You are here:

Proper Use of Navigation Lights

Navigation Lights On

Cobalt R6 running with navigation lights on.

Your Cobalt is equipped with Navigation Lights and they are known as International Navigation Lights. This means they are legal anywhere. International lights consist of either a combination red and green bow light or separate red and green lights and a white all-around light. It is very important you know when to use them and how to use them properly.

The rules for using Navigation lights are they must be illuminated at sunset until sunrise any time the boat is underway. It is up to you, the operator of the boat, to know when sunset and sunrise are, and those times change every day of the year. (If your boat has the Garmin Cobalt Glass Dash, this information is available right there. Check with the operator’s manual which is built into the system for directions to this information.)

The red and green light(s) are to identify to other boats the direction of your boat. The white all-around light is for other boaters to see you easily even if they don’t see the red and green light(s). Additionally, if other boaters see just your all-around light, they can assume they are looking at the back of your boat and you are going away from them rather than coming towards them.
Most Cobalt Navigation light systems have a combination red and green light on the bow of the boat. The red side is to the port (left) and the green side is to the starboard (right). Some of the larger models have separate red and green lights. All models have an all-around light. Many of the boats have a tower or hardtop including the white all-around light and some models have a plug-in all-around light. The plug-in light is usually stored in clips inside of the ski locker and will plug into a receptacle on the back corner of the boat. This light MUST be installed and working after sunset.

The lights are controlled by pushing the “Navigation” light button on the dash. This one button turns on both the red and green light(s) and the all-around light.

Another button on the dash is part of the navigation light system and It is marked “Anchor”. If your boat is at anchor, you should have just the white all-around light illuminated. This lets other boats know you are in an area where your boat can be underway but is not. If you are anchored and it is after sunset, you should have the anchor light on. If you are not anchored but your engine is off and you are just drifting, you need the navigation lights on. If you are tied up to a dock or in a slip, you do not need any navigation lights illuminated.


  • Drifting with engine on or off: Navigation lights on
  • At anchor: Anchor light on
  • Tied up with other boats in an anchorage: Anchor light on
  • At the dock: Navigation lights off