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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:10 am 
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What is required for nighttime operation of a kayak? I usually fish nighttime in a busy river mouth and inside the estuary, lot's of power boat traffic! I have heard NOT to use red and green front nav lights unless you are a power boat, but I have seen kayaks with these installed as well!? I ordered a visicarbon pro light and flag combo for the rear and installed reflective vinyl tape on the sides of my yak but what if anything do I do up front?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:54 am 
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What is required?

Or what is safe?

I believe all that is required is a flashlight that can be turned on "when needed".

What is safe? That's up to interpretation, but at minimum an all around 360 degree white light is better than nothing. You Visicarbon Pro will be great, just make sure that the light is higher than your head when seated in the high position or you're kind of defeating the purpose. Some reflective tape will also help assuming that the "not always so brilliant" power boaters are running lights themselves. That has always been the issue for me is that the power boaters cut their lights off to prevent the glare from interfering with their night vision. This makes it easier for them to see, but then they themselves can not be seen. There's not perfect answer other than take more than is required, pay attention to your surroundings, and always be listening for a power boat or the sound of a wake headed your way!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:55 am 
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Ring King wrote:
What is required?

Or what is safe?

I believe all that is required is a flashlight that can be turned on "when needed".

What is safe? That's up to interpretation, but at minimum an all around 360 degree white light is better than nothing. You Visicarbon Pro will be great, just make sure that the light is higher than your head when seated in the high position or you're kind of defeating the purpose. Some reflective tape will also help assuming that the "not always so brilliant" power boaters are running lights themselves. That has always been the issue for me is that the power boaters cut their lights off to prevent the glare from interfering with their night vision. This makes it easier for them to see, but then they themselves can not be seen. There's not perfect answer other than take more than is required, pay attention to your surroundings, and always be listening for a power boat or the sound of a wake headed your way!


^^ This!! ^^

Perfect choice going with the YakAttack VISICarbon Pro.
I would add a quality tactical LED (minimum 300 lumen) flashlight to your night fishing arsenal, one that has the STROBE feature....irritating as hell, will definitely get they're attention.

I would avoid the port/starboard green/red lights.
I would rather be thought of as a boat at anchor, unable to move as opposed to being seen as a boat under-power with the ability to navigate out of they're way,

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:44 pm 
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In your situation I would use two lights which increases visibility and provides a backup light should one of them malfunction.

One like the Yakattack light that is a bright white LED on a post that sticks up from the kayak and mounted to the crate. The second one mounted on the bow of the boat and like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00737IWB2/ref ... 2XK6H9H783

You want a bright white light. That is what is used for an anchor light on boats. A red light is harder to see and it is easily confused with navigation and non navigation red lights (even the lights on street lights which may be behind where you are on the water.

A VHF cannot hurt to at least call a boat that is heading your way to alert them to your presence in their path. I would not rely on them monitoring their radio but then I would not rely on them seeing your lights and not running over you.

There is also reflective tape sold that you can put along the sides of the kayak and this is something I would also do in your situation.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:29 pm 
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You may be required to have the nav lights if you put a motor on your yak. That might explain why you see some guys with them - may just not be using the motor that day.

I agree that not being confused with a power boat, motor or not, is a good thing!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Thanks for the replies... I got a Visi-carbon light and lots of reflective pin striping now. Didn't realize the red and green meant under way/under power. Haven't been hit yet so I think I'm on the right path!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:45 pm 
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As I recall from my FL boating safety course, a high white light would indicate a sailboat at anchor. I'm in agreement that's preferable to nav lights. I have reflective tape on my bow which wouldn't be visible if my kayak is upside down, so I've considered putting more tape somewhere close to the underside, but haven't as yet figured out where.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:12 pm 
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Something else to consider is that with a pole mounted light behind you it is going to interfere less with your night vision. Anything mounted on the bow that is not a red light is going to screw up your night vision considerably. That is a problem with the bow deck mounted lights from Railblaza and others regardless of where you fish.

An air horn is another safety item to have with you in a boating channel area. One advantage with a kayak is you can anchor in a shallow area that power boaters will avoid completely (if they are sober).


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:21 pm 
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Wintersun wrote:
Something else to consider is that with a pole mounted light behind you it is going to interfere less with your night vision. Anything mounted on the bow that is not a red light is going to screw up your night vision considerably. That is a problem with the bow deck mounted lights from Railblaza and others regardless of where you fish.

An air horn is another safety item to have with you in a boating channel area. One advantage with a kayak is you can anchor in a shallow area that power boaters will avoid completely (if they are sober).



I do a lot of fishing and jugging at night for catfish. I have one 6 led tractor light i got from tractor supply on a 5' pole behind me connected to my crate, when i turn it on i can be seen a very long way off and it lights up my yak like its daylight.. i HAD another led lantern hooked to the bow. after a few trips that bow light came off because it ruined my nightvision everytime i turned it on. i also have a very powerful waterproof flashlight i keep in my PFD vest pocket. ive never needed it because i flip the led's on as soon as i hear a boat or see a moving light, but the flashlight is there if i ever need it. I also always have on a head lamp, usually my fenix. itll get anyones attention from a long, long way off.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:15 pm 
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Lighting: The rules concerning lights shall be complied with Between sunset and sunrise, as well as from sunrise to sunset during times of restricted visibility, i.e., fog.
1.) A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.. In other words, keep a working flashlight (preferably waterproof) within reach when operating between sunrise and sunset.

Visual Distress Signals: Vessels on federally controlled waters (such as Alabama's coastal waters) must be equipped with U.S. Coast Guard–approved visual distress signals. All vessels, regardless of length or type, are required to carry night signals when operating between sunset and sunrise. Most vessels must carry day signals also; exceptions to the requirement for day signals are: recreational vessels less than 16 feet in length and manually propelled vessels. VDSs must be US Coast Guard-approved, in serviceable condition, and readily accessible. If pyrotechnic VDSs are used, a minimum of three must be carried on the vessel, they must be dated, and they must not be carried past their expiration date. If they are past the expiration date, they are not considered valid VSDs. ....
Easiest way to comply with this regulation: flare gun w/3 flares...


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