foot bass boat and my trolling motor is mounted right on the nose of the boat so I am guessing the suction cup type would be out of the question. Any ideas??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Avon, IN Maysville,Ky Columbia, Ky
    Posts
    221

    Re: head lights for a boat

    I assume your talking about docking lights...since headlights are not legal. So I would opt for a portable 12 volt Plug in or maybe a rechagable hand held spotlight that would fit in the glove box or under the dash.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Shepherdsville,Ky
    Posts
    112

    Re: head lights for a boat

    I didn't know it was illegal to have headlight's on a boat, I saw a few cuddy cabin's on Cumberland this weekend that had light's on the bow that were built in. I was thinking about putting some on my fishing boat so I could see any debris while night fishing when there is no moon light.
    It seem's to me it would be safer than running with no light's
    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    richmond, kentucky
    Posts
    636

    Re: head lights for a boat

    we have a single light mounted to the side of the trolling motor bracket.... i picked it up at pittsburg marine....we got it wired back to a toggle switch in the dash..... i like it, it comes in handy especially on dark nights and for locating marker bouys. i just flick it on for a second then turn it right back off...... i see people do it all the time coming thru around the trooper island on dale hollow casue for some reason they thought it was a good ideal to put 3 useless red bouys with a strip of reflective tape on it.....and i also used to use a spot light but if the dew is falling or there is a fog or its raining..... the spot light is useless.... the light on our boat is low candle power so it can get thru some of the clutter in the air.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Avon, IN Maysville,Ky Columbia, Ky
    Posts
    221

    Re: head lights for a boat

    See Section 2 Paragraph 4.
    http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/kar/301/006/020.htm

    This discussion has been on the board before. Their are a couple of issues.
    1) Blinding an oncoming boater 2) confusion with the approved red and green on the bow and your white light on the stern.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    richmond, kentucky
    Posts
    636

    Re: head lights for a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by billm_usa1 View Post
    See Section 2 Paragraph 4.
    http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/kar/301/006/020.htm

    This discussion has been on the board before. Their are a couple of issues.
    1) Blinding an oncoming boater 2) confusion with the approved red and green on the bow and your white light on the stern.
    actually this is true but the way most of these laws are they are straight to the point and leave alot of room for speculation cause it says nothing about blinding an oncoming boater.... but whats the difference in turning on your bow spot light for a second that is just as bright as a cars headlight and a big ole hand held spotlight....... it does say u can have a white forward facing light and a rear facing light.... but in a situation of night fishing and turning on your light for a second to scan down the lake for your own safety to see if there is floating debris or a bouy i dont see the harm..... and the way ours is mounted i got it to where it is aimed about 30 feet out infront of the boat so i get a nice reflection too...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Louisville, Ky
    Posts
    1,305

    Re: head lights for a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by ryan_ekubass View Post
    actually this is true but the way most of these laws are they are straight to the point and leave alot of room for speculation cause it says nothing about blinding an oncoming boater.... but whats the difference in turning on your bow spot light for a second that is just as bright as a cars headlight and a big ole hand held spotlight....... it does say u can have a white forward facing light and a rear facing light.... but in a situation of night fishing and turning on your light for a second to scan down the lake for your own safety to see if there is floating debris or a bouy i dont see the harm..... and the way ours is mounted i got it to where it is aimed about 30 feet out infront of the boat so i get a nice reflection too...
    This is my feeling too (being just like headlights on a car), but if you have dock lights on and approach water patrol, they will pull you over or at least tell you to turn them off. The lights are for docking. I do use mine sometimes but turn them off if approaching another boat.
    As for what to get, it depends on what you need or what fits you best. Some mount them permanently under the bow. This works great because they are out of the way and eliminate glare. You can also get a spot that mounts on top and uses a wireless remote for direction. Then there are ones you can put on and take off easily. It isn't illegal to have them, it's just illegal to use them.. LOL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,926

    Re: head lights for a boat

    I'm sorry guys, but the argument about the confusion of the red and green lights is invalid.....if a boat is coming at you with headlights, it's pretty obvious that IT IS COMING AT YOU! You don't need to see the red and green lights to figure that one out!

    I say use your lights if they make you feel comfortable. I've been using them for years, and not once have I ever been pulled over...and I run KY and Barkley frequently, all 12 months out of the year.

    As for posted link above, it does not address the lights issue at all....just the red, green, and anchor light. There is no mention of docking lights whatsoever.

    I guess we shouldn't use headlights on a car, cause you know, you might blind someone...geez, give me a break!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    lexington
    Posts
    435

    Re: head lights for a boat

    I did not mean to stir the hornets nest. I did not want to buy a spot light because that takes one hand off the wheel and when you are on Herrington at night with the floating gauntlet around every turn you need both hands on the wheel to be safe. Every boat I see fishing night tournaments has some sort of light mounted on the front of the boat or two individual lights hanging off the side. I was just wondering what was a good light to have.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    8

    Re: head lights for a boat

    I grew up fishing on Herrington and have fished more night tourneys out of Gwinn Ilsland than any other place in Ky. You say you have a 20" boat which means you more than likely have a hot foot. This makes it easy to use a hand held spotlight. Drive with one hand throttle with your foot and light in the other hand. This is all I have ever run. The big thing for me is that with the hand held light I can shine it toward the bank as I'm running to keep a safe distance away. Two, if you've ever run down the lake and shined the light down at the water it will blind you worse than on coming brights. The hand held allows me to hold it just the way I want it across the water. You can also use it to find the particular part of the bank you want to fish. Plus, it requires no drilling or adjusting on your boat.

    Holtzclaw

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,926

    Re: head lights for a boat

    Quote Originally Posted by sglass View Post
    I did not mean to stir the hornets nest. I did not want to buy a spot light because that takes one hand off the wheel and when you are on Herrington at night with the floating gauntlet around every turn you need both hands on the wheel to be safe. Every boat I see fishing night tournaments has some sort of light mounted on the front of the boat or two individual lights hanging off the side. I was just wondering what was a good light to have.
    The best one I've seen was a light that clamps onto your trolling motor bracket, so it's easily removed when you don't plan on night fishing. It has the red/black plug, similar to your trailer lights plug, for quick connect and disconnect. The guy had the plug there at the bow, right with his depth finder power chord - he even added a switch to his dash for it so he can turn it on and off as needed. Really, something like this wouldn't be too hard to fix up yourself, which is probably what that guy did, because I haven't seen one anywhere else...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    282

    Re: head lights for a boat

    I'm sorry guys, but the argument about the confusion of the red and green lights is invalid...
    Ummmmm....... I'm sorry but IF you can't see either the red or green light how do you know who has the "right of way" and who is to yield?????

    The lights are there (and color coded for a reason and it's NOT Just so you can tell a boat is coming "at you")


    I have on our pontoon "docking lights" , side lights (both very handy in boating fish at night while tied off or anchored) as well as hand held spotlight,(1,000,000 candle power) we fish Laurel often late at night, so they get a bit of use (marking navigation bouys etc.) but IMO are not needed to "run the lake" at all , the glare is terrible(at best) and also IMO blinding other boats IS dangerous, rude and unnecessary, it takes time to get one's "night vision" back and it's not only illegal but bad manners (IMHO) to turn on "docking lights" or headlights facing another boat (especially one underway)

    What I often see when this happens is someone driving WAY too fast (again IMO) for the conditions and not being at all concerned with other boats or their safety so long as the "captian" of the fast moving boat can see where THEY are going

    Like Ryan, I turn them on/off in a second (or few at least ) and try very hard to never blind another boat, the life you save (as they say) may be your own!

    Not to "argue", but the taking away from the nav lights IS very valid, and the Water Patrol will let you know (at least on Laurel from what I've been told/seen)

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