The US Coast Guard has some unusual regulations regarding navigation, steaming, and anchor lights. While Flirt is a Sea Sprite 23, her actual length is only 22’6″. This puts her just under the limits for needing navigation lights. While I understand that a small dinghy, skiff, or the like may not need navigation lights, to allow a heavy “weekender” sailboat like Flirt go to sea without them seems foolhardy.
When I started going over her, Flirt did have navigation lights, they were ugly chromed things that were both pitted and not even wired up. they were decoration only. She had her forward Red and Green lights on the cabin sides, and an offset stern light on the rear rail. There was no steaming light and no masthead anchoring light. While technically she did not need it, I imagine that the waters of Lake Champlain did not demand their inclusion either.
As my eventual goals are to both cruise the Mid-Atlantic from New York to the Mouth of the Chesapeake.. with at least one trip down the Dismal Swap Canal, Navigation lighting is high on my list of important things to have. Even if I never set sail in the evening or power into a harbour after the sun has set, I still want to be safely seen so I do not become a unfortunate statistic.
While I am still busy working on the cabin and deck, something popped up on eBay I could not resist, a genuine Wilcox Crittenden Bronze “Wingtip” Steaming light. Like Flirt, it needs work to shine like new, but I had to grab it as the price was right and once cleaned up, polished, and installed will look wonderful on her Mast. I might be the only one to ever see it.. but that is all that matters
Once polished up, I will let it age gracefully to that wonderful greenish patina that bronze gets.. but it will be nice and shiny when installed.