Well Soley agrees with me, if it's not legal, offers no advantages over deck mounted lights and has a measurable performance penalty then why bother? Makes absolutely no sense to me.
I know a bloke that did some calcs on his turbo'ed Seaway 25 (read 4.5 knot shitbox) and came up with 1 kg at the mast head was worth 28kgs in the bulb. I would hardly call that insignificant.
You're assuming that they will be using the masthead light instead of deck mounted lights, which would be illegal. However I don't think that the crew or owner or skipper are idiots so I'm sure somebody remembered to spec bow lights and a stern light.
I find it curious that they are using port and starboard lights rather than the upper lights one sees on lots of sailing vessels over 20m, which is a masthead light with with a green light beneath a red one, with both being visible all round.
My guess would be that an all round fixture actually would have added significant weight and since a masthead light isn't required under the COLREGS, a more streamlined approach was taken. They will be displaying port and starboard from the masthead, which despite what Abbo insists can be helpful (ever seen how bright a 5 watt LED is?) and the deck mounted lights, which are required.
The boat will be pretty cool, and fast, but the masthead lights are clearly the most interesting part by far.
I'm not assuming anything but I did give myself a good hard slap and come up with this.
Those lights are separate and there is no stern so it's not a tri-colour, so as long as they have the correct intensity they are legal, as long as the deck level side lights are off.
A pretty common scenario where using the mast head lights would be very useful? Racing offshore with a Zero or spin on port tack where the bow rail fitted green lights up the sail destroying your night vision and making it very difficult to see anything beyond the sail. I reckon the masthead ones would be very bloody handy in that situation.
Red over green indicates a sailing yacht of any length underway sailing, these lights are optional.
are you seriously just now figuring out the advantages of a masthead tri?