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Rules of the Road

The Rules of the Road are international practices designed to avoid collisions. The basic idea of all the rules is that the boat which is least maneuverable has right of way.

Boats that do NOT have Right-of-Way must steer to avoid collisions with boats which do have Right-Of-Way.
                • People in the water have right of way.
                • Sailboats have right of way over motor boats
                • A boat is restricted by draft (it is so big it must stay in the channel, such as the huge sand barge) has right of way.
                • A boat on starboard tack has right of way over a boat on port tack.
                • A boat that is leeward has right of way over a boat to windward.
                • A boat which is tacking or jibing must keep clear of other boats.
                • A boat which is being overtaken by another boat has right of way.
                • Seaplanes on the water do not have right of way (they are powerboats, according to the law) but common sense says a seaplane just after taking off or just before landing has limited ability to avoid you.