The Handbook of Mississippi Boating Laws and Responsibilites
The Official Boating Handbook of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
Table of Contents
The required navigation lights must be displayed between sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility.
Power-driven Vessels When Underway
If less than 65.6 feet long, these vessels must exhibit the lights as shown below. Remember, power-driven vessels include sailboats operating under engine power. The required lights are:
- Red and green sidelights visible from a distance of at least two miles away—or if less than 39.4 feet long, at least one mile away—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 away on a dark, clear night. The all-round white light (or the masthead light) must be at least 3.3 feet higher than the sidelights.
- The masthead light and sternlight may be combined as an all-round white light on vessels less than 39.4 feet long.
Unpowered Vessels When Underway
Unpowered vessels are sailboats or vessels that are paddled, poled, or rowed.
If less than 65.6 feet long, these vessels must exhibit the lights as shown below. The required lights are:
- Red and green sidelights visible from at least two miles away—or if less than 39.4 feet long, at least one mile away.
- A sternlight visible from at least two miles away.
- An alternative to the sidelights and sternlight is a combination red, green, and white light, which must be exhibited near the top of the mast.
If less than 23.0 feet long, these vessels should:
- If practical, exhibit the same lights as required for unpowered vessels less than 65.6 feet in length.
- If not practical, have on hand at least one lantern or flashlight shining a white light as below.
- Vessel operators should never leave shore without a flashlight. Even if you plan to return before dark, unforeseen developments might delay your return past nightfall.
All Vessels When not Underway
All vessels are required to display a white light visible in all directions whenever they are moored or anchored outside a designated mooring area between sunset and sunrise.