/ Power Boat / Under 6m / Rules of the Road / Power Boat vs. Power Boat

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The term powerboat here should be understood to include not only conventional powered boats but also Personal Watercraft, Sailboats under power and Sea Planes on the water.

  • Meeting Head On When two powered vessels are about to meet head-on, each vessel should move to starboard and pass in a normal traffic pattern. (i.e. Pass with the other vessel to port.)
  • Vessels Crossing Paths When one powerboat wishes to cross the path of another, the direction of approach is the determining factor for which has the right of way.  If a powerboat approaches from your starboard side, it has the right of way and you must take EARLY & SUBSTANTIAL action to avoid the other vessel.   If the other vessel approaches from your port side, you have the right of way and must maintain your course and speed.
  • Overtaking Another Vessel It’s legal to overtake another boat by passing either to port or to starboard.  The Collision Regulations state that a vessel intending to overtake another on its starboard side should sound one blast on the horn.  The vessel to be overtaken, after ensuring that the starboard side is clear, should respond with a single blast indicating that overtaking boat should proceed.   Where the intention is to pass to port, the overtaking vessel should sound two blasts on the horn indicating their intention.  The vessel to be overtaken, after ensuring that the port side is clear, should respond with two blasts indicating that the overtaking vessel should proceed.

Where the vessel wishing to overtake issues one blast to pass to starboard or two blasts to pass to port and the forward vessel responds with five (5) blasts, it is not safe to pass.

Power Boat Encounters Another Power Boat