Challenges of Navigating at Night
Night navigation presents additional challenges. You should always operate at a slower speed at night and be on sharp lookout for the lights of other boats. The lights displayed by other boats will help you determine whether they are operating under power or sail, and their direction of travel. Once you've determined this, you apply the same navigation rules used in the daytime. However, never assume that the lights of other boats are working properly. Allow plenty of time and distance to give way if needed, even if the lights indicate you are the stand-on vessel.
Take these additional precautions when operating at night.
- Make sure your navigation lights are working correctly, and carry extra bulbs.
- Use an all-round white light whenever the vessel is at anchor.
- Reduce speed and proceed with caution. Never be in a hurry.
- Be especially alert for everything in front of you. Avoid traveling alone at night; extra eyes can help you navigate.
- Stop if visibility is severely restricted, and use your sound signals to alert others in the area.