Did You Know? The Rules of the Water

Holiday weekends are busy on Grand Lake. For safer boating there are established boating “Rules of The Water” that all boaters need to follow.

boating safety rules of the water

POWER BOATS CROSSING- RULE 15: The boat on your starboard (right) side has the right-a-way. When looking at the other boat, the red navigation light will be seen. You must alter course and when possible, pass behind the other boat.

When a boat is approaching from your port (left) side, you will see the green navigation light. You have the right-a-way, and the other boat should alter course and pass behind you.

HEAD-ON SITUATION POWER BOATS- RULE 14: Power boats should alter their course to starboard (right) and pass each other on their port (left) side.

POWER BOATS OVERTAKING/PASSING- RULE 13: Your boat may pass on either side. The other boat should maintain its course and speed. There are horn signals that may be used to indicate which side you will be passing the other boat. One blast indicates you will pass it on your port (left) side, and two blasts indicate you will pass it on your starboard (right) side.

RULE 8: Before the risk of collision exists, either boat may maneuver as necessary to avoid a collision.

Don’t forget that sailboats under sail have the right-a-way over powerboats (RULE 18). Be courteous and pass behind them when possible so they do not have to contend with your boat’s wake.

Interested in becoming more confident in your boating skills? The United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, offers many courses such as weather, seamanship, navigation, marine mechanics and marine electronics online and in the classroom. For more information visit our website at: usps.org/grand lake or on Face Book at GLSPS.

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