Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

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Guide To Ship Navigation Lights
By Kronic_Rogue
Do you want to improve how your ship looks? Do you want to add realism to your vessels?
This guide has been created to help the creators of stormworks add that level of realism.
Navigation Light Basics
***This guide will be using the international standard for Navigation lights, and wont focus on specific inland lighting types or any types that vary from country to country.***

Some basic terminology;
Mast Light = A light in the ships mast facing forward (usually attached to the mast)
All Round = a light with a 360 degree visibility radius
Stern = The back of the vessel (square bpint end)
Bow = The front of the vessel (careful, its pointy)
Port = when facing the bow of a vessel it is the Left side, facing the stern it is the right side)
Starboard = opposite side to port side.

So before we begin you might be asking me "what purpose do these lights serve?" And that is a good question. The lights are there to help vessels see and avoid each other. The different colours of the lights allow such information as direction, size and in some cases vessel type to be determined. This is important to know to help avoid collisions, know which vessel gives way to who and to let other vessels know of any risks that might be caused, such as towing, fishing and mine clearing.

So, let's point out the basic lights and their use. On a small vessel we might have two side lights and a stern light. We also have the mast head light.
Each of these running lights has its own arc of visibility, so when you see a vessel directly behind its a white light, directly in front you should see both side lights.

Right so the basics, well all vessels above 7 meters (sorry those imperial readers, but I'm Australian) shall be lit with at least the red and green side lights and a stern light. A mast head light is optional up to 10 meters. Above 10 meters a single white masthead light must be shown.

Each light has a degree of visibility (as shown below)
Side lights have a 112.5 Degree Arc Of Visibility
Mast head Lights, have a 225 Degree Arc, with it being the combined Arc of both port and starboard side lights
Sternlights have the remaining slice, with 135 Degrees.
The towing light also has 135 degrees.
All round lights, are all round with 360 degrees visibility, at all times. so it isnt a flashing beacon, its constant to all sides at all times.

A good way to remember which colour on which side is a little rhyme. "There is still a bit of PORT LEFT in the bottle."
Port is on the left side of the vessel (facing the bow) as well as it being red.
Mast Lights And Working Lights
Along with the basic running lights, there are other lights as well that allow quick identifying of other vessels and work out if they are bigger, have any circumstances that mean you will have to give way.

At sea, every vessel is responsible for avoiding collison, and there is a set 'pecking' order for who gives way to who. Basically Small gives way to big, Most manoeuvrable gives way to those that cant manoeuvre as well. So these lights allow ships to identify and giveway at night.

***A quick note for this section--- I wont go into much detail with lights relating to fishing vessels as you cant fish in stormworks***

Some Terms;
RAM: Restricted Ability to Manoeuvre (A Vessel that due to the nature of her work restricts its ability to manoeuvre)
NUC: Not Under Command (Rudder failure, Unable to control Vessel)
Constrained By Draught (Draft): (Used when a large ship cannot deviate from her course, such as a containership in a channel that cannot deviate otherwise she will run aground)

This Photo shows all the lights, describing them as well as thier diffrent aspects.
When the vessel is underway the Nav lights will be displayed as well (red and Green side lights)

RAM light is a Red, white, Red All round light combination. When used on a dredge or crane obstruction lights are used. These lights tell other vessels which side to pass on.

NUC is Red over Red All round light. (nav lights not shown.)

Aground is the same as NUC however the anchour lights are lit. (In day time it is three dayshape balls in a line also known as a 'balls up' situation.

Constrained By Draft is Three all red lights stacked. This is used when a vessel cannot deviate from her path for risk of going aground.

Mine Clearing. These lights are shown by a vessel conducting mine clearing operations and should be kept well clear of.
In this section i will cover the lights shown whislt towing a vessel.

Along with the regular navigation lights a tugboat will aslo show a yellow sternlight above the sternlight.

Whislt towing the vessel can be classified as RAM amd can fly the related shapes and lights.
If over 200m a diamond dayshape is to be shown on both the vessel and the tow, as well as the addition of masthead lights.


Thanks for reading!
I Hope This is helpful in improving your creations. If you have a question, notice a mistake feel free to comment and let me know!

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Lonewolf Nov 19 @ 1:08am 
As a professional sailor. I can say top marks for posting accurate rules of road ( COLREGs ).

The only modification I go for in game is the 90 degree arcs for navigation side lights due building restrictions. Although due to lighting effects in game the outcome is almost the same as IRL. In mutiplayer, it is possible to eyeball a ship and determine course all the way out to maximum rendering distance. If they follow the rules posted in the guide..
ova578 Jul 10 @ 3:07pm 
ok thx m8
Kronic_Rogue  [author] Jun 27 @ 10:14pm 
Yes, that may work, depending on how tall the sides of the vessel are (Some have very high sides). if the sides are too low, or it gets in the way, then having it on the superstructure, like in the middle off of a pole on one of the levels.
ova578 Jun 26 @ 12:44pm 
like on the right aft corner put a light on a mast?
Kronic_Rogue  [author] Jun 25 @ 8:32pm 
Have it somewhere facing the stern, such as actually in the stern (the flat part at the back of the ship)
For an Anchor Handling Tug, the stern lights would be either on a small mast or built into the superstructure, or on some, have a small mast on one side of the stern, which flys the stern light, as well as the flag.
ova578 Jun 25 @ 1:31pm 
what do you do if you can not put an aft light mast. like in an ahts
Zhatt Nov 14, 2018 @ 11:13pm 
I found this video on lights. Super useful.
HappyAsHell Jul 10, 2018 @ 9:23pm 
This guide is perfect, no more random guess!
Kopfman_2731 Jul 3, 2018 @ 9:34am 
THIS! This is perfect. Awesome :steamhappy:
Sheepdog Jun 25, 2018 @ 2:41pm 
Thank you for making this... I was beginning to be slightly frusted to see silly ship lighting.