WorkBoat June 2022

Page 42

BOATS & GEAR Lighting

Got a Light? LED technology continues to move in the right direction. Phoenix’s SturdiSignal lights are designed to withstand moisture and corrosion conditions.

Phoenix Lighting


The MITAGS wheelhouse simulator in Baltimore.

By Jerry Fraser, Correspondent


irplanes proved their worth in World War I, but ocean crossings were still novel in May 1919, when the Navy’s newest flying boats set out to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The leg to the Azores was more than 1,200 miles. To guide the airplanes at night the Navy deployed a string of destroyers that strung themselves out in a lighted picket line. Aboard one, the USS O’Brien, was a young lieutenant commander named Philip Van Horn Weems. Weems, an orphan from Tennessee, had been admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy despite having an eighth grade education. Perhaps he made it to Annapolis because he was smart 40

enough to realize there had to be a better way to navigate. Just over a century later, the company that bears his name, Weems & Plath, Annapolis, Md., manufactures navigational instruments that Lt. Cmdr. Weems went on to design, and in 2019 the company — as if to cover all the bases – began manufacturing and distributing OGM lights. Although OGM – then known as Orca Green Marine – produced the first Coast Guard-certified LED navigation lights in 2004, Weems & Plath has engineered OGM’s nextgen Q Series of LED navigation lights, with a complete line for vessels up to 20 meters and a growing line for vessels up to 50 meters. First responders are among the Q Series’ target markets. The Q Series builds on the OGM’s earlier LX series with • JUNE 2022 • WorkBoat