Continuing in the theme of education, these are quite well done and explain the Colregs well. It's a lot to sit and digest, but it's important everyone using the water knows these.
Note that my terms aren't always nautically correct-the 'vessel with right of way should really be referred to as the 'stand on' vessel,among others. Hopefully it's written so it can be understood by someone just starting out that isn't immediately familiar with the correct terms.
It is really useful to understand this not only from the perspective of power boaters, but also sailors, that way, if you're coming up on any other vessel (including the inevitable pair of yachts tacking up the narrow channel you're trying to go down) you've got some idea what they're going to do,where to go and what to do.
I'll start you off on the one most don't know-when a powerboat has right of way over a yacht under sail
I'll guarantee that a large proportion of yachties won't know this one either, so be very wary and be ready to take evasive action or you may find some braying moron yelling 'steam gives way to sail' and running you down. Better afloat and alive than in the right and dead.
It is also worth bearing in mind that changing course is not your only option. You can change your speed to avoid a collision too. You must take action to avoid a collision even if you initially had "right of way"
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Next,a powerboat meets a vessel under sail and the yacht is crossing the course of the powerboat from either direction.
This is one where the usual practice of turning to starboard doesn't always apply. Try and go astern of the yacht rather than cutting across their bows.
Overtaking, 2 vessels under power. Note that this (as in all cases) also includes yachts under power. If they don't have their sails up or they have the motor running, they are a vessel under power.Again don't expect them to know this-a large number seem to forget that when they start their engine things change.
This is important. You really don't know what's behind a fishing boat, and while fishing they have right of way over both yachts and powerboats. They mostly don't bother taking down the dayshapes, and they may appear not to be fishing but you won't necessarily know or see if they're towing a net, pulling a longline or laying pots.
Stay WELL clear (I stay 50m+ away) of their stern. Apart from anything else, if their nets catch on an obstruction, they may stop rather sharply with no warning.
This one isn't rocket science. It's bigger than you, heavier than you and the description of 'put the helm over, put the kettle on and by the time it's boiled the turn has started' is quite accurate. Stay well away, and go astern of them if its possible.
If it's in a channel, it has right of way over everything.
If it's not,and its not in a traffic separation scheme (see next vid) in theory you can have the right of way in the same way as 2 powerboats in the videos above. In practice, they probably haven't seen you, and you're far more manoevreable. Don't take a chance-go astern of them and keep well clear.
You may think the folowing videos don't apply to you.
However, if your course brings you near yachts, you need to have some idea what they're going to do if they're converging in any way.Remember as well, that they may restricted by draft (ie, they need more depth of water than you)
A fast yacht will tack or gybe faster than you expect. Obviously give them room, but you need to know which way to steer in order to avoid having one change direction straight into your path.Assume that they ABSOLUTELY won't take avoiding action with any consideration to you.
And the one that confuses most sailors as well
It's a good idea if you see yachts converging like this to give them a wide berth.In theory, they should behave according to this rule.
In practice they could do anything, and I have witnessed almost 'road rage' scenes resulting from skippers misunderstanding this rule.
Everyone who uses the sea needs to understand those and can be prosecuted for ignoring them. The attentive will notice that the above rules only apply when the vessels can see each other - but presumably if you are planning to take your boat out with a risk of fog you are not learning the rules from a website!
Remember: Keep a look out at all times > Use a safe speed > Assess every vessel you see to determine if there could be a collision > Take the necessary action to avoid a collision. Make changes in course early and obvious so others can see what you are doing.
If this is all new to you, or your think you need to brush up then you might want to undertake some training (e.g. from an RYA school) either afloat or in the classroom to help you understand these in real life. If you need to find a local school then the RYA website will help you - but why not ask one of the RIBnet trade members - they are likely to understand the circumstances you will be operating in.