Light seagoing

Learn all about the rules on lights in the case of maritime navigation.

The present APPLIES TO rules for international waters. In waters under the jurisdiction of any nation this rules can suffer form any alteration.

The marine navigation lights are those installed aboard any vessel in order to alert other ships in the area of ​​their presence, reporting capabilities maneuver forward direction and special features to make in terms of a correct identification facilitate maneuvers designed to avoid collisions.

The characteristics of navigation lights, colors, bows visibility, scope and relative installation position, are established by the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (RIPA)

Listed below is a brief description of the set of lights must display the boats according to the particulars of each characteristic.


Features - Color - Arcos visibility.

Ref Name Color Arc of Visibility optical range (length & gt; 50 m)
1 Light Tope bow to stern Blanca 225 degrees (20/4) 6 miles
2 Light band (Babor) Red 112.5 degrees (10/4) 3 miles
3 Light side (starboard) Green 112.5 degrees (10/4) 3 miles
4 Sternlight Blanca 135 degrees (12/4) 3 miles
5 Towing light Yellow 135 degrees (12/4) 3 miles
. Everything on the horizon Blanca 360 (32/4) 3 miles
. Everything on the horizon Red 360 (32/4) 3 miles
. Everything on the horizon Green 360 (32/4) 3 miles
. Flashing Yellow 360 (32/4) 3 miles

Power-driven vessel

Definition: Power-driven vessel is any vessel moved by a machine.

The power-driven vessels are subdivided by length in:

    • greater length 50 meters (Case 23-a).
    • less than 50 meters and more than 12 meters (Case 23-b) length.
    • less than 12 meters (Case 23-c).
    • less than 7 meters (Case 23-d) length.
  • Caso 23-a

  • Caso 23-b

  • Caso 23-c

  • Caso 23-d

Chapter deserve vessels without fretwork the hovercraft.

Hovercraft when operating on the air mattress (no draft mode) also exhibit all-round light flashing.

    • length of less than 50 m without draft (Case 23-x).
    • length of less than 50 m feathered (Case 23-y).
  • Caso 23-x

  • Case 23-y

Buckland remolcando the Empujando


  • Tugboat: it's all power-driven vessel towing another.
  • Trailer Length: measured from the stern of the tugboat to the stern of the last vessel or towed.

According to length of the tug and the length of the trailer we distinguish:

    • Length of 50 m lower towing more trailer length 200 m (case 24-a)
    • Length of 50 m lower towing length of 200 m lower towing (Case 24-a2)

In case of a pusher and pushed with rigid connection therebetween forming a composite unit shall exhibit:

    • Length of more than 50 meters overall. (Case 24-b).
    • Length of less than 50 meters overall. (Case 24-c).
  • Caso 24-a

  • Caso 24-a2

  • Caso 24-b

  • Caso 24-c

    • Length of less than 50 meters tugboat pushing forward without rigid connection or alongside (Case 24-e).
    • Length of tow more than 50 m, length greater than 200 meters (Case 24-f) trailer.
    • Towed object altogether longest 200 meters (Case 24-g)
    • Object towed partially submerged or low visibility less than 25 m wide (Case 24-h)
  • Caso 24-e

  • Caso 24-f

  • Caso 24-g

  • Caso 24-h

    • Pushing vessel that is not a composite or rigid link unit (Case 24-i)
    • Towing ship or alongside the side (Case 24-j)
  • Caso 24-i

  • Caso 24-j

Ships sailing or rowing boats

Definition: The expression sailing vessel It means any vessel under sail provided that propelling machine, if fitted, is not being used.

  • Sailing vessel less than 20 meters in length. Throw more light lights range (case 25-a)
  • Sailing ship, is less than 20 m the three lights above case in a combined lantern on the masthead. (Case 25-b)
  • Sailing vessel, as further optional display at the masthead two round lights, a red on a green. (Case 25-c)
  • Sailing vessel or paddle length of less than 7 m exhibit a light hand or flashlight. (Case 25-d).
  • Caso 25-a

  • Caso 25-b

  • Caso 25-c

  • Caso 25-d

Fishing vessels

Fishing vessels for the purpose of Regulations for Preventing Collisions are divided into two categories, trawlers and fishing line. The term "vessel engaged in fishing" means any vessel fishing with nets, lines, trawls or other fishing apparatus which restrict maneuverability.

Dedicated to the vessel trawling will exhibit according to their length and whether they are with or without start.

    • Trawler greater length 50 m no way through (if 26B1)
    • Trawler less than 50 meters without torn (case 26b2) length
    • Trawler less than 50 meters through the water (case 26b3) length
    • Trawler greater than 50 meters through the water (case 26b4) length

Called start the way that makes the ship on the water due to the inertia once arrested machines.

  • Caso 26b1

  • Caso 26b2

  • Caso 26b3

  • Caso 26b4

Fishing gear which is not the drag but have limited maneuverability exhibit ( fishing line).

    • Fishing line through the water. (Case 26c1)
    • Fishing line making no way. (Case 26c2)
  • Caso 26c1

  • Caso 26c2

Vessels not under command or restricted government capacity

Definition: Vessel not under command means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver and hence out of the way (the way) of another vessel.

    • Ship without government making no way. (Case 27a)
    • Ungoverned ship through the water. (Case 27a1)
  • Caso 27a

  • Caso 27a1

Buque with Capacity of Maniobra Restringida (BCMR) Refers to vessels by the nature of the work they do have limited their ability to maneuver and thus are unable to depart from the way of another vessel. This category includes for example: ships task of marking, dredging, launching or recovery of aircraft, vessel transshipping bunker, people are also tugs for some reason its maneuverability is restricted Vessels removal military mines (minesweepers) etc.

    • BCMR (Bollard) con torn, eslora less than 50 m (case 27b).
    • BCMR (Buoy) anchored less than 50 m (case 27b1) length.
    • BCMR (Tug) length of the lower trailer 200 m and less than 50 length (case 27c)
  • Caso 27b

  • Caso 27b1

  • Caso 27c

Vessels for dredging further exhibit from the side that obstruct navigation two red round lights and two green same feature from the side that they can be overcome.

    • Draga, through the water, obstructing navigation by its starboard (case 27d)
    • Draga, making no way, obstructing navigation by its starboard (case 27d2)
    • Relief efforts boat diving (case e2)
    • Minesweepers sailing, reduced length of 50 m (case 27f)
  • Caso 27d

  • Caso 27d2

  • Caso 27e2

  • Caso 27f

Vessels constrained by draft

Definition: A vessel constrained by her draft means a power-driven vessel which, because of her draft in relation to the available depth and width of navigable water, is severely restricted to deviate from the course she is following capacity. (Case 28)

In addition to the lights corresponding to its length as power-driven vessel shall exhibit three red lights in a vertical form of all-round.

  • case 28

Vessels practical

The vessels for transportation and boarding assistance practical (Pilots) will exhibit:

    • A white light on a red all-round.
    • When in navigation, and side lights and scope (Case 29)
    • When they are moored ship at anchor lights corresponding to its length (case 29a)
    • When not on pilotage duty shall exhibit the lights corresponding to its length.
  • case 29

  • Caso 29a

Moored vessels and / or stranded

    • The ship anchored in length exceeding 50 m, Exhibited the bow has a round white light, as in the stern but below the line bow. A vessel at anchor may also exhibit the lights working on deck (case 30a).
    • Ships at anchor less than 50 m in length all-round white light (case 30b).

Ships stranded, length exhibited by the anchor lights of ungoverned plus (cases 30d and 30d2).

  • Caso 30a

  • Caso 30b

  • Caso 30d

  • Caso 30d2



  • U.S. Department of Transportation, United States Coast Guard, Navigation Rules, International and Inland Waters. Washington, DC. USA. (COMDTINST MI6672.2C)
  • International Regulations for Preventing Collisions. Naval Hydrographic Service. 1988 Buenos Aires - Argentina.
  • Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, Editorial Guard. Buenos Aires . October 1997. ISBN 987-95927-3-5.

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