Safe Boating Course


CHAPTER 2: Boating Equipment


One of the most important safety systems on your boat is your set of navigation lights.

Whenever you are operating between sunset and sunrise, or in other times of restricted visibility, such as in fog or rain, you need to display the appropriate navigation lights so that other boats can see you and take the appropriate action to avoid a collision.

In general, all navigation light systems include red and green sidelights, which indicate the port and starboard side of your boat, as well as one or more white lights.

It’s also important that you have a flashlight on board, as you never know when a navigation light might burn out. The rules for what navigation lights to display depend on a number of factors including:

  • The length of your boat: e.g. under or over 12 meters;
  • Whether your boat is being powered by an engine;
  • Where you’re boating, e.g. inland or international waters; and
  • Whether you at anchor.

The next videos will cover these in more detail.

For now, remember that it’s your responsibility to have the proper navigation lighting. Even if you just purchased a new boat, you should check to ensure that you’ve got the right lights for safe, and legal, boating.