Friday, December 17, 2021

Hoistable Lights for Anchoring and Restricted Ability to Manuver (RAM)

What lights do you show when lying to a drogue or sea anchor? You are not anchored. You are not underway in the standard sense, since you cannot maneuver. The answer is RAM. This also includes night diving.

But you can't buy hoistable RAM lights, certainly not any suitable for the limited power supply of a sailboat. So I made my own from LED clearance lights, which are cheap, low draw, and weatherproof. The assembly is >1000-pound tensile strength (tested), so I can rig it tight for rough weather.


Bright enough? The top light and green light are USCG approved lights. The small white light on my backstay, just above the boom, is another "emergency anchor light" that is clearly not bright enough.

I'm testing them for at least 6 months before I roll it out.

Why would I want RAM lights? I dive at night ocationally. This will keep me seen.



  1. Great idea! I'm wondering how the light is visible all around, are you attaching two clearance lights back-to-back?

    Your post is making me think green and red LED clearance lights might be a good way of getting sailing lights (red over green). I'd prefer red-over-green sailing lights over my current tricolor because I see red over green (mounted with a good distance between them) as far more distinctive at a distance than the single tricolor light.

    Did you have any trouble finding LED clearance lights that were visible from two miles away?

  2. There are three lights mounted vertically on an 8-inch length of 1.25-inch PVC. That gives pretty even coverage. The wires are inside, and it is all sealed up.

    The white lights are these: The red lights are the same brand. The connectors (plugs) are SAE 2-pin.

  3. I should add that truck clearance lights that meet ISO standards are visible at 3 miles; it is stated differently, but that is what the required candela work out to. So any ISO clearance lights should work.