Boating Basics Online - Basic Boating Safety Course


Chapter 6 - Operations

Navigation Rules

Crossing Situations

When two power driven boats are approaching at right angles or nearly so, and risk of collision exists, the boat on the right is the stand-on vessel and must hold its course and speed. The other boat, the give-way vessel, shall maneuver to keep clear of the stand-on vessel and shall pass it by its stern. If necessary, slow, stop or reverse until the stand-on vessel is clear.

Danger zone

In the example above, the red vessel is the give-way vessel and should alter course and speed to pass behind the blue vessel. If the skipper of the blue vessel does not observe the red vessel taking action to avoid collision, then he/she must take the required action to avoid a collision.

Sailing Craft and Vessels Propelled by Oars or Paddles

Sailing craft (not under power) and boats propelled by oars or paddles are stand-on vessels when approaching power driven boats. In this situation, the power-driven boat should alter course to pass behind the sailboat.

Sailboat in the stand on vessel

An exception to this is if the sailboat or self-propelled watercraft is passing a power driven vessel. In an overtaking situation, the overtaking vessel is the give-way vessel, even if it is not propelled by an engine.

Sailing vessels have special situations when meeting and crossing each other. These are described in Chapter 9, Sailing.

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