Rules of the Road as it Pertains to Boating
Mike Gerry (size 5)
Rules of the Road as it
Pertains to Boating
As we approach the busy time of year on the water there are always boating mistakes being made that cause a problem on the water so I thought I would help clarify some correct boating situations.
First of all there are about 3 situations that affect what you should do on the water while under way; the first is meeting another boat in a head on situation. In the day time it pretty obvious there is a boat coming at you. Pretty simple, same as in a car turn to avoid the other boat you turn to your right; and pass port to port; the correct terminology according to the Coast Guard is you leave the other boat on your port side.
The next situation starts to get a little dicey, you are approaching a boat from the rear and intend to pass it, you have the right to pass or overtake the other boat on either side that is clear and when there is only two boats within a 1/2mile of each other. More than two boats create a special circumstance and require more thought.
Lastly you are in a crossing situation with another vessel; in this case you must understand port and starboard as the boat that has you on their starboard is the stand-on vessel or the vessel that if safe can continue on its path. What that means is not everyone running the main channel is the right of way vessel or stand on vessel. This is very important and where many water accidents take place: picture this. You are running north up the wide open channel, a boat is crossing from your right to left, or your starboard to port. The crossing vessel is seeing his starboard side or at night his green light, you are now the give way vessel. That is right you must let him pass and cross in front of you.
Don’t be a victim follow and understand these rules.
Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service
Captain Mike Gerry