Reply to the comment on Chaparral Boats owners forum

If everyone wants to get specific letter of the law then the dashboard gauges should be turned off as well because they glow too and all the interior lights around speakers and walkways. IMO, as long as the nav lights are visible and the stern anchor light is visible at a high point then accent lights will add to your visible area making you less likely to be struck by another vessel.

I don't think this is letter of the law at all ...
The dash lights are not lights at all by the letter of the law. Beside being very low intensity and barely visible from any distance, they cast a dim light on the gauges and not point outside of the boat, Similarly with properly installed cockpit and companionway lights ... there is a reason why they are low intensity and installed low to the floor (when unmodified).
The real problem is with the lights that project outside of the boat. This might include headlights, spotlights, decorative lights on the outside hull (including vent lights ... what a concept to connect them on the same circuit as cockpit lights!?), underwater lights, or badly positioned and/or too strong arch lights, cockpit lights, speaker accent lights, etc.
The above mentioned lights are not illegal ... they only must not be used while underway. It's not just about the boat being visible, it's also about the boat being "invisible" (transparent and predictable) when it comes to overall navigation at night.

There is a twofold reason for this ...
First, some of the lights will plainly blind other boaters, and/or kill their night vision. Second, some lights will obscure boat's nav lights, and/or confuse other boaters adding to the light noise and making it much more difficult to locate and identify boat's nav lights and nav aids lights. The first case affects boaters in the vicinity, the second case might affect boaters near and far, harming their ability to navigate safely.