Navigation Lights for Small Boats

There are three types of navigation lights required on small boats: the bow light, the stern light, and the all-round white light. The bow light is a green light that must be visible from ahead of the boat. The stern light is a red light that must be visible from behind the boat.

The all-round white light must be visible in all directions and is used when the boat is underway and not under power.

If you’re a small boat owner, navigation lights are an important safety consideration. While most boats under 20 feet are not required by law to have navigation lights, it is highly recommended. In fact, many insurance companies will not insure a boat without navigation lights.

There are three main types of navigation lights – stern, bow and all-round white lights. Sternlights are mounted on the back of the boat and indicate the boat’s direction of travel. Bow lights are mounted on the front of the boat and show the direction in which the bow is pointing.

All-round white lights are just that – they’re visible from all directions and indicate that a vessel is anchored or moored. When choosing navigation lights for your small boat, it’s important to consider both function and aesthetics. There are many different styles and colors available, so you can find something that will complement your boat’s look while still providing adequate visibility at night.

Navigation Lights for Small Boats


Do You Need Navigation Lights on a Small Boat?

There are a few reasons why you might need navigation lights on a small boat. Firstly, if you’re operating your boat at night, then navigation lights are required by law in most countries. Secondly, even during daylight hours, having navigation lights can be helpful in avoiding collisions with other vessels.

Finally, some marinas and harbours will only allow boats to enter if they have navigation lights visible. So, while you might not technically need navigation lights on a small boat during the daytime hours, it’s still generally a good idea to have them turned on. At the very least, you’ll be following the law and helping to keep everyone safe on the water.

How High Does a Stern Light Have to Be?

There are many different types of stern lights, but the most common is the all-round white light. This light must be shown in a steady manner and should be visible from a distance of two miles. The minimum height for an all-round white stern light is 2.5 m (8 feet, 2 inches) above the hull of the vessel.

Where Do You Put Nav Lights on a Boat?

There are a few different places you can put navigation lights on a boat. The most common place is on the bow, stern, and mast. You can also put them on the port and starboard sides of the hull.

If you have a sailboat, you may want to put them on the shrouds or stays. Whichever way you choose to do it, make sure that the lights are visible from all angles so that other boats will be able to see you.

What Lights are Required for Boats at Night?

Most boats are required to have navigation lights that must be used from sunset to sunrise. These include a white light at the stern (rear), called a steaming light, and red and green lights at the bow (front). The steaming light should be visible for two miles.

The red and green lights should each be visible for one mile. In addition to these mandatory lights, many boats also use courtesy lights to make them more visible at night. These are not required by law but can help prevent collisions.

Common courtesy lights include mastheadlights, which are mounted on the mast or boom, and cockpit lights, which illuminate the area around the helm station.

Quick guide – Learn basic 3 vessel navigation lights sidelights and stern lts

Wireless Boat Navigation Lights

Boat navigation lights are an essential part of boating safety. They help other boats and vessels see your boat, and they also help you see where you’re going. In the past, boat navigation lights were powered by batteries or generators.

But now, there’s a new option: wireless boat navigation lights. Wireless boat navigation lights are powered by solar panels. They’re easy to install and they don’t require any wiring.

Just mount the solar panel on your boat’s deck and place the light where you want it. The light will automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. And if there’s no sun for a few days, the built-in battery will keep the light going.

Wireless boat navigation lights are a great option for boaters who want to reduce their carbon footprint. They’re also very convenient – no more worrying about changing batteries or running out of power!


If you have a small boat, you might be wondering what kind of navigation lights you need. There are different rules for different sized boats, so it’s important to know what applies to your vessel. In general, though, all boats must have certain types of lights:

– A masthead light: This is a white light that shines from the highest point on the boat. It should be visible from all directions. – A stern light: This is a red light that shines from the back of the boat.

It should be visible from behind and off to the sides. – Port and starboard side lights: These are green and red lights that shine from the front of the boat (port) and back of the boat (starboard). They should be visible from in front and behind, respectively.

There are also some optional lights that can be helpful, especially in low visibility conditions: – An anchor light: This is a white light that shines from near the top of the mast. It indicates to other boats that your vessel is anchored and not under way.

– A deck level light: This is a white or blue light that shines horizontally from near the waterline at deck level. It helps other boats see your outline when they’re approaching from ahead or behind.

Related: Boat Navigation Lights Rules

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