Navigation Lights to Meet Coast Guard Requirements

Nothing beats a day on the water but a pleasant night cruise is a close contender. Boat navigation lights help to ensure visibility to other boats when you are underway or anchored at night. We carry the lights you need to meet Coast Guard requirements when using your boat after dark and we can help you determine which navigation lights are required for your boat.

Cut Power Consumption with LED Navigation Lights

LED lights are more efficient and draw far less power compared to incandescent lights. Whereas old-style 2 nautical mile (nm) incandescent anchor lights drew close to 1A, many modern LED anchor lights only draw about .1A which is a 90 percent reduction in power draw.

Portable Lights for Inflatable Boats, Kayaks and Canoes

Watching the sunset over the water from your kayak is a great way to relax, until you realize you have to paddle back in the dark while being practically invisible to other boats. West Marine portable navigation light kits assure visbility while you enjoy the water after dark like everyone else. Watertight LED light kits easily install with suction cup or c-clamp mounts and can be easily removed for storage.

Sturdy, Watertight Construction that Stands up to the Elements

Your boat’s navigation lights are bound to get wet which is why all of our lights are designed to last for years on the water. Aluminum poles on our all-round lights and stainless steel or impact-resistant plastic housings on other lights are corrosion- and UV-resistant.

The Bigger the Boat, the Brighter the Light

Larger boats require brighter and usually bigger navigation lights. While true as a general rule, the minimum visibility required also varies with the type of light. Here is a brief synopsis of the requirements:

  • Boats less than 12m (39.4'), sidelights must be visible for at least 1nm. All other lights must be visible for at least 2nm.
  • Boats less than 20m (65.7'), a masthead light must be visible for 3nm. All other lights must be visible for 2nm.
  • Boat over 20m (65.7') and less than 50m (164') must display a masthead light visible for 5nm. All other lights must be visible for 2nm.


For additional help selecting navigation lights, read our West Advisor article Navigation Light Rules. Of course, West Marine associates are always ready to help at a store near you.