Texas Fishing Forum

Recent Boat Upgrades

Posted By: Stratos2011

Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 02:39 PM

Just wanted to share some recent boat upgrades. Most important, not pictured i just added an Ultrex too. Where has this been my whole life.

Added side strip lights under the bump rail.
Added a ram mounted head light for idling stump fields in the dark. Its removable after the sun comes up
Added red and green nav lights
Installed new seats. Wanted originals shown re-upholstered but way too expensive so i bought new for WAY less. [Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Posted By: leethefishking

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 03:11 PM

That light bar is a great idea!
Posted By: ToasterWEyes

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 03:24 PM

Sweet upgrades!
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 03:41 PM

Originally Posted by ToasterWEyes
Sweet upgrades!

Thanks. She's not fancy and new but I'm happy with it.
Posted By: outfishdya

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 03:42 PM

What is the law on white lights in front of boats?
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 03:47 PM

Originally Posted by outfishdya
What is the law on white lights in front of boats?

I'm not sure. I do not use them while running, only idling. I will turn off if someone is coming at me as to not blind them.
Posted By: outfishdya

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 03:51 PM

As I understand it, they can only be used for docking.
Posted By: BigDozer66

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 03:54 PM

What are the specifics on the light bar and lights? hmmm

The guy I bought mine from had a Ram Mount on the front and he told me it was for lights I guess similar yours. cheers
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 04:01 PM

Originally Posted by BigDozer66
What are the specifics on the light bar and lights? hmmm

The guy I bought mine from had a Ram Mount on the front and he told me it was for lights I guess similar yours. cheers

BigDozer, what do you mean by what are the specifics? Are you asking how a made them?
Posted By: outfishdya

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 04:16 PM

Here is what I found on lights.
TPAW code sec 331.064
A vessel or motorboat when not at dock must have and exhibit at least one bright light, lantern, or flashlight from sunset to sunrise in all weather. A vessel or motorboat when underway between sunset and sunrise in all weather must have and exhibit the lights prescribed by the commandant of the Coast Guard for boats of its class. No other lights that may be mistaken for those prescribed may be exhibited.

I don't understand how the gar boats get away with it
Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 04:32 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Just wanted to share some recent boat upgrades. Most important, not pictured i just added an Ultrex too. Where has this been my whole life.

Added side strip lights under the bump rail.
Added a ram mounted head light for idling stump fields in the dark. Its removable after the sun comes up
Added red and green nav lights
Installed new seats. Wanted originals shown re-upholstered but way too expensive so i bought new for WAY less. [Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

You've done a good job of violating a number of applicable USCG regulations (also adopted into law by the state of Texas) on lighting. If you turn on any of those spotlights at any time other than when actually docking, you'll be subject to citation. (I understand that TPWD has issued warnings and citations for the trolling motor "docking light" when operated on open water.) Operating any light that may blind the night vision of another operator is illegal, and that's what those do. As for the side "lamp bar" lamps, those introduce confusion as to the orientation and direction of your boat. Even your after-market addition of the navigation marker lighting (red/green) is illegal. There are strict regulations as to the angle of visibility of the red and green, and that can't be controlled with any accuracy when the lighting is being placed in a curved rubrail. The color and intensity may not meet specification either. If you send your photos to the Marine Enforcement Division of TPWD in Austin, I'm rather certain they'll reply with the same opinion I've posted here.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 04:47 PM

Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Just wanted to share some recent boat upgrades. Most important, not pictured i just added an Ultrex too. Where has this been my whole life.

Added side strip lights under the bump rail.
Added a ram mounted head light for idling stump fields in the dark. Its removable after the sun comes up
Added red and green nav lights
Installed new seats. Wanted originals shown re-upholstered but way too expensive so i bought new for WAY less. [Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

You've done a good job of violating a number of applicable USCG regulations (also adopted into law by the state of Texas) on lighting. If you turn on any of those spotlights at any time other than when actually docking, you'll be subject to citation. (I understand that TPWD has issued warnings and citations for the trolling motor "docking light" when operated on open water.) Operating any light that may blind the night vision of another operator is illegal, and that's what those do. As for the side "lamp bar" lamps, those introduce confusion as to the orientation and direction of your boat. Even your after-market addition of the navigation marker lighting (red/green) is illegal. There are strict regulations as to the angle of visibility of the red and green, and that can't be controlled with any accuracy when the lighting is being placed in a curved rubrail. The color and intensity may not meet specification either. If you send your photos to the Marine Enforcement Division of TPWD in Austin, I'm rather certain they'll reply with the same opinion I've posted here.

I will only be using the side strip lights while fishing.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 04:50 PM

As far as the red and green, i see tons of boats with these done.
Posted By: Bass Buster1

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 04:55 PM

Geesh, folks are ruthless. Looks good sir I especially like the new seats, they look great! I don't see how the white lights are an issue given that bowfisher people have massive ones with generators to run them. The red and green strips are cool too but you should have the ones on the poles when running at night just to make sure your legal. All in all it looks great, congrats!
Posted By: Bad93ex

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 04:57 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
As far as the red and green, i see tons of boats with these done.


I picked some up for my Cajun since it is one less thing to break on the front of the boat but it is towards the bottom of my "to-do" list.

OP, boat looks great btw!
Posted By: Douglas J

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:00 PM

Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Just wanted to share some recent boat upgrades. Most important, not pictured i just added an Ultrex too. Where has this been my whole life.

Added side strip lights under the bump rail.
Added a ram mounted head light for idling stump fields in the dark. Its removable after the sun comes up
Added red and green nav lights
Installed new seats. Wanted originals shown re-upholstered but way too expensive so i bought new for WAY less. [Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

You've done a good job of violating a number of applicable USCG regulations (also adopted into law by the state of Texas) on lighting. If you turn on any of those spotlights at any time other than when actually docking, you'll be subject to citation. (I understand that TPWD has issued warnings and citations for the trolling motor "docking light" when operated on open water.) Operating any light that may blind the night vision of another operator is illegal, and that's what those do. As for the side "lamp bar" lamps, those introduce confusion as to the orientation and direction of your boat. Even your after-market addition of the navigation marker lighting (red/green) is illegal. There are strict regulations as to the angle of visibility of the red and green, and that can't be controlled with any accuracy when the lighting is being placed in a curved rubrail. The color and intensity may not meet specification either. If you send your photos to the Marine Enforcement Division of TPWD in Austin, I'm rather certain they'll reply with the same opinion I've posted here.


All though his response is a "buzz-kill" to some "cool" mods.

It's the truth
Posted By: BigDozer66

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:00 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Originally Posted by BigDozer66
What are the specifics on the light bar and lights? hmmm

The guy I bought mine from had a Ram Mount on the front and he told me it was for lights I guess similar yours. cheers

BigDozer, what do you mean by what are the specifics? Are you asking how a made them?


Yes that is exactly what I am wondering. cheers
Posted By: SAKS

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:11 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
As far as the red and green, i see tons of boats with these done.

There were some posts a while back about these and I am not sure they ever came away with whether they were a legal replacement or not for the pole. It may have been answered and I just don't remember. Maybe one of the wardens will see and chime in.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:28 PM

Originally Posted by BigDozer66
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Originally Posted by BigDozer66
What are the specifics on the light bar and lights? hmmm

The guy I bought mine from had a Ram Mount on the front and he told me it was for lights I guess similar yours. cheers

BigDozer, what do you mean by what are the specifics? Are you asking how a made them?


Yes that is exactly what I am wondering. cheers

Originally Posted by BigDozer66
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Originally Posted by BigDozer66
What are the specifics on the light bar and lights? hmmm

The guy I bought mine from had a Ram Mount on the front and he told me it was for lights I guess similar yours. cheers

BigDozer, what do you mean by what are the specifics? Are you asking how a made them?


Yes that is exactly what I am wondering. cheers

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Here’s what a purchased to do it.
Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:43 PM

Originally Posted by SAKS
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
As far as the red and green, i see tons of boats with these done.

There were some posts a while back about these and I am not sure they ever came away with whether they were a legal replacement or not for the pole. It may have been answered and I just don't remember. Maybe one of the wardens will see and chime in.

When this topic came up that previous time on TFF, I spoke with the 2nd in command of TPWD boating enforcement (they have a department for this) in Austin concerning the rubrail solution. I was told "nope" not legal, and that they were starting to see this as an issue. If you examine the "pole" solution, you'll see that there is a divider that exactly lines up with the centerline of the bow. To each side, the port/starboard shields insure that the color for each side is visible from the centerline and to the side for exactly 112.5 degrees - 12.5 degrees past the point of being abeam the other vessel, no more, no less. This is the USCG regulation that Texas has adopted. Lighting in the rubrail has no "blinder" or shield to control its' visible angle from other vessels; it likely depends on the curvature of the bow, and where the installer places it. Regulations also state that all marine lighting should be USCG approved. I doubt that the seller of the lighting strips offered such approval. This isn't just a matter of enforcement legality either. Imagine the outcome of litigation if an operator with such illegal lighting were involved in a nighttime boating accident.
Posted By: RandyD

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:49 PM

Very nice,...well done!!!
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:50 PM

Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
Originally Posted by SAKS
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
As far as the red and green, i see tons of boats with these done.

There were some posts a while back about these and I am not sure they ever came away with whether they were a legal replacement or not for the pole. It may have been answered and I just don't remember. Maybe one of the wardens will see and chime in.

I spoke with the 2nd in command of TPWD boating enforcement (they have a department for this) in Austin concerning the rubrail solution. I was told "nope" not legal, and that they were starting to see this as an issue. If you examine the "pole" solution, you'll see that there is a divider that exactly lines up with the centerline of the bow. To each side, the port/starboard shields insure that the color for each side is visible from the centerline and to the side for exactly 112.5 degrees - 12.5 degrees past the point of being abeam the other vessel, no more, no less. This is the USCG regulation that Texas has adopted. Lighting in the rubrail has no "blinder" or shield to control its' visible angle from other vessels; it likely depends on the curvature of the bow, and where the installer places it. Regulations also state that all marine lighting should be USCG approved. I doubt that the seller of the lighting strips offered such approval. This isn't just a matter of enforcement legality either. Imagine the outcome of litigation if an operator with such illegal lighting were involved in a nighttime boating accident.

How are these on the side of new Rangers legal? [Linked Image]
Posted By: outfishdya

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:54 PM

Ranger must have measured out the angle of viability and got them coast guard approved, which you could do as well, but getting them coast guard approved is tricky.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 05:58 PM

Has anyone on here ever been stopped by a game warden for have these type of nav lights? [Linked Image]
Posted By: outfishdya

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:00 PM

I did not start this to be an arse. I have added the LED red/ greens for my own safety. The factory skeeter lights on my 2019 are way too small.
I can not stand having docking lights on the water. If you use them, know they are far more penetrating than high beams on the road. If the other boats are 500 yards away, they will be affected by your lights.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by outfishdya
I did not start this to be an arse. I have added the LED red/ greens for my own safety. The factory skeeter lights on my 2019 are way too small.
I can not stand having docking lights on the water. If you use them, know they are far more penetrating than high beams on the road. If the other boats are 500 yards away, they will be affected by your lights.

I didnt take it that way. I'm glad you brought up these issues. I would like to know some things. For the rope lights down the side, will i have an issue only using them while fishing, not running? For the head lights i will only use while idling stump fields. i will never have on while running the lake.
Posted By: Ranger1

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:23 PM

Where is the eye roll emoji when you need it ???
Posted By: SteezMacQueen

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:29 PM

Yeh. They have regulations on lighting. But....who really cares. It’s your boat, your responsibility. I like the lights. I fish at night during weeknight tourneys and I’ve thought about adding them more than once. Just haven’t gone there yet. I’ve added some led lights to all the storage boxes in the boat and added white deck lights for retying. Livewell lights for catching the fish again. Just haven’t added a 52” led bar or anything.


Yet!.......
Posted By: SteezMacQueen

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:32 PM

Originally Posted by outfishdya
Ranger must have measured out the angle of viability and got them coast guard approved, which you could do as well, but getting them coast guard approved is tricky.

Taco marine has already done it. I have them. 100% legal with the USCG2.0 rating right on the light. They provide very precise measurements for you to follow during installation
Posted By: SteezMacQueen

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:39 PM

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:41 PM

Originally Posted by SteezMacQueen
[Linked Image]

Wow, that doesn't seem like it would be very visible if going head on at that boat. IMO
Posted By: tmd11111

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:42 PM

Nice thing about lakes by me is nobody is around to enforce it. Bad this is nobodys around to enforce it.
Posted By: SteezMacQueen

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:48 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Originally Posted by SteezMacQueen
[Linked Image]

Wow, that doesn't seem like it would be very visible if going head on at that boat. IMO

They work really well and exceed all the USCG regs for visibility, color, brightness, and applicability. Mine are so bright they light up the bank when fishing
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:53 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Has anyone on here ever been stopped by a game warden for have these type of nav lights? [Linked Image]

So I'm really curious, has anyone been stopped with these type of red and green before?
Posted By: Smurfs

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 06:54 PM

No^
Posted By: Douglas J

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 07:53 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
Originally Posted by SAKS
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
As far as the red and green, i see tons of boats with these done.

There were some posts a while back about these and I am not sure they ever came away with whether they were a legal replacement or not for the pole. It may have been answered and I just don't remember. Maybe one of the wardens will see and chime in.

I spoke with the 2nd in command of TPWD boating enforcement (they have a department for this) in Austin concerning the rubrail solution. I was told "nope" not legal, and that they were starting to see this as an issue. If you examine the "pole" solution, you'll see that there is a divider that exactly lines up with the centerline of the bow. To each side, the port/starboard shields insure that the color for each side is visible from the centerline and to the side for exactly 112.5 degrees - 12.5 degrees past the point of being abeam the other vessel, no more, no less. This is the USCG regulation that Texas has adopted. Lighting in the rubrail has no "blinder" or shield to control its' visible angle from other vessels; it likely depends on the curvature of the bow, and where the installer places it. Regulations also state that all marine lighting should be USCG approved. I doubt that the seller of the lighting strips offered such approval. This isn't just a matter of enforcement legality either. Imagine the outcome of litigation if an operator with such illegal lighting were involved in a nighttime boating accident.

How are these on the side of new Rangers legal? [Linked Image]



I believe there is something in the law about if they are OEM or after market
Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 10:45 PM


"How are these on the side of new Rangers legal?"

"I believe there is something in the law about if they are OEM or after market"

I'll answer both of the follow up questions.
The USCG has a "self-certification" program/process that boat manufacturers can join wherein they insure that the boat they build meets all pertinent law/regulation. The program includes the necessity to document material sourcing (as approved material, such as USCG-approved lighting) and to document test procedures & results needed to insure that the final product meets the applicable requirements. At any time, the USCG inspection teams may visit a manufacturer to check that all is in order for the program. About 3-4 years ago, one manufacturer was using a lamp housing similar to the one shown on the Ranger that wasn't an approved item, and they got caught via surprise inspection. They had to do a recall program to fix the problem, and the CG did a re-education/reminder campaign to the boat manufacturing industry to remind builders of their responsibility. So, even OEM isn't always right, but may be caught and a correction forced. Likewise, a properly installed after-market device that has USCG approval can be legal, but BOTH criteria must be met: 1) material is USCG approved, and 2) properly installed. A USCG certified light fixture is still illegal if improperly installed. Example: good fixture, but installed in such a way that it is not visible through, and only through, the 112.5 degree range called for in the regulations.

Now, as to that side-light used on the Ranger. Those are quite popular on larger vessels. On really big vessels, they look more like a Coleman lantern on each side of the boat! A proper sidelight installation limits its' angle of visibility in the particular installation undertaken to the 112.5 degree range, but that range must land in just the right angle position with respect to the centerline of the boat. Ranger does not randomly place these fixtures on the side of the hull. In the case of Ranger, that style fixture is designed with the assumption and requirement that it will be installed in an orientation that is on a line parallel to the hull's centerline. Ranger, in turn, builds a pocket into the mold for the hull cap where the fixture will be mounted, typically by following an engineering drawing provided by the company that provides the fixture . When the fixture is mounted in that customized recess in the cap of the hull, the result will be that the lamp is visible from straight ahead, to the side of the boat, abeam, and 12.5 degrees past that abeam point. This is closely controlled by mold design, and THAT is how that lamp fixture can be legal. The problem isn't that the fixture is on the side of the boat; the challenge is that a fixture must be placed such that the correct visible viewing range is met, and certainly Ranger and many other manufacturers have the ability to insure the associated requirements are met.

However, if you peel the backing off a section of non-USCG approved red or green LED light strip, and slap it on a curved bow of a boat, you have no idea how far past abeam that LED strip might be visible. If you get it too far back on the curve of the bow, it might also not be sufficiently visible to someone dead ahead as required by regulation. So, placement of that strip means a LOT. Move to a different boat with a different compound curve radius designed into it's bow, and you can get an entirely different range of degrees of visibility, aside from the fact that the LED strip is unlikely to be USCG approved.

BTW, I have yet to see any "LED strip kit" offered that claims USCG approval.
Posted By: BigDozer66

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 10:50 PM

thumb
Posted By: SteezMacQueen

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 11:13 PM

Originally Posted by Flippin-Out



BTW, I have yet to see any "LED strip kit" offered that claims USCG approval.

They are not legal. But, IMO, they work just as effectively and look cool. I asked a game warden about them too! I was told he was happy if they worked and had the colors on the correct sides. roflmao It appears that it isn’t as big of a deal as most boat owners think it is. Hell....most boat owners really just need to learn how to pilot a boat and back a trailer. I couldn’t care less if they have USCG lighting or aftermarket. I wish they’d just get the hell outta my way.
Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/06/21 11:21 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Has anyone on here ever been stopped by a game warden for have these type of nav lights? [Linked Image]

So I'm really curious, has anyone been stopped with these type of red and green before?

I would never have illegal lighting on my boat, so I can't say I've ever faced that challenge. But, the boating enforcement division of TPWD seemed to be quite certain they are NOT legal, and that an operator would be at risk of receiving a citation. I did not ask how many citations they may have issued at the time as they would probably say "none of your business". I want to be clear they were very cooperative in providing information. They DID say that this type of illegal lighting is becoming a problem. I hope they do issue citations; there are reasons it's wrong, and those affect safety. You can't put just any lighting on your boat just as you can't put whatever you want on your truck/car if in intend to operate it on public roadways. The rules have reasons. Example: someone may sell cool covers to go over your stock tail/brake lamps, but they never told you they were USDOT approved I bet, and there won't be an approval mark on them either. Law enforcement will issue citations for these. They can even get you into some complications if your vehicle has them and you are subsequently rear-ended.

Call TPWD in Austin, and speak with the boating enforcement division if you would like to question information I have provided. I didn't find it difficult to do when I did it 2-3 years ago. For several years, I used to work with a former USCG officer, and operated a commercial dive boat with him, hence my background and interest in this topic. We had a lot of time to discuss maritime rules/regulations while waiting topside so he became my mentor. He even offered to pay for me to get a 100 Ton Captain's license, but I never found time to do it. At night around a port, traffic and all the various marking lamps can get to be quite a bit to handle. The worst would be glaring spotlights (illegal) that would blind our night vision.

BTW, you can't "fix it" with respect to LEDs on the rubrail by running both LED strips and the manufacturer-provided lamp fixtures (that are often mounted on poles). The LEDs would be illegal because there is no assurance they were installed to cover only the 112.5 degree arc on each side of the bow. The illumination color (by actual light frequency) is tightly specified, as well as minimum and maximum intensity, any or all of which may be violated by the LEDs being activated.

Addition: I do not have one of the docking lights for Minn Kota motors, but my boat mechanic buddy did tell me don't run with one on on Lake Conroe. He said he had a customer who got a citation for running across the lake with his turned on. This is second hand, but I do consider it fairly reliable info.
Posted By: David Burton

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 01:32 AM

Let's be clear
It isnt about the citation, that's just a little money. The real issue is one of liability if something goes wrong. The liability/accident lawyers would see a golden Goose on an illegally lit boat and claim fault
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 01:50 AM

So my next question is, can you be DQ’d from a tournament for getting a citation for these lights?
Posted By: David Burton

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 02:04 AM

I've seen some of the worst offenders in bigger tournaments. I would guess it depends on the Rules, someone filing a complaint and the questions in the Polygraph.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 02:25 AM

Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Just wanted to share some recent boat upgrades. Most important, not pictured i just added an Ultrex too. Where has this been my whole life.

Added side strip lights under the bump rail.
Added a ram mounted head light for idling stump fields in the dark. Its removable after the sun comes up
Added red and green nav lights
Installed new seats. Wanted originals shown re-upholstered but way too expensive so i bought new for WAY less. [Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

You've done a good job of violating a number of applicable USCG regulations (also adopted into law by the state of Texas) on lighting. If you turn on any of those spotlights at any time other than when actually docking, you'll be subject to citation. (I understand that TPWD has issued warnings and citations for the trolling motor "docking light" when operated on open water.) Operating any light that may blind the night vision of another operator is illegal, and that's what those do. As for the side "lamp bar" lamps, those introduce confusion as to the orientation and direction of your boat. Even your after-market addition of the navigation marker lighting (red/green) is illegal. There are strict regulations as to the angle of visibility of the red and green, and that can't be controlled with any accuracy when the lighting is being placed in a curved rubrail. The color and intensity may not meet specification either. If you send your photos to the Marine Enforcement Division of TPWD in Austin, I'm rather certain they'll reply with the same opinion I've posted here.

So if I’m fishing are the side strip light ok? Not running the big motor at all?
Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 02:48 AM

I will give you an opinion, but I'm not the enforcers, so it's worth about a penny on a good day.

If the side lights are not overly bright and do not shine upward enough ...to cause loss of night vision by another boater, you probably won't run into issues with them. Workboats with decklights do use white lights, but they are usually contained within a reflector and aimed downward at the deck. They actually help illuminate the boat so that others see it even better, but without undue glare for the other boat. I haven't seen yours at night, and deciding if the brightness is "too much" is subjective. Assuming you aren't moving (or are moving very little, like just a slow drift), you should have only white light illuminated. Any red or green lighting visible outside the boat will be confused by another boat as a vessel's navigation lighting, and the long strips clearly don't meet spec for that. For when you are at rest (or nearly so) TPWD may tell you that the white lighting is acceptable - which would be from a practical viewpoint as it certainly would make you more visible and far less likely to be struck by another vessel underway. They probably won't give you an opinion over the phone - they don't do that because people try to come back at them over something if they happen to receive a citation. The best thing to do is probably ask your local game warden to view the boat and give you an opinion.
Posted By: fivebites

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 02:52 AM

Originally Posted by Flippin-Out
I will give you an opinion, but I'm not the enforcers, so it's worth about a penny on a good day.

If the side lights are not overly bright and do not shine upward enough ...to cause loss of night vision by another boater, you probably won't run into issues with them. Workboats with decklights do use white lights, but they are usually contained within a reflector and aimed downward at the deck. They actually help illuminate the boat so that others see it even better, but without undue glare for the other boat. I haven't seen yours at night, and deciding if the brightness is "too much" is subjective. Assuming you aren't moving (or are moving very little, like just a slow drift), you should have only white light illuminated. Any red or green lighting visible outside the boat will be confused by another boat as a vessel's navigation lighting, and the long strips clearly don't meet spec for that. For when you are at rest (or nearly so) TPWD may tell you that the white lighting is acceptable - which would be from a practical viewpoint as it certainly would make you more visible and far less likely to be struck by another vessel underway. They probably won't give you an opinion over the phone - they don't do that because people try to come back at them over something if they happen to receive a citation. The best thing to do is probably ask your local game warden to view the boat and give you an opinion.


Flippin...sent you a pm
Posted By: Dbrit83

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 03:03 AM

I have the same front lights on my boat, my opinion (and its just that, I am not an enforcement officer or in any position of authority) is that in most situations game wardens are happy to see lights on a boat that work. If you are in busy shipping channels etc. that would be very different as it is then a major safety issue. For the little bass tournaments and fishing that I do the only time the lights are on there are so few people on the water and we are so spread out it does not seem an issue. Yes I can get a ticket I understand that, but with the 15 - 20 boats that are on the lake at stupid o clock in the morning we wouldn't know the difference of degrees or pay any attention to it like professional captains would. Just my two cents.
Posted By: ToasterWEyes

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 03:04 AM

[Linked Image]

I drive all over the place with this rig lit up with 6 lights 400 Watts each putting out over 50,000 lumens a piece. My nav lights are the strip type leds. I have been stopped multiple times by TPWD to check my fish barrel and have NEVER received a citation. Most wardens tell me to keep up the good work and some have even said have you tried a certain area.....

That said I stay clear of residential areas and busy boat lanes with the big light spread on.
Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 03:14 AM

I can certainly believe what you say. Though I'm sure you can make some water look like a football field, the reflectors are aimed downward, which does a lot to help not blind others. I've also found freshwater enforcement by game wardens to be a lot less stringent than the coastie guys. For the USCG, boat-related enforcement is all they do, and they tend to get to be quite the sticklers for the rules. Some of them could be downright @icks....that rhymes with "sticks".
Posted By: ToasterWEyes

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 03:19 AM

Yes sir, we went down fishing for reds and trout out of Port O (Xpress bass boat, not the bow fishing rig) and got educated real quick on the difference between the Coast Guard and TPWD!!
Posted By: Flippin-Out

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 03:30 AM

Originally Posted by ToasterWEyes
Yes sir, we went down fishing for reds and trout out of Port O (Xpress bass boat, not the bow fishing rig) and got educated real quick on the difference between the Coast Guard and TPWD!!

It's a real eye opener for sure!

One day when I was up at full speed on the workboat, they pulled up close into my draft, then announced over the PA "Put your boat in neutral". They were way closer than they had to be, and had I not seen them out of the corner of my eye, that would have scared the carp out of me. I did as they said, but the boat was shallow-draft and would coast quite a ways for it's size. He didn't say "STOP" because if he did, and I did (with reverse screws to come to a halt), he would have run into my stern! They got REALLY ticked at me as they thought I had ignored them, when I had actually done exactly as they requested. Once 4 of them boarded, I got a dress down, at which time I explained the characteristics of the boat. He was still mad, and they tossed the entire boat, personal berths and all. They can do that as they're also charged with doing drug interdiction as well. Of course they found nothing and eventually had to leave without leaving a mark on us. My former CG buddy stayed quiet, but after they left he was rolling...said "you handled that perfectly, you humiliated them without showing any weakness or cowering, which they really hate." I wasn't afraid of them after that.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 03:36 AM

I’m thinking that if I use common since I shouldn’t have any issues. The head light I will never use while running. I will only use while idling stump fields. That’s the only reason I built it. Even then I will turn off if another boat is close. The red and green I have to believe a warden won’t mess with me on. The side strip light I did for fishing purpose only. Not in use while running. I have to believe that’s legal.
Posted By: Dbrit83

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 03:45 AM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
I’m thinking that if I use common since I shouldn’t have any issues. The head light I will never use while running. I will only use while idling stump fields. That’s the only reason I built it. Even then I will turn off if another boat is close. The red and green I have to believe a warden won’t mess with me on. The side strip light I did for fishing purpose only. Not in use while running. I have to believe that’s legal.


I'm using the same logic, I have been working through the same upgrades with the exception of the stump lights, that is now on my list, but I will be sensible about when extra lights are used and don't feel that I will have to many issues with that.
Posted By: ToasterWEyes

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 03:59 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
I’m thinking that if I use common since I shouldn’t have any issues. The head light I will never use while running. I will only use while idling stump fields. That’s the only reason I built it. Even then I will turn off if another boat is close. The red and green I have to believe a warden won’t mess with me on. The side strip light I did for fishing purpose only. Not in use while running. I have to believe that’s legal.


That’s always been my approach.
Posted By: avid_basser

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 05:01 PM

If you think this boat has too much lighting...you should see this boat that fishing the local THSBA North Division. This boat is lit up like a Las Vegas Hotel. It has green strips from tip to tip, spot light, and interior LED's. They seem to all run at the same time and make the craziest light hue on the water.

I had to leave a pocket one time as waited for lines in and was blinded by these damned things.

Thought hard about reporting it, but just couldn't see the benefit in it.
Posted By: SAKS

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 05:15 PM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
I’m thinking that if I use common since I shouldn’t have any issues. The head light I will never use while running. I will only use while idling stump fields. That’s the only reason I built it. Even then I will turn off if another boat is close. The red and green I have to believe a warden won’t mess with me on. The side strip light I did for fishing purpose only. Not in use while running. I have to believe that’s legal.

Where common sense can take you far in life, some laws and common sense do not go hand in hand and actually contradict one another. I have come in contact with many wardens in my time and to the most part all have been reasonable individuals but there is always that one out there.
Posted By: RedRanger521

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 05:33 PM

I think that some time, effort and $ went into this and it looks good. However......

I was fishing a tourney at Rayburn-BigBassSplash and 2 boats that had "non standard lighting" were running somewhat close to me in the dark. It was very disorienting as to what direction they were actually running. I did try to stay away from them but it's hard to tell direction sometimes. They both had lights that illuminated their "wave splash" green. It really sucked as it was so confusing. My opinion is that it should be illegal if it is not to USCG spec and folks need to know why.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/07/21 05:42 PM

Originally Posted by RedRanger521
I think that some time, effort and $ went into this and it looks good. However......

I was fishing a tourney at Rayburn-BigBassSplash and 2 boats that had "non standard lighting" were running somewhat close to me in the dark. It was very disorienting as to what direction they were actually running. I did try to stay away from them but it's hard to tell direction sometimes. They both had lights that illuminated their "wave splash" green. It really sucked as it was so confusing. My opinion is that it should be illegal if it is not to USCG spec and folks need to know why.


I get what you are saying. Again, i will only be using the side strip lights while fishing. And will only be using the head light while idling stumps. But i know not everyone has the same level of courtesy for others.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/08/21 03:06 AM

Thanhs everyone for the compliments as well as the info on legal issues. At the end of the day I like what I did and I will be respectful to others when using any of the lights as that’s how I live my life anyway. I enjoyed doing these projects and I am happy with the results.
Posted By: Dbrit83

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/08/21 03:23 AM

Do you have a link for the LED strips you used, I have not found any yet that I liked to look of, been looking for a while. Thank you in advance.
Posted By: grout-scout

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/08/21 03:40 AM

It’s probably one of times, where it’ll depend on the mood of the GW. I’m sure many of us have experienced them on good days and not so good days.
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/08/21 04:05 AM

Originally Posted by Dbrit83
Do you have a link for the LED strips you used, I have not found any yet that I liked to look of, been looking for a while. Thank you in advance.

The white on the side or the red and green?
Posted By: Dbrit83

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/08/21 04:11 AM

Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Originally Posted by Dbrit83
Do you have a link for the LED strips you used, I have not found any yet that I liked to look of, been looking for a while. Thank you in advance.

The white on the side or the red and green?


The white ones, I have already done the red / green. cheers
Posted By: Stratos2011

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/08/21 04:15 AM

Originally Posted by Dbrit83
Originally Posted by Stratos2011
Originally Posted by Dbrit83
Do you have a link for the LED strips you used, I have not found any yet that I liked to look of, been looking for a while. Thank you in advance.

The white on the side or the red and green?


The white ones, I have already done the red / green. cheers

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Dbrit83

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/08/21 04:18 AM

Awesome thank you very much, and again nice job, will be using your template for some of that
Posted By: Bandit 200 XP

Re: Recent Boat Upgrades - 04/09/21 08:17 AM

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