Side/Underwater Illumination

Top Dawg

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Do you have or ordered side or underwater LED illumination? If so, how much do you use it? Would you order it again?
 

CLDave

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Did both myself, and use both frequently. You're about $150 (and a few hours' time) away from the same. Links:


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Vikingstaff

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Do you have or ordered side or underwater LED illumination? If so, how much do you use it? Would you order it again?
They both look really cool.

We did all the interior RGB lights, as well as the side illumination and the SB Rear speaker grill illumination. We did not do the rear motor underwater illumination.

However, we don’t boat often at dusk or at night. Just a few times per summer. Thus, if I had to do it over again, I would probably save the money. Then again, our teen and young adult kids love all the lighting…so hey…there you go. :)

Just depends on a) if you will boat much after sundown, and b) if you are into it that stuff (again, it looks pretty neat). I will say, as cool as it looks, and I do put it on those few times we head out at night, it’s not like you really see it. More of a cool affect for others outside your boat to see in my opinion.
 

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We have all available lighting options and then had more added aftermarket. Love it and love slow cruising moonlight rides with a boat full of neighbors, drinks and music. To me Best upgrade options
 

CLDave

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Just depends on a) if you will boat much after sundown, and b) if you are into it that stuff (again, it looks pretty neat). I will say, as cool as it looks, and I do put it on those few times we head out at night, it’s not like you really see it. More of a cool affect for others outside your boat to see in my opinion.

One caveat: if you park on a lift at night (or on a dock and want to tie off) it's super-handy to have the side lights to make sure you're on the guides straight. Plus, underwater lights are great for nightswimming.
 

Link

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One caveat: if you park on a lift at night (or on a dock and want to tie off) it's super-handy to have the side lights to make sure you're on the guides straight. Plus, underwater lights are great for nightswimming.
Yes makes skinny dipping much better ;)
 

BigKahuna

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Never go out at night so we never used the lights that came with the boat......
 

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Never go out at night so we never used the lights that came with the boat......
Why no nights BK? Of course we love the day as there is so much to do but we all look forward to a night cruise after sitting around the campfire. Smooth water, moonlight, and a totally different perspective
 

BigKahuna

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Why no nights BK? Of course we love the day as there is so much to do but we all look forward to a night cruise after sitting around the campfire. Smooth water, moonlight, and a totally different perspective
Well to back up a bit we went out at night on our 1st 4th of July after moving to NC with our old boat. When the fireworks ended boats were scurrying around like cockroaches after turning the light on! We almost got hit twice! We've gotten caught out there a few times coming back from a different part of the lake where it got dark faster than expected. We just feel more comfortable in the day time where we can see! Ha!
 

scottkp

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I am stopped by the police every time the lights are on at night, even anchored. The only time we use them now is when we are tied up at our slip. Not worth the headaches of talking to our local patrol, even though they are super nice!
 

sunedog

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Where do you boat?
 

Top Dawg

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We boat on Lake Whatcom which is in Northwest Washington State. Our boating season is primarily from mid April to mid October.
 

big shooter

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We use the toe kick lights every time we go out even during the day. We use the underwater lights when out at night, not very often. We don't have side lights. I do wish we had them, it would help our friends recognize our boat from a distance.
 

sunedog

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I am stopped by the police every time the lights are on at night, even anchored. The only time we use them now is when we are tied up at our slip. Not worth the
headaches of talking to our local patrol, even though they are super nice!
Sorry Top Dawg. I meant to ask scottkp because this is the first time I recall anyone saying they couldn't display side lights while at anchor. I think the 100 year old single red / green / white requirements are no longer safe with so many boats on the water and additional lights are absolutely necessary for visibility. Even while underway. We've had several fatalities on our lake over the last several years because someone didn't see another boat. I fully understand the argument that additional lights could cause other boaters night blindness. My LED side lights are tucked up under the side skirt and all that is visible is a blue glow on the toons and in the water. I also appreciate the argument that you might not be able to determine which way I'm moving if you can't see my R/Y/G lights. But if you can see me from literally two miles away, I think you will have plenty of time to figure it out. And on my boat, my 16 foot long strip of lights ends 2 or 3 feet from my bow lights so the aftermarket lights do not impair your visibility to see my bow lights.

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Vikingstaff

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Sorry Top Dawg. I meant to ask scottkp because this is the first time I recall anyone saying they couldn't display side lights while at anchor. I think the 100 year old single red / green / white requirements are no longer safe with so many boats on the water and additional lights are absolutely necessary for visibility. Even while underway. We've had several fatalities on our lake over the last several years because someone didn't see another boat. I fully understand the argument that additional lights could cause other boaters night blindness. My LED side lights are tucked up under the side skirt and all that is visible is a blue glow on the toons and in the water. I also appreciate the argument that you might not be able to determine which way I'm moving if you can't see my R/Y/G lights. But if you can see me from literally two miles away, I think you will have plenty of time to figure it out. And on my boat, my 16 foot long strip of lights ends 2 or 3 feet from my bow lights so the aftermarket lights do not impair your visibility to see my bow lights.

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I lean into your thinking here on the exterior lights these days. I do find it easier to see and track others when they run the exterior lights such as this. On our lake, I have not known anyone to get pulled over while running them, even though technically they are a violation. Since we don’t go out much in the evening, we don’t use ours often. However, when we do go out, I do flip them on for the cool factor and ambiance they provide (as well as to justify the expense of having added them to our build back in 2017- ha).
 

scottkp

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We are in central Ohio but trailer a lot! The area I have had the most trouble with has been Deep Creek Maryland. Pending the water officer, I got “those are cool lights. Are they factory?” I respond yes, and then get “great, turn them off as they are illegal”. It’s been easy stops as we are not that rambunctious but nonetheless, I don’t want any problems at night.
 

1trotter

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I would not own a boat without it. Makes you much more visible at night to hopefully prevent someone from hitting you! Years back DNR prohibited use of them while underway on lake murray but have since relaxed their opinion of the lights for just that reason. I run them every time I go out have have never been qustioned. Most maritime laws are old and should be modified.
 

Vikingstaff

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I think this just highlights “knowing” your waterways. Different areas and officers are going to respond differently. Some are going to be “by the book” regardless of their opinion officers…which technically is supposed to be how they all are.

Others will be as 1trotter described on Lake Murray. They will see it as outdated or even counter-productive to the intended effect of the ordinance, and ignore it accordingly. One view is to have the lights added if you know you will boat at night. You can always turn them off if you have to. However, if you don’t have them on the boat, then you don’t have an option to begin with.
 

Magician

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Had it on all of my boats and even got pulled by Johnny Law once for running blue lights that they said looked like they were strobing and I was told turn them off or get ticketed. I carry the latest copy of the law concerning boat lighting on my boat now for the next time.
As far as use is concerned we use them whenever we cruise at night which is about two or three times a year. Lots of fishing boats run at night here and at least they should be able to see me.
Downside is they attract bugs like crazy but otherwise we like them.
 
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