Common Navigation Lights
Navigation lights help you and other boaters determine which is the give-way vessel when encountering each other at night. Here are common navigation lights.
- Sidelights: These red and green lights are called sidelights (also called combination lights) because they are visible to another boat approaching from the side or head-on. The red light indicates a boat’s port (left) side; the green indicates a boat’s starboard (right) side. A boat less than 20 metres (65.6 feet) in length may combine the sidelights in one lantern that should be carried toward the stern at the centreline of the boat.
- Sternlight: This white light is seen only from behind or nearly behind the vessel.
- Masthead Light: This white light shines forward and to both sides and is required on all power-driven vessels. (On power-driven vessels less than 12 metres (39.4 feet) in length, the masthead light and sternlight may be combined into an all-round white light; power-driven vessels 12 metres in length or longer must have a separate masthead light.) A masthead light must be displayed by all vessels when underway. The absence of this light indicates a sailing vessel because sailboats under sail display only sidelights and a sternlight.
- All-Round White Light: This single white light that can be seen by other vessels from any direction. This light serves as an anchor light when sidelights are extinguished.