Which boat has the right of way?
Distinguishing the sides of ships
Oncoming boat head-on
When encountering a boat head-on, you should adjust your course to the starboard side so that both of you will pass by each other on the port (“left”) side.
Two sailboats cross paths
The ship that is referred to as the “give-way ship” is the one that has the opposing boat coming up on its starboard side. The vessel that approaches from the starboard side is known as a “stand-on ship“.
Since the stand-on vessel has the right of way, the give-way vessel has to do whatever it takes to avoid a collision.
The give-way ship is required to act early and sufficiently. However, the responsibilities of the stand-on ship vary at different stages.
Overtake another vessel
To “pass” another ship, you must first approach the stern of the boat you are trying to pass, then approach from the sides and pass while moving forward. The boat that is passing another boat is called the “boat giving way,” whose job it is to maneuver the boat so that it does not collide with the boat at rest.
Avoid another vessel whose objectives are unclear
When you encounter an unfamiliar boat and are unsure of its purpose, it is important that you act evasively immediately. Doing so will make your goal clear to the other vessel while improving your chances of effective communication.
In short, drive slower and make any route changes in a way that is understandable and consistent. In other words, don’t be careless on the road.
Kayaks, sailboats, and other watercraft
Regardless of the circumstances, it is your responsibility to give way to a “stand-on ship” unless the action could put you in danger.
This category typically includes non-motorized rowing boats, sailboats, and even large vessels such as watercraft or cargo ships. Since they lack the maneuverability of motorboats, motorboats are always obliged to give way when approaching that vehicle.
Vessel under sail
The term “vessels under sail” refers to any boat that is being propelled without the assistance of an internal combustion engine. Sailboats are the most common example of vessels that are propelled in this manner.
A boat that is propelled by sail has the right of way over a boat that is powered by an engine. One notable exception to this rule is when a sailboat is passing another vessel that is powered by an engine.
Rules of right way in a narrow channel
This is often the case with larger boats, which have a harder time maneuvering in confined and shallow locations due to their size and depth. You have to protect your knowledge to know how to protect your boat. For instance, should a boat sit on rollers or bunks? This is also a way to prolong the use of your boat.
Priority for sailing ships
The following guidelines are in effect when two sailboats collide:
– When the wind blows over starboard, the boat on the right has the right-of-way.
– A boat with a downwind (against the wind) has the right to overtake a boat against the wind when the two boats are traveling in the same direction (wind blowing from the same side).
– The overtaken vehicle always has the right-of-way when overtaking another vehicle and remains on its right side of the road.
– Even while you are on board, your duty as captain is to understand the fundamentals and behave responsibly to prevent collisions. Slow down, consider the situation, clarify your intentions, and make sure the other owner responds appropriately.
– Boats that may be too large to be maneuverable in a small body of water, or those that actively function as tugs or buoys, or those engaged in commercial fishing with deployed equipment, etc.
– Conditions on board are determined differently. A standing ship must maintain its course and speed and have the right of way. It must also admit to understanding the intent of the vessel to give way if signaled. Vessels on top must be maneuvered safely around by giving way.
Recognize the color of the boat at night
You can see the red port light in front of you moving from right to left. As you are the vessel that must give way, you need to take the necessary precautions to avoid an accident.
If the green starboard light is seen moving from left to right in front of you, this indicates that you are the stand-on vessel and should maintain your course.
Most boats are required to have a single white light around their stern. These group of lights can help you determine a boat’s direction of movement and whether it’s likely to cross your path.
What to do if the other boaters are unfamiliar with the regulations
It is essential to be prepared for any situation, regardless of who has the right-of-way. And you have to know how to protect pregnant women. For example, are bumpy boat rides safe during pregnancy? The answer may yes. Be vigilant and always be prepared to give way, decrease your speed. And you are willing to change directions in order to avoid any potentially perilous situation.
Make sure you give other boaters a lot of space—at least 100 feet—so they can react in time and stop a possible collision.
FAQs Which boat has the right of way?
Which vessel must make way?
The give-way vessel is the one with the opposing boat approaching on its port side.
Do sailing vessels take precedence over ferries?
Sailboats almost always have the upper hand over powerboats in traffic. There are only a few instances, such as when a sailboat passes a powerboat. If two boats are attempting to cross, the vessel on the starboard side has the right of way.
What is the name for a boat’s four sides?
A ship’s bow (sometimes written “bow”) is its front, and its stern is its back. Port is on the left, while starboard is on the right, when facing ahead. A boat’s bow and stern are the terms used to describe its front and back, respectively.
In general, which boat has the right of way? If two vessels are moving at the same speed, then the vessel that is on the starboard side (right side) has the right of way. There are exceptions to these rule, so it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and use good judgment when operating a vessel. If you have any questions, please leave your comment here. Our team from justaddwaterbda.com are willing to help you!