Make sure you put your lights on when paddling at night

Good idea Mean, for it can get pretty hairy in the narrow Ala Wai with several 6-mans barreling down on you in the dark without lights. Lights are cheap now and can be mounted with duct tape. So come on canoe clubs and all other paddlers, please illuminate your canoes for the safety of all of us. Mahalos

#1 Mon, 10/21/2013 - 7:16pm

The requirements "down under" (the light must be at a certain height) are more specific than they are here in the US. Here a small boat being paddled must be prepared to "show a light." This derives from night muscle-powered fishing boats using a lantern to indicate their presence and to draw fish. The light doesn't have to be any specific height.

Traditionally the light was a white light. I've seen kayaks all decked out in port and starboard running lights, but that's overkill and may cause confusion since that particular configuration indicates a boat under sail. Headlamps on your hat fore and aft (full 360 degree coverage) and some reflective tape on your boat (SOLAS tape is particularly good, but expensive) and paddle ought to do the trick. Reflective tape a moving paddle is especially eye-catching and gives a hint that your paddle-powered.

For an OC-6, a steersman wearing the two headlamps, front and back, won't night-blind the other paddlers in the boat. Anyone forward of the steersman however should just wear a headlamp aimed front.

#2 Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:57am

Night/Winter paddling here in California I've found the vertical standing suction cup LED lamps available at work very well. They can be placed anywhere on the canoe with a single suction cup, and can bee seen from 360 degrees. They even have a small leash on them I usually attach to the yoke or bungy in case it falls off. Better safe than sorry out there at night.

#3 Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:10am

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