Chapter 6: Enjoying Water Sports With Your Boat
It is always wise to give sailboats a lot of space. Sailboats are usually the stand-on vessel– The vessel that must maintain its course and speed unless it becomes apparent that the give-way boat is not taking appropriate action; if you must take action, do not turn toward the give-way boat or cross in front of it..
Sailing has its own risks that require special care to avoid.
- Small sailboats are prone to capsizing and swamping. Know how to right the sailboat if it capsizes, and carry a bailer on board.
- Falling overboard– Over the side or out of the vessel is common. For that reason, sailors always should wear a life jacket (PFD).
- Sailors should stay aware of the water temperature. Capsizing in the early spring, the fall, or the winter involves the risk of hypothermia.
Here are some tips for safe sailing.
- Stay off the water during storms or periods of high winds.
- Carry a flashlight in case you remain on the water after dark. Shine the light on a sail to warn approaching vessels of your presence if you have no navigation lights or if another vessel does not see your navigation lights.
- Remember that sailboats with an engine must have the red, green, and white navigation lights.
- Remember that the mast can be a conductor for lightning. Be aware of masthead clearance when passing under power lines and bridges.