Attaching a red light to the stern (for transport)

My Dagger Stratos is transported on a Malone trailer, per the pic. The tip of the stern is just more than four feet from the rear crossmember. Four feet is the limit which, in my state, dictates a red flag in daytime, and a red light in nighttime.

The red flag was easy. I found a nice mesh one with brass grommets for sale at a Utah truck stop. I tied a loop of heavy cord through one grommet. I then loop that around the small metal bar which is nominally for attaching the carrying handles (which I remove during transport).

The red light was another matter. Searches turned up many mentions of the red light requirement, but few solutions.

Here’s the easiest thing I’ve come up with: a red “light stick” (AKA glow stick or snap light) zip tied to the metal attachment bar. :smile: :rotating_light:

Anyone have other approaches to this? If so, please share, including pics if possible.

There are dozens of compact battery powered red signal lights for bicycles, some of them with rechargeable power packs. They range from under $10 to around $30. Just google “red bicycle light”.

This $12 one is available from REI (i used to have a similar one), uses AAA batteries and can be set to steady or flashing mode.

When used on a vehicle, wouldn’t it need to be used in steady mode only?

Yes. the bike lights can be set to steady

Yes, surprisingly enough, I own two bicycle tail lights.

Any suggestions for how to attach one of them to the stern of my (or any) boat?

Using one had been my original idea. The problem was devising an attachment that was fairly easy to install and remove, but that was secure in all conditions and allowed the light to be visible at least from directly behind (and preferably from other directions).

Most of the bike lights should have a circle attachment that goes around the stem or seat post. Buy the smallest cablecuff you can get ( Amazon, HomeDepot, Lowe’s) and Daisy chain or to the handle or cord

I have found the short bungee loops with the large ball toggle on them (available cheap from outlets like Horror Fraught as “tarp fasteners”) to work very well to attach flags to racked boats and lights, water bottles and even spare paddles to kayak rigging, also to bind together 2-piece paddles for storage and transport. I always keep several in the little duffel bag that lives in my car with all the Thule straps, bow/stern lines, red cargo flags, and cable locks as well as a handful of cable ties. I did cable tie a red light headlamp (had one when I used to go to astronomy “dark sky” venues) to the stern grab handle of one of my racked kayaks once when I realized I did not have a flag with me for an after dark drive home from a launch.

I’m not aware of any restrictions on having a small flashing red light as a warning signal on vehicle loads, but I could be wrong.

CZC AUTO 12V Two Sided Magnetic Towing Light Kit for Trailer RV Boat Truck -Magnetic Strength 55 Pounds

Tons of options for temporary towing lights. You can hook up running light and brake lights to your vehicle and just plug them in.

Glow stick and bike lights would meet zero DOT laws and not be as good.

They make wireless rechargeable lights also.

Indeed, lots of lights out there. But attaching them to the end of a kayak is the question. So far, no one has provided a great answer. At least nothing to convince me to switch from the lightsticks.

How does a magnetic (or other) towing light attach to the stern of a plastic kayak? Short of drilling holes and installing a horizontal metal plate.

Can you show me the federal law that states a red light is required? The section including “warning flags on projecting loads” is linked below. BTW, these laws only apply to federally regulated motor carriers, not to privately owned vehicles.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

While searching this site for ideas regarding this red light, I saw multiple instances where DOT regulations were referenced. Which is pretty funny since they are not relevant to private passenger vehicles. Typical free legal advice from the internet, lol.

I guess you are suggesting using one of those bungees to strap the little light to the metal attachment bar? By the time I got done wrapping the bungee around the light and bar, the light would be completely obscured.

If you meant something else, please set me straight.

The seat post/fork/etc. clamp is an idea.

Due to the shape of my handle, though, I don’t think it would stay on if I simply clamped it on to it.

Could put the clamp around the handle cord. But then it would be bouncing around and not always facing the rear and sides (as explicitly required by the NV law). Not to mention possibly getting damaged. As noted earlier, I usually remove the handles during transport so they aren’t banging around.

Do you have a local bike shop? If they’ve been around longer than a few years, they’ll have a shoe box full of random attachments and for a few bucks will cobble together something secure. (Bring the boat on the trailer.)

If you don’t have an LBS, what’s the diameter of the metal tube? I’ll poke around in my basement.

The use of a flashing light while driving such as emergency flashers or use on a trailer or overhanging load varies by the state. In some places it’s legal, in others not. In others it’s legal only if you are traveling below a certain speed, like 25 mph.

Flagging and requirements for lights on overhanging loads at night for private vehicles are generally set by the individual states. Many of these regulations mirror DOT regulations. The same is true for overhanging loads as well.

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The red LED headlamp I used had the bulbs set into a plastic housing that attached to the elastic head straps. I just stretched and wrapped the straps around the stern of the boat and used the bobble bungees to secure the straps thru the rear-most deck lines and to the back grab handle so it would stay in place.

There are so many different models of bike lights (and headlamps) out there, and different boats have different shaped sterns – I think it would be up to the user to devise a way to attach any particular one to any particular boat.

Don’t worry so much about laws worry more about what works. Glow sticks would not leave me confident. DOT lights would make me more confident people would pay attention. Cars have brake lights for a reason day and night.

I’d have lights mounted to your boat in fifteen minutes. Cable ties, Velcro tape, lights mounted to a piece of minicel shaped to your deck and strapped to your stern deck. Tons of ways to do it fast so it plugs into you cars lighting system and mounts in few minutes when needed without tools or cutting cable ties off all the time.