A powerboat passing by must steer to the port side (the starboard side).

Boating Rules

boating

When it comes to boating, you need to follow certain right-of-way rules. This way, you can make sure you do not collide with another boat. However, the right-of-way rules vary depending on the type of vessel you’re operating and where you’re in the water.

In general, right-of-way rules apply to power-driven vessels approaching each other. This means that power-driven boats should stay to the right of the other boat and not interfere with its passage. This also means that boats should pass other boats on the port side. In some cases, you’ll need to alter your course slightly.

Personal flotation

device requirements

Right-of-way

The right-of-way rules are based on the position and direction of the two vessels. Each has a different priority. Lights are also required on smaller vessels, such as rowboats and canoes.

priority

The vessel with the right-of-way has the right to pass behind the other vessel, but it should give the giver plenty of room to pass safely. Small sailboats under 23 feet need a white light on the masthead, which is the front part of the boat.

pass safely

Boaters are not supposed to be in a hurry. They should proceed slowly, especially in areas with difficult navigation. During limited visibility, the light must be visible from at least two nautical miles

difficult navigation.

A basic example of boating right-of-way rules is when two powerboats approach head-to-head. To indicate your intentions, you can blow your horn or flash your lights.

basic example

A powerboat passing by must steer to the port side (the starboard side). Another boating right-of-way event occurs when two powerboats pass port-to-port.

port-to-port

Right-of-way requirements

motor vehicles

Boating right-of-way requirements are similar to the rules for motor vehicles when approaching an unmarked intersection or four-way stop.

requirements

Boating rights-of-way regulations are important for your own safety and the safety of other boaters. By understanding the rules, you can avoid collisions and stay safe while on the water.

avoid collisions

While boating, you’ll need to have the right lighting equipment for safe operation. A boat must have an all-around white light that can be seen from 360 degrees.

right lighting

power boating

If you’re sailing or power boating, you should also have sidelights and a masthead light. The beam from these lights should be able to be seen from two nautical miles away. There are specific rules about how the lights on a boat must be installed and maintained. Boat owners are responsible for checking the lights to make sure they meet the regulations. They should also be aware that their lights may not meet these requirements when they were purchased. You should check the angles of visibility before you begin boating.

power-driven vessels

In addition, power-driven vessels under 39.4 feet must have a stern light and a masthead light. These lights must be 3.3 feet above the sidelights. The white light should be visible from a distance of at least three nautical miles. The white light must be positioned at a height that will not obscure the lights on other vessels.

masthead light