International Navigation Rules of Preventing Collision at Sea

Posted by Director of Education on July 23, 2014 under About NauticEd, Bareboat Charter, Coastal Navigation, Crew, Maneuvering Under Power, Rules of Right of Way, Skipper | Comments are off for this article

Stand-On and Give-Way: You just might have it wrong

FIRST If you think boaters should know the Rules of Preventing Collision please LIKE this post via facebook or g+1 it. Thanks it really helps get the word out there and help water safety.

(Jump directly to the FREE updated International Rules of Preventing Collision at Sea course it’s quick, easy and entertaining)

Two sail boats collide. One had wind over their port side and one had wind over their starboard side. The starboard tack boat saw the port tack boat and gave the port tack boat plenty of warning with a horn, but the port boat just kept on going straight. Who will loose the legal battle in court? Are you really sure? If you said starboard is the stand-on boat over port you could be dead wrong.

Below, the aft boat who is on a starboard tack catches up to the forward port tack boat. Port tack boat does not get out of the way and starboard passes close just to prove the point that port should give way because port gives way to starboard right? right? But there is a collision because port refused to move – who’d loose?

Starboard Tack Boat and Port Tack Boat

Starboard Tack Boat and Port Tack Boat – who gives way?

Power boats give way to sailboats right? So if a power boat collides into a sailboat the powerboat looses in court right? Well maybe not!

The above might have a few sailboaties jumping up and down wanting to pick up the phone and call us – first you might want to take a look through our new Navigation Rules Course.

Inspired by our Sailing School Instructor, Tim McMahon of Sail Quest in Thailand we have revamped our Navigation Rules Course. And because of Tim’s passion for explaining the dry – we were able to turn a completely dry topic into something interesting and engaging.  In fact, we actually guarantee that you will love this course AND we guarantee you will learn something. If you do neither then we’ll give you money back on this course – well that’s slightly hard because the course is free. But none the less – OUR NEW NAVIGATION RULES COURSE ROCKS – thanks Tim McMahon of SailQuest Thailand.

What we did with the revamp of this course was to go through the International Regulations on Preventing Collision at Sea.  We pull the rules apart and describe them with animations and example situations. Then we added a discussion about that rule to show who and why you might loose in court if there was a collision. What you say? But I was in the right! The discussion points out why even though you may have been the stand-on boat you might loose.

What this means is that everything you have learned from reading and learning the Rules of the Road might be wrong. This free sailing course is a definite must do and a definite must share.

Take the FREE Navigation Rules Course now.



If you think Boaters should know the Rules of Preventing Collision please LIKE this post via facebook or g+1 it. Thanks it helps get the word out there and help water safety.

Shhhh be vewy vewy quiet – don’t tell the power boaters

Posted by Grant Headifen on May 24, 2009 under Maneuvering Under Power, Rules of Right of Way, Skipper | Be the First to Comment

Sailboats are much more maneuverable than power boats – but don’t spread the word because all the powerboaters will run to their congressmen to get the Navigation Rules changed. Currently power boats give way to sailboats and we want to keep it that way – right?

Now of course, just to clarify regarding the navigation rules – when a sailboat has its engines on – it is classified as a powerboat.

This blog topic came up as I was teaching a practical session of the Maneuvering Under Power Clinic. The student was amazed at the turning radius of the Beneteau 373 “Siyagruva” that I was teaching on. We were following the curriculum laid out in the Maneuvering a Sailboat Under Power Clinic. One of the first maneuvers is to put the boat through its paces – wheel hard over to port and engine set high at 2500 rpm. The Beneteau instantly responds with an extremely tight turn to port and heel to starboard due to the centrifugal force and the rig aloft. Then hard over to starboard. The student could not believe how tight the turns were and the speed at which the boat reacted. We had picked a no wake marker buoy at the exit of the cove to do our maneuvers around. And of course being a sailboat we also produced – no wake. This was amazing to the student. We used the buoy marker to get a reference point to see the tight turn radius. We then did several figure 8s in forward and reverse.

The crux of the turning  is that sailboats have a giant board under the water called the rudder. This board has soooo much area to it that the boat can’t help but submit to the forces imparted to it via the turned rudder. And especially when the propeller is shooting water over it. Conversely, power boats have very little rudder surface and rely on the speed of water from the prop over the small surface to provide the turning moment – or they turn the engine in the case of IPS’s or inboard/outboards or outboards. None of these can beat out the giant 4 foot (1.3m) long board of the rudder.

Maneuverability of a sailboat under power

Maneuverability of a sailboat under power

Under sail, the effect is the same. A giant rudder under the water  produces a huge turning force that can instantly turn the boat. Also remember that the force produced goes up with the square of the water velocity over the rudder. So at 4 knots you have 4 times the turning force at 2 knots or at 8 knots you have 16 times the turning force at two knots. This is almost by immaculate design because the faster you go the more damage you’ll cause if you hit something but at the same time you have the advantage of being able to turn faster.

And the cool thing is that we sailboaters hide this rudder below the water line where the power boaters can’t see it. So they still think that the navigation rules are fair because – we’re handicapped right? With only the wind to propel us. Poor sailors! Joking aside – the rules are just and fair as they are, but the point is that next time you’re out get a real feel for your boat’s maneuverability. Put her through the paces under power and sail – you’ll be thankful you understand your boats turning limits next time you need them.

And … the result of the teaching lesson with the student Patrick? Well he was backing the boat into the slip with a high cross wind with full confidence at the end of the lesson. Take the Maneuvering Under Power Clinic.

Rules of Right of Way -high marks

Posted by jes1 on January 4, 2009 under Rules of Right of Way | Be the First to Comment

I just completed the Rules of Right of Way course as a refresher to the ASA courses that I completed years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find that NauticEd doesn’t just list the rules and expect you to remember them. The illustrations help you visualize real-life scenarios where you’ll apply each rule and the plain-speak explanations walk you through the reasons for the rule. This time around I understand the rules AND the logic behind them. Now everything makes more sense and will be easier to remember. I’ll admit the word Test was intimidating up front, but by the time I got to that section I was feeling well prepared and the test was actually fun, especially the parts where you apply the rules in different scenarios. The reinforcement provided by the visuals really helped. Great job, NauticEd! I’m giving you all high marks. I’m looking forward to taking my next course.

FREE Rules of Right of Way Course for Sailboats

Posted by Director of Education on December 29, 2008 under Rules of Right of Way | Read the First Comment

Since we have just launched this new FREE rules of right of way for sailing vessels course, this is the first blog. The free online sailing course has many visuals of right of way situations as depicted here. There is a lot of thought out there that sailboats have right of way when in actual fact there are many instances when they must give way. So hopefully this course can dispel those safety hazards in discussing the rules of the road for vessels. The free online sailing course for rules of right of way for sailboats is atour sailing courses section.

In this situation the blue boat must give way as it is on port whereas the red boat is on starboard.