You are here:
Navigation Lights for vessels over 20 meters
On March 31, 1977, the U.S. Coast Guard published, in the Federal Register, an amendment to the navigation and navigable water regulations which added a new subchapter DD, (33 CFR 87). This subchapter contains rules implementing and interpreting the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 ('72 COLREGS). The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1960, were replaced by the '72 COLREGS at 1200 hours, zone time on July 15, 1977. Therefore, all vessels on the high seas must comply with the '72 COLREGS at this time. In addition, with the enactment of the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules Act of 1980, the Inland Rules, Western Rules, and Great Lakes Rules were unified into a single set of requirements. The effective date for this legislation was December 24, 1981 (March 1, 1983 for Great Lakes). Therefore, all vessels must comply with these rules at this time.
Rules 21 and 22 of the '72 COLREGS and the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules give the color and range requirements for various navigation lights. Annex 1 to the '72 COLREGS and the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules gives positioning and technical details for these lights.
U.S. Coast Guard Acceptance of Navigation Lights
All U.S. Registered vessels are subject to either the '72 COLREGS or the U.S. Inland Rules. The U.S. Coast Guard is accepting lights that have passed the UL tests (UL Standard 1104) as meeting the '72 COLREGS and the U.S. Inland Rules for vessels over 20 meters (65.6 ft.) in length. U.S. requirements for smaller vessels are less strict. As the first domestic manufacturer to pass UL 1104, Perko's lights can be installed on vessels over 20 meters (65.6 ft.) in length. Some models are designed for use on vessels over 20 meters (65.6 ft.) in length, while others are designed for use on vessels 20 meters (65.6 ft.) to 50 meters (164.0 ft.) in length.
A brass tag is permanently affixed to the light (see image below) indicating the type of light, catalog number, voltage and bulb type to install to meet the visibility requirements. It also states that the light is classified by UL in accordance with the '72 COLREGS. This is the only documentation needed by a vessel for navigation lights to certify light construction compliance with the '72 COLREGS and the Inland Navigation Rules, and eliminates the former "Certificate of Compliance".
The lights indicated for use on vessels over 20 meters (65.6 ft.) in length have passed UL 1104. The facsimile of the tag shown above is used on our cast bronze lights. Similar rectangular tags are used on other style lights.
Please note that any changes made to PERKO navigation lights, including substitution of bulbs other than those shown in our catalog, instruction sheets, or metal tags (affixed to some lights) will void all certifications and U.S. Coast Guard acceptance.
For the present, the U.S. Coast Guard will not publish a list of UL classified lights. However, field offices have been notified. For more detailed information, consult the complete '72 COLREGS, the U.S. Inland Navigation Rules, and your local U.S. Coast Guard office.