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Old 07-06-2006, 05:57 PM
dwest dwest is offline
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Default Show me I'm wrong about DMV requirements!!

The California Department of Boating safety course site indicates that “unpowered” vessels – meaning boats propelled by sail or paddle [which I interpret to also apply to pedal drive craft] - under 23 feet long “should if practical” show the red-green bow and white at stern light combo – or a mast-top three-way red-green-white combo light. “If not practical” such craft should have a white light: to shine onto a sail or into the air.

http://www.boat-ed.com/ca/course/p4-9_navlights.htm

Me, I am working on making the full set “practical.” I do not want to have to stop everything to fumble out, turn on, and shine a light onto my sail when I hear or see (maybe too late) another boat approaching. Please note much of my kayaking will be in the winding 1,000 miles of the San JoaquinSacramento delta where boats at speed can be on you with little or no advance notice in a heartbeat.

Annoyingly, the same site seems to indicate I have to carry a DMV certificate of registration and put DMV registration stickers and hull numbers at least three inches (3”) high on my kayak - unless the kayak is manually propelled only, or 8 feet long or less and propelled solely by sail, neither of which categories fits the sail-rigged 16-foot-long Hobie Adventure.

http://www.boat-ed.com/ca/course/p4-1_boatnumbers.htm#HullIDNumber

Please, someone show me I’m wrong! I have never seen a kayak with this stuff on it and really do not want to go to the expense or to ugly-up my boat.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:31 PM
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PerryC PerryC is offline
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Default Re: Show me I'm wrong about DMV requirements!!

Looking at the pages you sent, it says

Power-Driven Vessels Less Than 20 Meters Long When UnderwayFigure 1: Navigation lights on power-driven vessels less than 20 meters

If less than 20 meters (65.6 ft.) long, these vessels must exhibit the lights as shown in Figure 1. Remember, power-driven vessels include sailboats operating under power. The required lights are:

* Red and green sidelights visible from a distance of at least two miles, or if less than 12 meters (39.4 ft.) long, at least one mile, on a dark clear night.
* An all-round white light or both a masthead light and a sternlight. These lights must be visible from a distance of at least two miles on a dark clear night. The all-round white light (or the masthead light) must be at least one meter (3.3 ft.) higher than the sidelights.

Unpowered Vessels When Underway

Unpowered vessels are sailing vessels or those that are paddled, poled or rowed.

* If less than 20 meters (65.6 ft.) long, these vessels must exhibit the lights as shown in Figure 2:
o Red and green sidelights visible from a distance of at least two miles, or if less than 12 meters (39.4 ft.) long, at least one mile, on a dark clear night.
o A sternlight visible from a distance of at least two miles.
* If less than 7 meters (23.0 ft.) long, these vessels should:
o If practical, exhibit the same lights as required for unpowered vessels less than 20 meters (65.6 ft.) in length.
o If not practical, have on hand at least one lantern or flashlight shining a white light as shown in Figure 3.


I think the point is the term "if practical" leads to some confusion. Does practical mean you make side lights, or buy side lights for your kayak if they are available? I dunno. Even if you got ahold of somebody to ask, I doubt if it would be the person who wrote it, or could tell you exactly what "if practical" means. I believe though, that term may be the crux of the questions.

I have paddled while hoop netting at night for years with just a flashlight in the beginning, and now I have a running light mounted in the stern and a high output flashlight with me. I have been checked many times by the Harbor Patrol, and never has anyone said anything was wrong with my kayaks lighting. The question about night lighting has come up here before, usually before hooping season. While several of those who then replied said a flashlight met the minimum requirements, sometimes meeting the minimum requirements just plain isn't the safest thing to do IMHO.

From doing my share of kayaking at night, I like more lights than the minimum. It's like requiring a paddler to have a whistle. While that's fine and dandy, how many boaters in reality are going to hear a whistle 100 feet away over their motors and music they may be listening to while driving. Now a small air horn on the other hand, can blast loud enough to get their attention usually. Of course, I still carry a whistle to meet the reqs.

As far as putting reg numbers on your kayak, the only time I believe you are required to get numbers and register your kayak is when you hang a motor on it, then it is considered a motorized vessel.

Hope this helps,
PerryC.
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Old 07-15-2006, 05:46 PM
wajdi wajdi is offline
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Default Re: Show me I'm wrong about DMV requirements!!

I don't know if this will help, but here in Alabama, we go with Coast Guard regulations. All they require is a single white light, visible at 2 miles distance, in 360 degrees. Basically, what I do is mount one of those little LED lanterns in a PVC base, on a five foot tall stick of one inch PVC, and mount that in a spare rod-holder on my milk crate. I've even been COMPLIMENTED by the local Marine Police on this set up.

wajdi (Mobile, Alabama)
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