Night time boating

For many reasons, the nighttime is the right time. Fishing at night is one good reason to leave the dock after sunset or before sunrise.

Boating or fishing at night can be a great adventure. However, it is always more dangerous. It is harder to see a storm coming and there are other boats moving about – not all of which use running lights. It is easy to get disoriented at night and sea conditions can change rapidly.


If you stop to fish or rest after dark, turn the running lights switch to the anchor position so other boaters can see you.

Navigation Lights. Before leaving the dock, check your running lights. All of the boat’s navigation lights should be on when underway. The bow lights green on starboard and red on port, plus the white one-light astern should all be illuminated. When stopped, it is important to put the switch to the anchor position (the one-light only). This helps other boaters see you when at rest or fishing.


Life preservers come in various types and are frequently referred to as Personal Flotation Devices or PFDs.

Wear a PFD. Federal regulations require that there is a PFD for every person aboard and that it fits properly.

Leave the booze at the dock. It is never a good idea to boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is especially important not to use alcohol or drugs when operating at night. Driving a boat under the influence of alcohol is just as deadly as in a car. Alcohol is responsible for a disproportionately-high number of boating deaths.


Speed is not a friend at night. Floating objects, such as a log or marker piling, are difficult to see and can seriously damage your boat and injure those aboard.

Take it slow. Keeping your speed down may be inconvenient but it just may save your boat and keep those aboard a lot safer.

Use your senses. Keep your eyes and ears open for dangerous situations. Watch and listen for other boats. Feel the way the boat is moving.


It is unwise to boat at night alone. A second or even a third set of eyes and ears increases the chance that danger will be sensed.

Never go at it alone. Protect yourself and bring a companion. This allows for a second set of senses. Make sure they can operate your boat in the case you are unable to.

It is fun to have night boating adventures. Just remember to wear a lifejacket in all weather, never drink alcohol (it probably tastes better when you’re back at the dock, anyway), drive slowly, don’t head out when the weather is bad or about to be bad, have all the appropriate safety gear and, finally, keep your senses sharp. It is easy to get disoriented in the dark.

This video was taken on 29/06/2019 in Amalfi coast Italy during the celebration of S. Pietro and Paolo. The night was very windy and there were hundreds of boats waiting for the fireworks there. The boat was overloaded as most of the boats waiting there, and our anchor was not enough heavy for our weights and that wind. Fortunately i had with me a second anchor of 10 kg and we was able to enjoy the show.

If it is too windy and you plan to stay at the anchor bring always with you a second one, it might be useful.

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