Saturday, December 18, 2010

Navigation Lights

NAV Lights Study Guide

Application: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
Function: Nautical Reference and Study
Cost: Free
Rating: **

If you ever sail at night you will want to pick up this handy reference and study guide provide by Tollway Solutions called Nav Lights. You may also know these as running lights.  These are the light that boat, yachts and ships are required to have illuminated while they are operating during the non daylight hours. These lights along with their configuration and color help boaters identify each other and safely navigate at night. These light also allow boaters to determine the position, heading and status of the vessels around them.

Did you know that navigation lights play a key role in determining who has the right of way. On boats, yachts and ships, a red light will be mounted on the left or port side of the ship and a green on the right or starboard side. These lights help two boats on a collision course determine who has right of way.  If a boater sees a vessel on a path crossing his, he will see either its red running light or green running light. If he observes a green light,  he is on the other boats starboard and has the right of way. If the boater observes a red light, he knows that the other boat has the right of way, and he is required to change his course to avoid the collision.

History lesson:

The United States passed an act in 1828 requiring steamboats operating between sunset and sunrise to carry signal lights. The United Kingdom passed regulations in 1848 that required steam vessels to display red and green sidelights as well as a white masthead light. The U.S. Congress required sailing vessels to operate with lights starting in 1848. United States held the first International Maritime Conference in 1889 to consider regulations on preventing accidents at sea. The resulting Washington Conference Rules were adopted by the U.S in 1890. The international 1948 Safety of Life at Sea Conference recommended a mandatory fixed stern light for almost all vessels. These regulations have been the standard since then.


Nav Lights is a quick reference and study guide to help boaters learn the many different configurations of navigation lights.  It has several categories to choose from.  It shows navigation lights for fishing vessel, power driven vessels, towing and pushing vessels and vessel not under command or with restricted maneuverability.

It also has a neat section with flashcards to test your knowledge once you have mastered all the lighting configurations.  If you are pursuing your Coast Guard Captains license this app will help you study for the requirement to identify vessels by their navigation lights. Whether your a weekend boater for seasoned captain this is a handy reference and a must have app for your mobile device.


  1. This is very helpful information. I am actually trying to get my coast guard captains license and this will save me tons. Thanks again for compiling this information again.

  2. Jim,

    Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the site. Share it with your friends and get the word out. Good luck with your license.


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    Perko Navigation Light

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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