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Michael T said:
...good point Greg, other boaters see white they think it's the stern lights of another boat and wouldn't realize how fast they were closing on you! Good call!....and yes, the marine police here would write a fat ticket for leaving your docking lights on!
.....and that's one of the reasons Rinker (and other manufacturers) offered tri lights in their cockpits. Yes they look cool dockside or at anchor but the red does not damage your night vision like white and even blue do.
Where I boat if you use your spotlight forward to spot a marked buoy or hazard it better be on it, you mark it on your gps then get the light off.
My friend was below with another couple and heard a police siren. His son and a friend were up in the cockpit shooting the bow spot light all over the area. That brought the marine Police out.
.....again good call Greg!
A good flash light is what you need to pick out the bouys in a dark channel. Other than that, I can not think of another use for a beamed light.