In general, I agree with you even though I posted the Pardey quote. At the Annapolis Boat Show I talked to a young man on a Morcombie Bay Prawner, circa 1903 - 1905, who uses kerosene running lights. He told me, he radioed a ship to ask if his kerosene navigation lights were visible. The ship identified the stern light but did not identify the red port light until the ship was within ~1/2 mile of the Prawner. I have personally asked Lin about the visibility of their kerosene running lights and she claims they are visible and meet the COLREG specifications. The lantern they use, employs a 3/4" or 1" flat wick compared to the Den Han lantern which use a 1/4" diameter wick. The flat wick burner is significantly brighter than the 1/4" diameter wick. In my opinion the Den Han lanterns are pretty but almost worthless in terms of a navigation light. Even though the flat wick burner is significant brighter, I suspect these kerosene lanterns do not meet the range or luminescent specifications set forth in the COLREG's. If one wants to use kerosene lanterns, he/she must make that choice. Certainly, a flat burner type lantern is better than no lights.
Ships that ply the oceans today, are, in general under crewed and in many cases the crew is inadequately trained - Houston Post newspaper - Safety at Sea exposé. Regardless of the type of navigation lights the boat has, I suspect must ships never visually identify you nor do they detect you on radar. In some cases the ship does not run radar. A friend of mine and editor of Practical Sailor, equipped his boat with a Collision Avoidance Radar Detector (C.A.R.D) unit. On his passage to Bermuda and the Caribbean the C.A.R.D. did not detect the radar from several of the ships he encountered. Simply put, the ships were not operating their radar. He radio one ship and asked the Captain why he was not running radar. "Radar is a mechanical system which needs maintenance and by not running it, I decrease the ships operating costs." Whether all ships employ this policy or not, I do not know but the message is rather simple in my opinion, the boat's crew must maintain a watch at all times and exercise due prudence to avoid a collision based on the assumption the boat is not seen by a ship.
We can discuss this subject forever but each of us must decide how we equip our boats and how we sail them. We would love to use kerosene navigation lights on IDUNA but until I find a study or company which states this or that brand of kerosene lantern meets the COLREG specifications, IDUNA will use electric running lights and a tricolor light which meets those regulations.
Please find below the link for the Tri-Lens Radar Reflector and the C.A.R.D. system.
The tri-lens radar reflector was rated the best reflector by practical sailor.
The C.A.R.D. system works and only used 45 milliamps/hour. We had one on African Moon and used it when sailing a night.
Copy all. Don’t worry, I am not pursing the Den Han Lamps. Your right, like
most things in life, “you pays your money and takes your chances.”