Originally Posted by scoobert
i had assumed, incorrectly, that the rules were the ones i was taught in the boating class. i had no idea there were more.
the ones i was taught were, keep right, yield to port, run your lights, yield to sailboats under sail, yield to all unpowered craft, and your responsable for any damage your wake causes. the course was taught by sheriff's....
The 'right of way' rules are much more complicated. There are LOTS of situations where sailboats under sail must give way to motor
The easiest way to remember order of priority for giving way is to memorise the following mnemonic. And the easiest way to remember mnemonics is frequent repetition (eg run through this each time you brush your teeth and in will sink in soon enough).
"Generally, anchoring our red tugboat diligently minimizes surge loads."
The first letter in each word above is the first letter in the priority situation.
It is not enough to have it written at the nav station (bathroom is a much better place
) - you must be able to remember it instantly.
. Above all else, don't have a collision
. "I had the right of way" isn't a defence if there was something you could have done to avoid the other boat.
Anchored, stopped, or moored boats must be avoided by all other vessels.
Boats being overtaken have the right of way over the overtaking vessel. (This is true even if the slower boat is power and the faster boat is sail.)
Boats with restricted maneuverability, whether due to fishing
, length, towing, or other causes, have the right of way over vessels not so restricted.
Vessels participating in a traffic-separation scheme have the right of way over non-participating vessels. (If you must cross a traffic lane, try to do so at right angles.)
. On certain inland waters, powerboats proceeding downriver have the right of way over upriver and crossing vessels.
Man-powered beats sail beats motorboat beats seaplane.
Human-powered boats (canoes and rowboats) have the right of way over sailboats, which in turn have the right of way over powerboats, and even they have the right of way over seaplanes. I think of this in terms of increasing technological sophistication: the fancier your equipment
, the fewer rights you have (sort of a class reversal).
This is an important one for sailors, of course, but note that there are a number of situations listed above where sailors must still give way.
Starboard boat or starboard tack wins.
This actually represents two rules, depending on whether the meeting boats are both sail or both power. (If one is sail and one is power, the rule
above applies.) For power boats, the boat approaching from starboard has the right of way. For sailboats, the boat that is on starboard tack has the right of way, regardless of from where it is approaching.
Leeward boat wins.
When two sailboats meet on the same tack, the leeward boat has the right of way over the windward boat.
And what do you mean by "yield to port"? If nothing else takes precedence, the starboard boat has right of way