Friday, January 28, 2022

Who must “give way?”

By Capt. Carl Kelly

There are rules governing which boat must “give way” when boats approach one another. The list below ranks boats from “most privileged” to “least privileged.” Number 1 is the most privileged, and number 6 the least privileged. Number 6 must give way to number 5. Number 5 must give way to number 4, and so forth.

1. A vessel being overtaken is most privileged. All vessels must stay clear of any vessel they are overtaking.

2. Vessels not under command (example: steering malfunction) or restricted in maneuverability (example: large boat in small channel.)

3. Vessel engaged in fishing (commercial.)

4. Sailing vessels (when under sail, not using motor.)

5. Power driven vessels, all kinds of power.

6. A seaplane is “least privileged.”

It is understood but not stated that paddle and row boats are “more privileged” than power boats.

These are rules. Find your place on this list and give way to all vessels above you.


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