Introduction to Navigation Rules of the Road and Local Applicability to Narragansett Bay
“The Rules of the Road”
What do the Rules do?
If followed, they protect against loss of life, injury, and property damage as a result of collision.
Most Collisions Could Be Avoided By…
- Practicing the “Rules of the Road”
- Use of a “proper lookout”
- Maintaining safe speed
- Displaying proper lights
- Knowing the “Aids to Navigation”
Ground Rules for Navigation:
Responsibility & Definitions
|Underway||Not at anchor or made fast to the shore or aground|
|Right-of-way||The right and duty to maintain course and speed|
|Stand-On Vessel||Vessel that has the right of way|
|Give Way Vessel||Must keep clear of the stand-on vessel|
|Short Blast||A blast of approximately 1 second|
|Prolonged Blast||A blast of 4 to 6 seconds|
“Safe Speed” Definition
Speed that allows proper and effective action to avoid collision based on the following factors:
- Traffic density and characteristics
- Maneuverability, draft
- Background clutter
- Weather, wind, current, navigational hazards
Rule 13 – Overtaking
Vessel that is passed by another from a position more than 22.5 degrees abaft of it’s beam is the stand-on vessel. The give-way vessel should not see the green or red navigation sidelights. If in doubt whether overtaking or crossing, always assume overtaking.
Give-way vessel will keep clear of stand-on vessel until finally well past and clear.
But be careful! White light only could also indicate a vessel sailing or a vessel at anchor or under oars.
Rule 14 – Head On
When two power-driven vessels are on reciprocal courses, vessels will steer to starboard so each shall pass port to port of each other. At night, vessels in a head-on situation should observe masthead light(s) in a line and one or both sidelights.
Rule 15 – Crossing
A vessel which has another vessel on her starboard side shall keep out of the way of the other and if necessary, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel. Easy way to remember this is vessel to the right “has rights”! Once you learn this, you’ll also recognize it’s consistent with the red/green light scheme.
Rule 18- Responsibilities Between Vessels (Inland)
From priviledged to burdened:
- Not under command (NUC)
- Restricted in ability to maneuver (RAM) (dredging, mine sweeping)
- Fishing/trawling (not trolling)
- Sail or manually powered boat
(must confirm this is where kayaks and SUPs land, and discuss here how Rule 2 is most important and applicable to kayaks and SUPs)
Navigation Lights and Shapes
(Rules 20 – 31)
360 degree light
required when anchored
Red and Green Lights
112.5 degree arc = 90+22.5
Required when underway between sunset and sunrise or in restricted visibility
Rules 20 Thru 31 – Lights and Shapes
Rules 34 Maneuvering and Warning
|Inland – Signals of intent with appropriate reply required.|
|Inland Rules require the other vessel to answer with the same signal if in agreement.|
I intend to pass you on my port side
I intend to pass you on my starboard side
I am operating astern (reverse) propulsion
Danger, I do not understand, I disagree
Navigation lights should be checked prior to departing the dock
Lights should be used between sunset and sunrise and during restricted visibility
Always carry spare bulbs