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Boating Basics

Navigation Rules


There are two terms that help explain these rules.

Stand-on vessel: The vessel that should maintain its course and speed

Give-way vessel: The vessel that must take early and substantial action to avoid collision by stopping, slowing down, or changing course

Meeting Head-On

Power vs. Power: Neither vessel is the stand-on vessel. Both vessels should keep to the starboard (right).

Both vessels giving way to the right
Power vs. power meeting head-on

Power vs. Sail: The powerboat is the give-way vessel. The sailboat is the stand-on vessel.

Powerboat giving way to (going right of) the sailboat
Power vs. sail meeting head-on

Crossing Situations

Power vs. Power: The vessel on the operator's port (left) side is the give-way vessel. The vessel on the operator's starboard (right) side is the stand-on vessel.

Powerboat on the port (left) gives way to the vessel on the starboard (right)
Power vs. power in a crossing situation

Power vs. Sail: The powerboat is the give-way vessel. The sailboat is the stand-on vessel.

Powerboat gives way to the sailboat
Power vs. sail in a crossing situation

Overtaking

Power vs. Power: The vessel that is overtaking another vessel is the give-way vessel. The vessel being overtaken is the stand-on vessel.

Powerboat giving way while overtaking another vessel
Power vs. power

Power vs. Sail: The vessel that is overtaking another vessel is the give-way vessel. The vessel being overtaken is the stand-on vessel.

Powerboat giving way while overtaking sailboat
Power vs. sail