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Rub rail bow navigation lights? #13499901 04/03/20 01:16 PM
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Kevin R. Offline OP
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Been working on my rig and again the base and push in bow light on it are super touchy and the bulb won't stay in contact and flickers when you bump it. I thought about getting a LED pole and new base but I have been looking at the rub rail LED strips. Doing a little reading in different forums I have heard about some game wardens saying that they are not legal, but could be from other states. Has anyone from Texas had any issues that have done this modification?

Re: Rub rail bow navigation lights? [Re: Kevin R.] #13500623 04/03/20 09:00 PM
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I haven't had any issues. I installed mine several years ago and they are 10X brighter that the pole light. I believe it was Bluewater lights I used. Just carry your pole light with if you get stopped, chance are you will not.


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Re: Rub rail bow navigation lights? [Re: Kevin R.] #13501138 04/04/20 03:32 AM
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The law states that the lights must have a USCG approval and that’s why most are illegal, not USCG approved.

Re: Rub rail bow navigation lights? [Re: Kevin R.] #13501213 04/04/20 07:41 AM
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Grout-Scout is absolutely correct. A legal light giving your trouble needs to be replaced with another legal light. A LOT you don't realize goes into meeting the USCG specification. I have never encountered a state that undertakes having their own navigation lighting specifications. It's just too easy to defer to the USCG. Most state laws (including Texas code) are written to say "must meet USCG regulation". They do the same on the definition and use of PFDs. Some states do put further restriction on what PFD is acceptable for personal watercraft, but that's application, not definition.

The navigation running lights made as a kit for DIY installers are extremely problematic, and very illegal. For the red/green, a lot of the specification is about what angle the light can and can't be seen from with respect to the hull. Since you stick these on a curved part of the bow you select yourself, I seriously doubt you are going to meet those rules by sheer coincidence. They are even illegal if you have them on the boat and also have the factory light plugged in. This is because you are not allowed to display any light that could be interpreted as a navigation light unless it meets the appropriate specification.

I have spoken with the boating enforcement division of TPWD on this, and they clearly articulated that such lights are not legal and that a citation is likely.

Re: Rub rail bow navigation lights? [Re: Kevin R.] #13501379 04/04/20 01:32 PM
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Well then I guess I'll try to get a pole light to work.

Re: Rub rail bow navigation lights? [Re: Kevin R.] #13501738 04/04/20 04:25 PM
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Talked it over with a warden on Lake Fork last year and he said most likely they wouldn't make a ticket level deal out of it but he recommended making sure you at least had the regular light - just in case - Taco Marine makes a couple of rub rail mounted led lights (a single led not a strip) that are coast guard approved but they are kind of pricey - like $150 or so tor the set.

Re: Rub rail bow navigation lights? [Re: MikeW07] #13501904 04/04/20 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeW07
Talked it over with a warden on Lake Fork last year and he said most likely they wouldn't make a ticket level deal out of it but he recommended making sure you at least had the regular light - just in case - Taco Marine makes a couple of rub rail mounted led lights (a single led not a strip) that are coast guard approved but they are kind of pricey - like $150 or so tor the set.

When you mount the Taco brand lights, you have to be sure to get them far enough back from the bow that their visible-light angle doesn't change. That's going to be an area parallel to the centerline of the hull. Even those can't be put forward of where the hull outline begins to curve. I read about a program where USCG was even checking boats at manufacturing to insure lamp placement was compliant; it had started getting out of hand due to cosmetic style taking priority. What would be a big no-no would be to have illegal lights in operation when an accident occurred, whether that really had any causal effect or not.

Re: Rub rail bow navigation lights? [Re: Kevin R.] #13504622 04/06/20 01:28 PM
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scroll down to nav lights, last pic would be a bass boat configuration.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/boat/safety/vessel_requirements/

go to page 27

https://www.uscgboating.org/images/420.PDF

this is the uscg law on light requirements.

(b) “Sidelights” mean a green light on the starboard side and a red light on
the port side each showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of
112.5 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5
degrees abaft the beam on its respective side. On a vessel of less than 20
meters in length the sidelights may be combined in one lantern carried on
the fore and aft centerline of the vessel, except that on a vessel of less than
12 meters in length the sidelights when combined in one lantern shall be
placed as nearly as practicable to the fore and aft centerline of the vessel.
(c) “Sternlight” means a white light placed as nearly as practicable at the
stern showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 135 degrees
and so fixed

https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/navrules.pdf


these 2 are what is required to meet uscg approval. how many of ya have lights that meet these specs if inspected?

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/33/183.810

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/46/25.10-3


bottom line is that if your led rubrail lights EXCEED the requirements of the uscg but do not have the little gov. sticker on them, are you illegal? I say no, I have exceeded the requirements and thus am legal in every sense of the word. how many of you have put the exact bulb back in your bow or stern light when replaced? the uscg sticker (imo) is something the mfrs. use to avoid legal problems in the long run, nothing more. have you ever been asked for your uscg approved lights when boarded and inspected, I never have and have been inspected many times by both gw and uscg (texoma).

if you are really nervous about it then get these, I put them on my champion simply because I didn't want to hassle with the strips.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AJV9470/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

[Linked Image]

Last edited by hopalong; 04/06/20 01:29 PM.

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Re: Rub rail bow navigation lights? [Re: Kevin R.] #13508182 04/08/20 01:56 PM
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Anyone else notice several new bass boats have no light pole receivers? Like Rangers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feJhUtv0h_0


The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. Remember what He has done and remember that He is not done yet!-- GOD IS GOOD
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