All boats must show running lights between sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility. A sailboat operating under power or under power and sail must display the proper lights for a powerboat. This section describes the inland and international light requirements for boats less than 20 meters (65 feet 7 inches). In many cases, the lights prescribed for a particular boat are the same under both rules. Any exceptions are noted.
Power Driven Boats
On inland and international waters, a power-driven boat shall exhibit navigation lights as shown in 1. Vessels less than 12 meters (39 feet 4 inches) may show the lights shown in 1 or 2. In international waters a power-driven boat of less than 7 meters (23 feet) in length whose maximum speed cannot exceed 7 knots may exhibit an all-round white light and if practicable, also exhibit side lights.
Sailboats and Boat Under Oars
NOTE: A sailboat under machinery power and sail is considered a power-driven boat.
Sailboats under sail alone must exhibit navigation lights shown in 3, 4 or 5. A sailboat of less than 7 meters (23 feet) in length may carry an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision (see figure 6c).
A boat under oars may: (a) display those lights prescribed for sailboats or (b) have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision (see figure 6).
Power-driven boats and sailboats at anchor must display anchor lights. An anchor light is an all-round white light visible for 2 miles and exhibited forward where it can best be seen. Vessels less than 7 meters (23 feet) are not required to display anchor lights unless anchored in or near a narrow channel, fairway, or anchorage, or where other vessels normally navigate. Anchor lights are not required on vessels less than 20 meters anchored in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary of Transportation.
Vessels under sail also being propelled by machinery must exhibit forward, where it can best be seen, a conical shape, apex down (See Figure 7). Vessels less than 12 meters are not required to exhibit the day shape in inland waters.
Equipment such as starter motors, alternators/generators and air cleaners are not intrinsically safe and should not be used in gasoline powered boats.