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Boat headlights

Old 12-18-2016, 10:43 AM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Boat headlights

I had a duck boat that had a set of truck headlights mounted many years ago. I am now getting a new boat and am wanting to mount a set of running lights up front again. I want LED's for obvious reasons and they will be mounted under the rail up front encased within aluminum boxes. What are you running and how do u have them wired in? I was wondering if I could wire them in with my bow lights on the same circuit seeing I will be using then at the same time.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:30 PM
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I am not a big fan of headlights on duck boats. They ruin night vision both yours and any other boats you may be running towards. I ran duck boats for many years on the Susquehanna river and in MD and NJ in salt water and had big boats on the Chesapeake bay. In my duck boats I never used anything but a small flashlight and only when I needed it and sometimes I use a spotlight on the roof of my MY to find day markers if it was a moonless night. There is nothing worse than running along on the water at night with your night vision working and then have someone shine a light in your eyes. Running lights of course are a necessity both to be in compliance with the law and to let others know you are there and which direction you are running and the red and green lights do shine in anyone's eyes.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:20 AM
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I 100% understand what you talking about and agree. But we run rivers, both big and small, ALOT at night and will be running into a lot of debris in them. I will have them on a separate switch so when getting near another boat, Ill cut them off and go from there. Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:39 PM
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No problem, just my opinion from my experience.
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:18 PM
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I'm gonna second OT, spent many years running at night and any light will ruin night vision let alone prevent anyone from seeing navigation lights. Will not recommend it and if you need light then only use one when out trolling or at a no wake speed, anything faster should have them off.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by olsaltydog View Post
I'm gonna second OT, spent many years running at night and any light will ruin night vision let alone prevent anyone from seeing navigation lights. Will not recommend it and if you need light then only use one when out trolling or at a no wake speed, anything faster should have them off.
So if you are running faster than no wake on a river at night surrounded by timber, in the dark, how do you see the debris before hitting it? We have logs, sunken tree stumps, and all the other stuff I REALLY don't want to hit at that time of night. More times than night, we don't run into anyone while we are out, and if we do, they are running the same way as us. And if we are fishing at night, we are drift fishing and will cut on the nav lights if someone is beginning to get near us, not the bright running lights. I am going to have them on a separate system.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:53 AM
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Where I run, coastal NC, we have gillnets, crab bouys, oyster bars, and sand bars. I run no lights at all when out on plane or moving faster then a no wake speed. Might be because I learned the waters and know where these things are, not sure if possible your way. But any light will diminish or flat out ruin night vision, think of it like driving with your cab lights on.

The choice is yours, yes you can do it, I don't recommend it and won't advice you on how to do it. If the waters you run are navigable, be careful as you may find your violating navigable water laws by running any lights.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by olsaltydog View Post
Where I run, coastal NC, we have gillnets, crab bouys, oyster bars, and sand bars. I run no lights at all when out on plane or moving faster then a no wake speed. Might be because I learned the waters and know where these things are, not sure if possible your way. But any light will diminish or flat out ruin night vision, think of it like driving with your cab lights on.

The choice is yours, yes you can do it, I don't recommend it and won't advice you on how to do it. If the waters you run are navigable, be careful as you may find your violating navigable water laws by running any lights.
Yes, here in Il we have to have nav lights on at night. And the rivers we run have too much crap floating for us to run without lights. Only the big lake by my house can I run without lights for I know it like my bedroom. We drift night catfishing like that and only cut on nav lights when we hear someone getting remotely close to avoid a situation. We run jugs at night and float with them and can hear or see the jug bouncing when something is on it. We put a few ballbearings in them at night and can hear them rattle around when something goes to pulling on them.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:32 AM
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Just check for Legality, I don't remember all the maritime laws but I remember something about lights and night. Nav lights must be on from dusk to dawn, built in headlights are only meant for docking purposes. And this is where I get fuzzy, I believe it is actually illegal if the boat is moving and you shine a bright light at another boater on the water. You may not intend to, but it is a possibility and if the other boater makes a complaint, you may not have a leg to stand on. Just a FYI, call to be sure if you can.
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