JUNE | JULY 2015 BoatU.S. Magazine | 33
GOOD BoatU.S. FOUNDATION FOR BOATING
The long offseason can make any skipper a bit rusty. Here are the rules that
will help you avoid a collision
FOUNDATION SAFETY & CLEAN WATER
GIVE-WAY BOAT (RED): Must alter course
and speed to avoid a collision.
STAND-ON BOAT (GREEN): Must maintain course and speed unless a risk of
collision is imminent.
HEAD ON: Keep right or steer to starboard. Pass port to port, like cars.
CROSSING: Give way to a boat ahead and
to starboard. If a boat is in your danger
zone, defined as an arc measuring from zero
to 112.5 degrees, alter course, slow, or stop.
PASSING: When overtaking another boat,
give way and steer clear.
As you encounter another vessel in motion, ask your- self two questions: Do I
have priority in the pecking order?
And consequentially, am I the
stand-on or give-way vessel? If two
vessels have equal priority, follow
the examples in the illustration.
Information and Regulatory Marks
Fl G 4s
1 R" 2"
Fl R 4s
6 R" 6"
5 G" 5" Daybeacon
Aids to navigation mark the edges of
a channel and define a course through
deep(er) water. They typically don’t appear
side by side, as in this illustration, but rather
are staggered on either side as necessary.
Lighted marks are often found at headlands and at entrances to rivers or channels. Cans are always green and odd numbered, while nuns are cone-shaped on
top, always red, and even numbered.
Similarly, green daybeacons are square
and odd, while red daybeacons are
triangular and even.
Orange and white markings indicate
information or danger, including speed
restrictions, shoals, or other hazards.
What’s New On BoatUS.Org
Kids’ Life Jacket Loaners:
Borrow a properly fitting life jacket
from our 550 Life Jacket Loaner
Sites. Find a loaner site near you.
Hurricane Prep For Boaters:
New from the U.S. Power Squadrons
and the BoatU.S. Foundation: How to
create a hurricane plan, assess storage options, and protect your boat.
Smart, Safe, Efficient Fueling:
Find tips at
THE PECKING ORDER
A vessel lower on the list below must give
way to those higher on the list. Generally,
recreational powerboats must yield to other
types of traffic.
1. Unable to steer
2. Limited turning ability
3. Restricted by draft (commercial ship)
4. Commercial boats engaged in fishing
5. Sail and human-powered boats
6. Recreational powerboats
COASTAL AIDS TO
For more rules of the road
see this story online at