Seaman's Handbook

ANNEX I. Positioning and technical details of lights and shapes

(a) On a power-driven vessel of 20 metres of more in length the masthead lights shall be placed as follows:
  1. the forwards masthead light, or if only one masthead light is carried, then that light, at a height above the hull of not less than 6 metres, and, if the breadth of the vessel exceeds 6 metres, then at a height above the hull not less than such breadth, so however that the light need not be placed at a greater height above the hull than 12 metres;
  2. when two masthead lights are carried the after one shall be at least 4.5 metres vertically higher than the forward one.
(b) The vertical separation of masthead lights of power-driven vessels shall be such that in all normal conditions of trim the after light will be seen over and separate from the forward light at a distance of 1000 metres from the stem when viewed from sea level.(c) The masthead light of a power-driven vessel of 12 metres but less than 20 metres in length shall be placed at a height above the gunwale of not less than 2.5 metres.(d) A power-driven vessel of less than 12 metres in length may carry the uppermost light at a height of less than 2.5 metres above the gunwale. When however a masthead light is carried in addition to sidelights and a sternlight or the all-round light prescribed in Rule 23(d)(i) is carried in addition to sidelights, then such masthead light or all-round light shall be carried at least 1 metre higher than the sidelights.(e) One of the two or three masthead lights prescribed for a power-driven vessel when engaged in towing or pushing another vessel shall be placed in the same position as either the forward masthead light or the after masthead light; provided that, if carried on the aftermast, the lowest after masthead lights shall be at least 4.5 metres vertically higher than the forwards masthead light.(f)
  1. The masthead light or lights prescribed in Rule 23 (a) shall be so placed as to be above and clear of all other lights and obstructions except as described in subparagraph (ii).
  2. When it is impracticable to carry the all-round lights prescribed by Rule 27 (b) (i) or Rule 28 below the masthead lights, they may be carried above the after masthead light(s) or vertically in between the forwards masthead light(s) and after masthead light(s), provided that in the latter case the requirement of Section 3 of this Annex shall be complied with.
(g) The sidelights of a power-driven vessel shall be placed at a height above the hull not greater than three-quarters of that of the forwards light. They shall not be so low as to be interfered with by deck lights.(h) The sidelights, if in a combined lantern and carried on a power-driven vessel of less than 20 metres in length, shall be placed not less than 1 metre below the masthead light.(i) When the Rules prescribe two or three lights to be carried in a vertical line, they shall be placed as follows:
  1. on a vessel of 20 metres in length or more such lights shall be spaced not less than 2 metres apart, and the lowest of these lights shall, except where a towing light is required, be placed at a height of not less then 4 metres above the hull;
  2. on a vessel of less than 20 metres in length such lights shall be spaced not less than 1 metre apart and the lower of these lights shall, except where a towing light is required, be placed at a height of not less than 2 metres above the hull:
  3. when three lights are carried they shall be equally spaced.
(j) The lower of the two all-round lights prescribed for a vessel when engaged in fishing shall be at a height above the sidelights not less than twice the distance between the two vertical lights.(k) The forward anchor light prescribed in Rule 30 (a) (i), when two are carried, shall not be less than 4.5 metres above the after one. On a vessel of 50 metres or more in length this forward anchor light shall be placed at a height of not less than 5 metres above the hull.