3.4 Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road are governed by the Collision Regulations. They spell out which vessel is the Stand-On Vessel and which vessel is the Give-Way Vessel.

You are watching: When a sailboat overtakes a powerboat which is the stand on vessel

They also explain actions to take for crossing, meeting and overtaking situations.

Every pleasure boat operator who must give-way to another vessel, that means the operator who has to move, must take "early and substantial action to avoid a collision."

The stand-on vessel must "maintain course and speed."

Danger (Give-Way) Zone


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The green sector on your boat, that sector defined by your green sidelight, is your Danger Zone or your Give-Way Zone.

This extends from the centreline on your bow (dead ahead) to 22.5º abaft the starboard beam, or 112.5º from the bow, along your starboard side.


When another skipper sees your green light, he has the right of way...green for go. When you have a boat in your green sector, you must take early and substantial action to avoid collision.

Exceptions

There are several exceptions to this rule.

The operator of a pleasure craft of less than 20m in length, or a pleasure sailing craft, shall not impede the passage of vessels which can navigate safely only within a narrow channel.

This generally refers to large ships or commercial vessels making way in a narrow channel where they have no room to manoeuvre. Ships may remind you of this rule by giving five short blasts of its horn.

Ships may remind you of this rule by giving five short blasts of its horn.

The operator of a pleasure craft less than 20m in length or a pleasure sailing craft, shall not impede the safe passage of a power driven vessel following a traffic lane.The operator of a power driven craft shall take early and substantial action to avoid any vessel engaged in fishing, or any sailing vessels.The operator of a pleasure sailing craft shall take early and substantial action to avoid any vessel engaged in fishing.

Sound Signals & Rules For Overtaking & Crossing

Every pleasure craft of less than 12m shall carry an efficient sound signalling device. It is used in overtaking and crossing situations and in periods of reduced visibility.


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The Stand-On Vessel maintains course and speed. The Give-Way Vessel must take early and substantial action to avoid the Stand-On Vessel.

In the diagram above Vessel 1 is the overtaking or, Give-Way Vessel. It can overtake Vessel 2, on either side.

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They will sound the following signals:

I want to pass on your starboard side: One Short BlastProceed: One Short BlastI want to pass on your Port Side: Two Short BlastsProceed: Two Short Blasts

If either vessel operator is not clear about the intentions of the other vessel operator in any situation, the operator should sound five short blasts.