1920's Schooner Running Lights Outboard Face Colors

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I have a question which is unlikely to be found in the YQ schooner. . . In standard practice there were running lights/boards on the forward ratline shrouds: Green - Stbd and Red - Port. I have seen only one model photo which showed the entire outboard faces of the boards and lantern fully painted in the corresponding color. Old b/w photos are typically of the back side and look black. I am questioning if the outboard faces would be red or green which would not show up well at dusk and not at night compared to a white outboard face which would reflect the lantern pretty well. Does anyone have a verifiable reference on the outboard color of the running light boards?
Rich (PT-2)
 
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I have a question which is unlikely to be found in the YQ schooner. . . In standard practice there were running lights/boards on the forward ratline shrouds: Green - Stbd and Red - Port. I have seen only one model photo which showed the entire outboard faces of the boards and lantern fully painted in the corresponding color. Old b/w photos are typically of the back side and look black. I am questioning if the outboard faces would be red or green which would not show up well at dusk and not at night compared to a white outboard face which would reflect the lantern pretty well. Does anyone have a verifiable reference on the outboard color of the running light boards?
Rich (PT-2)
Dear Rich

I'll try to answer your question as far as I understood.

There is an IMO (International Maritime Organisation) regulation called "Convention on The Regulations for Preventing Collisions at sea, 1972"

Navigation lights must be seen at certain angles according to regulation and must be painted in matt black.

If you want to read the regulation here is the link :


Annex-1 is about "Positioning and Technical Details of Lights and Shapes"


nav-lights.jpg


IMG_2909.jpg4349.jpg72177.jpg


Best Regards

Bilal
 
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Uwek

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an interesting article describing "The rule of the road"

In 1889 the United States convened the first International Maritime Conference to consider regulations for preventing collisions, held in Washington, D.C. The resulting Washington Conference rules were adopted in 1890 and went into effect in 1897. Significant developments in this new body of rules included a requirement for stand-on vessels to maintain speed as well as course, for steamships to carry a second masthead light, for the give way vessel not to cross ahead of the stand on vessel, and for the use of whistle signals to indicate course changes.

For the next 70 years additional rule changes were made, and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was promulgated on a regular basis beginning in 1914 following the Titanic disaster.



Two Steam Ships meeting:

When both side-lights you see ahead —
Port your helm and show your RED.

Two Steam Ships passing:

GREEN to GREEN — or, RED to RED —
Perfect safety — go ahead!


 
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an interesting article describing "The rule of the road"

In 1889 the United States convened the first International Maritime Conference to consider regulations for preventing collisions, held in Washington, D.C. The resulting Washington Conference rules were adopted in 1890 and went into effect in 1897. Significant developments in this new body of rules included a requirement for stand-on vessels to maintain speed as well as course, for steamships to carry a second masthead light, for the give way vessel not to cross ahead of the stand on vessel, and for the use of whistle signals to indicate course changes.

For the next 70 years additional rule changes were made, and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was promulgated on a regular basis beginning in 1914 following the Titanic disaster.



Two Steam Ships meeting:

When both side-lights you see ahead —
Port your helm and show your RED.

Two Steam Ships passing:

GREEN to GREEN — or, RED to RED —
Perfect safety — go ahead!


I was not asking about the lanterns colors and side or angle of visibility but my question focuses upon what color the wood support box/frame on the shrouds is painted on the outboard side. The BNII photo looks like that/those faces are black on the outboard visible faces which is doubtful. Are the wood faces painted the same color as the lantern???? If so in dim illumination the faces would be barely visible and total dependent upon the lantern. It would reflect more of the lantern color if the faces were white or some light color.
Does that clarify my question? Not of the use of the lights/lanterns or rules of passage but of finishes?\
Thanks for your references but I don't find the information that I am seeking.
Rich (PT-2)
 

Uwek

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I was not asking about the lanterns colors and side or angle of visibility but my question focuses upon what color the wood support box/frame on the shrouds is painted on the outboard side. The BNII photo looks like that/those faces are black on the outboard visible faces which is doubtful. Are the wood faces painted the same color as the lantern???? If so in dim illumination the faces would be barely visible and total dependent upon the lantern. It would reflect more of the lantern color if the faces were white or some light color.
Does that clarify my question? Not of the use of the lights/lanterns or rules of passage but of finishes?\
Thanks for your references but I don't find the information that I am seeking.
Rich (PT-2)
I think this information was already written in the document, which was linked by Bilal in the post before - my post was only for additional information for others interested in this subject
The sidelights shall be fitted with inboard screens painted matt black
-> So I guess, that the complete wooden box should be painted matt black
This is the still valid information since 1972, but maybe in the older one from 1889, which I linked in my post, and your 1920 schooner would fit in has a different or less strict definition -> with these two information you should search for the 1889 rules (which I did not find)
These two posts by Bilal and myself tried to give you assistance in your research......
 
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I think this information was already written in the document, which was linked by Bilal in the post before - my post was only for additional information for others interested in this subject
The sidelights shall be fitted with inboard screens painted matt black
-> So I guess, that the complete wooden box should be painted matt black
This is the still valid information since 1972, but maybe in the older one from 1889, which I linked in my post, and your 1920 schooner would fit in has a different or less strict definition -> with these two information you should search for the 1889 rules (which I did not find)
These two posts by Bilal and myself tried to give you assistance in your research......
I greatly appreciate your assistance. The confirmation of flat black on the inboard side matches old and current photos. I am hesitant to the outboard faces being black as only the lantern lens would show the color without any additional enhancement from a light colored outboard box face adding to the visibility. The model in the museum in Lunenberg was reported as being made by the last Captain of the BN before he died which supplemented his memory with additional feedback from other crewmembers. That model shows the outboard box faces painted the same color as the running light lantern. I'll try to find it in my photos collection and attach those.Bluenose Model by Capt George Myra , Whole Model.jpgBluenose Model by Capt George Myra , Midships.jpgBluenose Model by Capt George Myra , Aft.jpg
The curator told me that Capt. Myra died before being able to complete the model.
There was another model given by Capt Walters to one of the builders which is in the family but I need to do some back tracking and try to make a connection to ask about this with the family.
Thanks again for your time and assistance.
Rich (PT-2)
 
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It is only an indication, but the Bluenose II has them black
Take a look at this video and stop at 1;18
BTW very interesting video

Yes, I have seen the video before but going to 1:18 is a good recheck. I also recently found the all black boards on a more recent regulations that was posted for me. Still strange though to my mind and does conflict with the outboard boards on the model in the Lunenberg Historical Museum painted with the lantern colors.?????? I'll just have to make a decision. Thanks. Rich
 
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I went through this on my Great Lakes schooner. I decided to go with white facing on the inboard side and green / red outboard facing. On those period photos where running light backboards were visible, none were white. I just went through two books of photos. On balance, in B&W photos, most looked grey , definitely not black. Here is a photo of a schooner from end of the 19th century. You can see that the backboard is definitely grey, so red in reality IMO. Photo from Shipley and Addis, Schooners.20210605_101022.jpg
 
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I went through this on my Great Lakes schooner. I decided to go with white facing on the inboard side and green / red outboard facing. On those period photos where running light backboards were visible, none were white. I just went through two books of photos. On balance, in B&W photos, most looked grey , definitely not black. Here is a photo of a schooner from end of the 19th century. You can see that the backboard is definitely grey, so red in reality IMO. Photo from Shipley and Addis, Schooners.
Thanks for the added resource and comments. The outboard colored faces reinforce the colored faces of the model in the museum. I guess that is the tack that I will follow. As to inboard I'll probably skip black and take a lighter shade of a weathered surface. Rich (PT-2)
 
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The primary purpose of navigation lights, other than being bright enough to be seen at their prescribed distance, is to inform each ship of the others course and orientation. Modern lights are sharply defined by the filament (or emmiters) and reflections from other surfaces only lead to confusion. So backboards should be black.Backboards were more important when lamps were oil as they made it easier to define the visible sector.

Of course even today a walk around the docks will yield a variety of lighting schemes many of which are Ineffective or even against regulation.

I don't know when lights to define course and orientation became used and I am hoping someone else can help me out! (Don't make me Google) ;-)
 
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I looked at my references for the Bluenose II, but it only shows this. A good reference for the construction detail nonetheless. Image from Jenson, Bluenose II: Saga of the Great Fishing Schooners.20210605_145322.jpg
 
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I looked at my references for the Bluenose II, but it only shows this. A good reference for the construction detail nonetheless. Image from Jenson, Bluenose II: Saga of the Great Fishing Schooners.View attachment 237291
I have the book and also seen this page illustration. Definitely not white outboard but nothing describing any color to the face which does not appear to be black either. Probably black which had to be provided according to the regs when BNII was built and then her rebuilt refurbishing. Thanks for continuing to help me find an answer. Rich
 
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I'd go red and green, or plain wood.
I remember repainting the boxes to black in the late seventies, after implementation of the revised COLREGS. We, the sea cadets, were not happy as it removed fancy features of our ships. Before that, the boxes were indeed red and green. It is likely that in the time of the Bluenose, the box colour was not prescribed and I have seen sailing boats with just a varnished wooden plank to span the shrouds and hold the lights. The aft screen was probably also not a requirement for ordinary workboats, what a fishing schooner was.
 
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I'd go red and green, or plain wood.
I remember repainting the boxes to black in the late seventies, after implementation of the revised COLREGS. We, the sea cadets, were not happy as it removed fancy features of our ships. Before that, the boxes were indeed red and green. It is likely that in the time of the Bluenose, the box colour was not prescribed and I have seen sailing boats with just a varnished wooden plank to span the shrouds and hold the lights. The aft screen was probably also not a requirement for ordinary workboats, what a fishing schooner was.
Thank your for your recollection of the colored faces which is what I will use in my now needed repainting of both sides. Rich (PT-2)
 
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Thank your for your recollection of the colored faces which is what I will use in my now needed repainting of both sides. Rich (PT-2)
Remaining on Running Lights Frame colors thread . . . this fun video is not BN but the 1913 French Pilot Boat Jolie Brise which provides some good looks at those boards as well as an informative tutorial on making sail and maneuvering a small gaff rigged boat. Note that the "lights boards" are the same color on both sides as the lanterns which I will follow. Historical model in the museum shows the outboard faces with the same color finish.
Put on your deck shoes and come aboard:

Lots of rigging details carry over to BN models when you see them and understand their functions.
IMHO. Rich (PT-2)
 
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Remaining on Running Lights Frame colors thread . . . this fun video is not BN but the 1913 French Pilot Boat Jolie Brise which provides some good looks at those boards as well as an informative tutorial on making sail and maneuvering a small gaff rigged boat. Note that the "lights boards" are the same color on both sides as the lanterns which I will follow. Historical model in the museum shows the outboard faces with the same color finish.
Put on your deck shoes and come aboard:

Lots of rigging details carry over to BN models when you see them and understand their functions.
IMHO. Rich (PT-2)
Click on the embedded link to open the YouTube show. Sorry for not completing the tack right off.
Rich
 
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