Know The Rules – Boating at Night

If you’re planning to watch some of the many Grand Lake fireworks from your boat, it is important to understand how to interpret lights from other vessels at night to maneuver your boat safely.

It is always made more difficult because boat lights will blend into shore lights.

The “Rules of the road” as to the give way powerboat and the stand on (maintains course and speed) powerboat remain the same whether it is day or night.

In a crossing situation, if you see a red bow light, think of it as a red traffic light signaling stop, slow down or change course to pass behind the other boat. You are the give-way boat.

If you see a green light, it means go, so you are the stand-on boat maintaining course and speed.

A white light (masthead or all-round) will also be seen in both situations.

In a head-on situation, both drivers will see a red and green light plus a white light (masthead or all-round light) between them.

Both boats should alter course to starboard (right) passing on the port side.

When overtaking a boat only a white light will be seen until you move to either side when the red/green side lights will be visible.

The boat being overtaken will see both the red and green lights, as well as the white light between them.

Remember, not all boaters know the rules so be prepared to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

The danger sound signal is 5 short blasts with a horn or whistle.

You can learn more about Boating at Grand Lake HERE.

Are you interested in joining a boating club on Grand Lake to have fun, plus the opportunity to take courses online or in the classroom to improve your boating skills and knowledge?  Visit online or, on Facebook: America’s boating club-grand lake for more information.

Boating Safety - Did You Know


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *