Much like car drivers, motorcyclists, bike riders and lorry drivers have to follow the rules of the road there are certain rules you have to follow when you’re out on the water. Let’s take a look at some of the key rules for you to learn.
Remember, these rules apply to sail and power boats
Who gives way?
But what if both boats are sail boats?
BUT, there are exceptions to these rules… sometimes sail boats have to give way to motor vessels. Big ships can’t manoeuvre as easily as smaller boats and they also have to stick to deep water channels, so smaller boats should keep out of their way and alter their course in good time, making their intentions clear to the skipper on the deck of the big ship.
What happens when two powerboats come together?
What happens when two boats under engine meet head on?
Remember – Port is the left hand side of a boat and starboard is the right hand side
Who gives way if I want to overtake?
When you’re out on the water some boats will also show flags or shapes to show you that you need to keep out of their way…
|A boat flying a blue and white flag means there are divers in the water|
|If you see a sailing boat flying a cone (triangle shape) this means it is also under power|
|The diamond shape means ‘on tow’ – so don’t try and go through the middle of these two boats! |
|This shape will tell you that this boat is a fishing boat – don’t go too close, their nets can go a long way out! |
|If you spot a ball shape on a boat it means that boat is at anchor |
Next time you’re out on the water why not keep your eyes peeled for any boats flying this different shapes or flags…
Rules of the Road information taken from RYA Go Cruising! written by Claudia Myatt. Check out RYA Go Cruising! for loads more top tips and information about going cruising.
Let’s see what you can remember… which of these statements are true and which statements are false? No cheating now!
Answers: 1 False, 2 True, 3 True, 4 True, 5 False, 6 True, 7 False, 8 False
Want to join the RYA? We have special memberships designed exclusively for younger members.
RYA Junior Membership – As an RYA Junior member (up to 11 years old) you’ll receive a welcome pack containing an activity book on joining. You’ll be sent a quarterly newsletters from ‘Bob the Buoy’ crammed full of stories and quizzes, facts and pictures. You also have your own dedicated Junior Members area on the RYA website where you’ll find the latest news, gallery, your stories, games and lots more.
RYA Youth Membership – Designed for young people between 12 and 17 years of age. When you join you’ll receive a welcome pack containing the RYA Youth Notebook which is crammed full of useful information, a personal log to record your boating activities, contacts, events and much more. You’ll also receive an exclusive Youth member e-newsletter four times a year and have access to a dedicated Youth area on the RYA website. Here you can catch up on all the latest youth news and videos, read about different marine related careers, check out the photo gallery and share stories about the boating you do.