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Traveling on a canal at night?

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This might be a bit of a stupid question, but I'm finding it hard to get a straight answer from the all mighty google (might be the way I'm wording it) and cant seem to find "traveling at night" forum on the site. Again, might be down to my wording it in the search, but, can you use canals at night? I've seen a few boats with lights on them, and I've no doubt there'd be requirements if you can travel after dusk, but, are you actually aloud to? They might just be tunnel lights I've seen after all.

 

Ba jazz

- Foxy

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you can travel the canals any time you want to 24/7 just make sure you have lighting if you do tho, dont travel in this snow/ice :help:

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This might be a bit of a stupid question, but I'm finding it hard to get a straight answer from the all mighty google (might be the way I'm wording it) and cant seem to find "traveling at night" forum on the site. Again, might be down to my wording it in the search, but, can you use canals at night? I've seen a few boats with lights on them, and I've no doubt there'd be requirements if you can travel after dusk, but, are you actually aloud to? They might just be tunnel lights I've seen after all.

 

Ba jazz

- Foxy

 

Absolutely no rules against cruising at night, unless you're a hire boater where the terms of hire forbid it.

 

We haven't yet because we only have a tunnel light rather than a proper navigation light, but I'm sure that hasn't stopped others.

 

And I'm a great believer that there's no such thing as a stupid question - just people who need to know stuff asking people who might know the answer :cheers:

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This might be a bit of a stupid question, but I'm finding it hard to get a straight answer from the all mighty google (might be the way I'm wording it) and cant seem to find "traveling at night" forum on the site. Again, might be down to my wording it in the search, but, can you use canals at night? I've seen a few boats with lights on them, and I've no doubt there'd be requirements if you can travel after dusk, but, are you actually aloud to? They might just be tunnel lights I've seen after all.

 

Ba jazz

- Foxy

 

You are allowed to but not too loudly, you'll wake the neighbours. Sorry, pedant mode mode now off. :P

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We haven't yet because we only have a tunnel light rather than a proper navigation light, but I'm sure that hasn't stopped others.

 

 

So what's the difference between a tunnel light and a 'proper navigation light' (where canals are concerned)?

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As long as you don't smack into other boats because you don't have an adequate light at the front, no restrictions at all. In fact, moving in the dark is a pleasure. And moving on a night around full moon, is what some people might call 'magical'

 

And to clarify your actual query, no, you don't need any special, or navigation lights, just a decent headlight. Navigation lights are pointless on the canal.

Edited by luctor et emergo

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You may find that it is your insurance company that dictates the times you cruise, even if it is not in the small print I'd check with them first.

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Just to note that travelling at night (as is travelling on red boards) is specifically excluded in the licence conditions on the River Wey and Godalming Navigations so it's not the same everywhere.

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And to clarify your actual query, no, you don't need any special, or navigation lights, just a decent headlight. Navigation lights are pointless on the canal.

 

A rather sweeping statement old bean if i may say so :D The Aire and calder and how about the Manchester ship just for two or are you just relating to your local ditch ;)

 

Tim

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You may find that it is your insurance company that dictates the times you cruise, even if it is not in the small print I'd check with them first.

 

Indeed. My insurance specifically prohibits single-handing at night.

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As long as you don't smack into other boats because you don't have an adequate light at the front, no restrictions at all. In fact, moving in the dark is a pleasure. And moving on a night around full moon, is what some people might call 'magical'

 

And to clarify your actual query, no, you don't need any special, or navigation lights, just a decent headlight. Navigation lights are pointless on the canal.

 

You might want to read the bye laws again. There are navigations where the use of navigation lights after dark and in times of poor visibility is mandatory.

 

See and be seen. It makes no sense to not have navigation lights if you are going to travel after dark they don't cost much.

 

One note on using tunnel lights as your one source of night light is make sure it isn't dazzling on coming boats. We have met many narrow boats traveling at night who have no idea they are making matters worse with the glare.

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Are the rules different for NB and WB re the red and green lights ? And maybe a good headlamp with a flat beam , so not to dazzle people ??

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Are we not over complicating things here? With certain exceptions (Wey, Godalming), you are allowed to travel on canals at night

 

Richard

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Absolutely no rules against cruising at night, unless you're a hire boater where the terms of hire forbid it.

 

We haven't yet because we only have a tunnel light rather than a proper navigation light, but I'm sure that hasn't stopped others.

 

And I'm a great believer that there's no such thing as a stupid question - just people who need to know stuff asking people who might know the answer :cheers:

 

 

I love travelling at night. I have both a tunnel light, and another light which I fitted up for night-time use.

 

The tunnel light is a car foglamp with a well cut-off beam angled slightly downwards (this is how I prefer it in a tunnel anyway) which clearly illuminates both banks without any risk of dazzling anybody. The other light is a powerful spotlamp, and I have found it to be completely useless on canals because it doesn't show me either bank until it is too late to avoid it (or the moored boats attached to it); its only benefit is that it will shine through to the far side of a bridge-hole to show me which way the canal goes.

 

In all, after 25 years of boat ownership which has included many night-time trips, I can say that I have only used my "Night-time" light twice: the first time, with great excitement, to put it to the test, and the second time to confirm that it really was as useless as it had seemed to be the first time. Since then it has lain in my front locker, unused and unwanted, and there has been only one occasion when I think it would have been useful (that was on the Witham where my tunnel light failed to reach either bank or to show me anything ahead either - but I soon realised that as long as it showed me nothing I must be in the middle of the river heading in approxsimately the right direction)

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Just to note that travelling at night (as is travelling on red boards) is specifically excluded in the licence conditions on the River Wey and Godalming Navigations so it's not the same everywhere.

This is also true of the Middle Level.

But on CaRT controlled canals you can and as stated earlier you do not require navigation lights as a general rule, I understand that on some large canals that still carry comical traffic it is a requirement. Also you can boat in the snow and ice if you wish to.

 

I love travelling at night. I have both a tunnel light, and another light which I fitted up for night-time use.

 

The tunnel light is a car foglamp with a well cut-off beam angled slightly downwards (this is how I prefer it in a tunnel anyway) which clearly illuminates both banks without any risk of dazzling anybody. The other light is a powerful spotlamp, and I have found it to be completely useless on canals because it doesn't show me either bank until it is too late to avoid it (or the moored boats attached to it); its only benefit is that it will shine through to the far side of a bridge-hole to show me which way the canal goes.

 

In all, after 25 years of boat ownership which has included many night-time trips, I can say that I have only used my "Night-time" light twice: the first time, with great excitement, to put it to the test, and the second time to confirm that it really was as useless as it had seemed to be the first time. Since then it has lain in my front locker, unused and unwanted, and there has been only one occasion when I think it would have been useful (that was on the Witham where my tunnel light failed to reach either bank or to show me anything ahead either - but I soon realised that as long as it showed me nothing I must be in the middle of the river heading in approxsimately the right direction)

Sorry I would disagree with your pointing the tunnel light down, it may work very well for you but I am sure the boats that you meet in the tunnel are not so happy with the beam shining along the surface of the water and up into there eyes. Obviously it is different when travelling at night because you need to see what is at water-level and not what's in the sky.

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This is also true of the Middle Level.

But on CaRT controlled canals you can and as stated earlier you do not require navigation lights as a general rule, I understand that on some large canals that still carry comical traffic

 

{snip}

 

Those whoopee cushions don't deliver themselves

 

Richard

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Sorry I would disagree with your pointing the tunnel light down, it may work very well for you but I am sure the boats that you meet in the tunnel are not so happy with the beam shining along the surface of the water and up into there eyes. Obviously it is different when travelling at night because you need to see what is at water-level and not what's in the sky.

 

 

I'm afraid we will have to continue to disagree then. The beam doesn't, of course, shine along the suface of the water - it reflects back up from it. I can clearly see that the flat beam strikes the water a short way in front of my boat, and then reflects up towards the roof of the tunnel. Any oncoming steerer will not come into range of the reflected beam until they -on their stern - are within a boats length of my lamp, by which time our bows have passed each other anyway. The upper and lower extremities of the main and reflected beam are clearly visible to me and the lamp is adjusted accordingly. Even if purely for self-protection, I have no wish to dazzle anybody.

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A rather sweeping statement old bean if i may say so :D The Aire and calder and how about the Manchester ship just for two or are you just relating to your local ditch ;)

 

Tim

 

 

Life is to short to cover every single navigable waterway in my reply. Besides, the MSC is a commercial waterway, not easily accesible by narrowboat, without going to some considerable effort beforehand. Li,ewise, I should have probably pointed out, that to cross the channel, the OP needs full COLREG compliant nav lights, and a fecking big foghorn. (Nobody ever mentions the foghorn do they? They all seem to think that their little car beeper is compliant )

 

Still, coal needs to be delivered, and milk picked up, so I will leave the endless discussion about semantics to those with time on their hands ;)

Edited by luctor et emergo

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Those whoopee cushions don't deliver themselves

 

Richard

Thanks :cheers: no I am not going to spit my dummy out about people picking on others who can't spell, Its happened to me for over 50 years now and doesn't hurt any more. I just wish someone would invent a spell checker that knows what word I wanted to use.

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Thanks :cheers: no I am not going to spit my dummy out about people picking on others who can't spell, Its happened to me for over 50 years now and doesn't hurt any more. I just wish someone would invent a spell checker that knows what word I wanted to use.

 

Those sort of 'word swap' errors are becoming more common due to predictive texting on smartphones, I thought it might be one of those

 

To be honest, I enjoy the strangeness of the imagery that these accidents create in my mind. Barges worked by circus clowns was too good not to celebrate

 

Richard

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Those sort of 'word swap' errors are becoming more common due to predictive texting on smartphones, I thought it might be one of those

 

 

Richard

Even I sometimes have problems reading them

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I point my tunnel lamp at the roof of the tunnel... but I have also never had an issue glare from another boats headlight that was beyond being really very tolerable!

 

We boat at night, one or twice a year, if not frequently and its great fun. We use the same light we use in tunnel, which is just a flat beam 50w halogen durite round foglight type affair thingy (I didnt buy it but thats what i looks like) and as said, a good torch, for looking at things to the side, up close, etc. A head torch is also hand for locks, although mainly if we're going to slot a night or two into a weekend we do so on the more lock-free sections. Like in tunnels, turning on indoor lights in locks is also useful for ensuring the boat is moving/level/etc.

 

The note about insurance is worth noting, as is the one hireboats, however there is nothing in our small print against it.

 

Its good fun, totally different, and a good way to get another 10miles in!

 

 

Daniel

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I recently experienced my first dark cruise! It was brilliant! I did feel the need for more forward light though. If I were to do it again, I would need to think about a better system than one wide light-beam foglight. (Better system for me, and any on-coming boats!)

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These are some really surprising answers! Thanks for all the posts guys. I thought at very least, to cruise at night you'd need a million billion lights, and some kinda aircraft grade radar affair going on. And spotters! Dont want to crash into any icebergs. But this sounds fantastic. I think I'd still get some red and green lights on ether side. Heck, I'd fit some indicators for the hell of it. But fog light does sound like a must. I can think of a few that'd work well for flooding to ether side so to catch the banks. And cruising in moonlight sounds amazing!

 

Ba jazz,

 

- Foxy

 

And also, I guess if I want to do this, sports exhausts and tuning to 14,000 RPM is out of the question.

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