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Transcript for Night Navigation

On-screen text: BOATING

Speaker 1: Why do we need to have navigation lighting?

Speaker 2: Well, I think one thing to remember is that, with navigational lights, it’s not for you to be able to see. It’s for other boaters to see you. And so, with that, they can tell what type of vessel they might be encountering. It’s going to let them know who’s the stand-on boat, who’s the give-way boat. It’s your traffic light at night.

Speaker 1: So what vessels are required to have a light?

Speaker 2: Well, all vessels are required to have light—some type of lights—while they’re boating after sunset. New Hampshire requires you to have, on any of your powerboats, which include an electric trolling motor, that you end up having a white light visible 360 degrees, two miles, in addition to your bow navigational lights, your red and your green light, visible for one mile to the horizon out in front of you.

Speaker 1: Can we also have extra lights?

Speaker 2: In New Hampshire, accent lighting has become very popular, and it is OK to have accent lighting if it’s done the right way. There are some restrictions. So if your accent lighting is obstructing your ability to see your prescribed navigational lights, then you can’t do that. Or if your accent lighting mimics the colors of your navigational lights, that’s also a no-go, because—again—that tells other boaters at night who has the right-of-way.

Speaker 1: Are the requirements different for motorized vessels and non-motorized vessels?

Speaker 2: They are. So any type of paddlecraft—your canoes, your kayaks and paddleboards—would have to have a white light visible 360 degrees, two miles to the horizon, unobstructed, if you’re out there operating one of those after dark.

Speaker 1: What kind of things would obstruct the light?

Speaker 2: A lot of things can obstruct proper lighting out there. That could include the canvas for the boat—a Bimini top, as an example—some type of equipment, a tube, a flag, perhaps, hanging off the back of the vessel. It could even be a person, if they’re standing in a particular way that would block the view. And again, if that light is blocked, that means no one can see you.

Speaker 1: You need to be seen. You need others to see you.

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