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Boaties reminded to use lights at night

Boaties reminded to use lights at night
Thursday 5 April 2018

Last month’s night time collision between a power and sail boat has led to a reminder from the Harbourmaster about the importance of having your boat well-lit at night. Skippers are required to ensure their vessel is well lit between sunset and sunrise and during heavy rain and fog.

Maritime New Zealand rules say that during this time every boat at anchor must show a white light that’s visible from all directions. The colour and type of lights required vary depending on the size and type of your craft. The colour of the light is also important as it indicates port and starboard, showing which way you are traveling.

Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster Peter Buell says not displaying the correct lights at night is a hell of a risk.

“If your boat isn’t well lit then not only are you endangering the lives of those on board your vessel but you’re putting others at risk too. You need to be visible to be seen,” says Mr Buell.

“It’s equally important that people travel at a safe speed for the conditions. If you’re travelling at night then this isn’t fast. If people are not familiar with the rules, they can visit www.boprc.govt.nz/safeboating ,” says Mr Buell.

What the boating rules say about lights


Over 12m need to display red and green side lights, a white stern light and a white masthead light.
Less than 12m need to display red and green side lights and as a minimum one all-round white light.
Less than 7m, and not capable of speeds over 7 knots, need only display an all-round white light.
Sail boats:

Over 12m need to display red and green side lights, a white stern light and a white masthead light.
Must show red and green sidelights and a white stern light (may be combined into a single tri-colour light mounted at the top of a mast on yachts less than 20m).
All non-powered boats under 7 metres in length, such as a rowing dinghy, canoe, kayak or sail boat must show a white light or torch to indicate its presence.


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