It's your responsibility to operate your boat in a defensive manner. In this Boat-Ed safety course video, officers talk about operating at an idle speed in narrow channels, being watchful in congested waters, properly passing other vessels, and the dangers of tides, currents, and wakes. ...read more
[Speaker1]. If you are in congested waters you need to be paying attention because you’ve got smaller vessels, you’ve got personal watercraft, you’ve got swimmers. So there’s a lot of stuff going on so you need to be looking not only forward but you need to be looking all around your vessel.
[Speaker2]. When you’re going through a narrow channel you should be operating at an idle speed. You should be watching for the other vessels on coming. You should pass portside to portside, staying away from other boats as far away as you can to avoid any kind of collision.
[Speaker1]. But the tide, the current is a huge problem. The bigger the boat the more resistance you’re going to have against that current. It could be a very tricky situation trying to maneuver in and out of boats, underneath a bridge where there is usually a lot more current than outside a channel.
[Speaker2]. One of the things you’ve got to be aware of is what your wake can do other boats and hopefully they are considering what their wake can do to you. The wake behind you can end up causing damage to another vessel. It can push vessels together.
[Speaker1]. The boat wakes will slap back and forth. If you have like a hard rock wall and it just beats back and forth in there. Vessel operators are responsible for their own wake. So if your wake causes another boat to slam against the dock, that’s considered careless operation and you can be cited for that.
[Speaker2]. If there’s heavy traffic, always anticipate the fact that somebody may not know what they’re doing in these channels and may end up stopping the middle of channels. So you may have to slow down even further than what you’re doing now and maybe go out of your way to go around them. It’s our obligation to operate your boat in a defensive manner. And where other people may not know what they’re doing, they may not know how to take action, you will have to take action for them to avoid the collision.
This Boat-Ed safety course video reviews the navigation rules of the waterway for encountering other powerboats, PWCs, sailboats, and barges. Also explains and identifies give-way and stand-on vessels. ...read more
Okay now let’s go out on the lake and this time think like you’re the operator. As we come across various watercrafts, see if you know how to respond. But keep in mind that we have exaggerated the scenes just a little bit for the video, in real life you’ll always want to stay as far away from other boats as possible.
Here comes the first one. A boat is cutting across our path from the right, what do you do? The rule here is that the boat approaching you from the right is the stand on vessel. It should maintain course and speed. You are the give way vessel, you need to slow down and veer to the right passing behind the boat.
We’re cruising head on towards another boat, what do you do now? Well in this situation neither boat is the stand on vessel. Both of you give way and pass on the right.
Now we’re coming up behind someone, who is the stand on boat here? And what’s the correct way past this boat? The boat you’re passing is the stand on vessel. You may pass on either the right or the left. Be sure to stay out of the other boater’s way once you’ve passed.
Now we see a sailboat and it looks like we are on a collision course. What do you do? A sailboat under sail is less maneuverable than your powerboat so it’s always the stand on vessel. This is true whether you’re meeting it head on or you’re crossing its path. You should slow down or past behind it.
And what about personal watercraft, do they always have to give way because they are so small and maneuverable? Well personal watercrafts operate under the same rules as motorboats. So in this case the personal watercraft is on your right, and so it is the stand on vessel. Give way and let the personal watercraft pass. But because personal watercraft are so maneuverable you need to be especially alert when you’re on or around them.
Barges on the other hand present a safety concern because they are not very maneuverable. Ranging up to a quarter mile long, barge tows are difficult to steer, hard to stop and have a dangerous blind spot in front. What happens if you encounter one of these, are you going to cross their path? No way, large vessels are less maneuverable than small crafts and can take a mile to come to a stop. So stay out of their way.
This Boat-Ed safety course video discusses the navigation rules or traffic laws of the waterways. Responsibilities of the give-way vessel and stand-on vessel are defined. ...read more
The first rule of safe navigation is; keep a sharp lookout at all times for other boats, as well water hazards, fishermen, skiers and others enjoying the water. It's one of the most important navigation rules. The second rule is; maintain a safe speed. That's determined by a number of factors including; wind, water conditions, visibility and surrounding boat traffic.
There's also an important concept that you need to understand about the rules of the road out here. On land, we say that one car has the right of way over another but on the water, there's a slightly different concept. When you encounter another boat, you're either the stand on vessel or the give way vessel.
The stand on vessel is the boat or personal watercraft that must maintain its course and speed. The give way vessel is required to take action to avoid collision by keeping clear of the stand on vessel. If you're the give way vessel, don't wait until the last minute; slow down, turn or stop as soon as you see you're on course to meet another boat.
Now having said that, it's the responsibility of both boat operators to take action to avoid a collision by being alert and driving defensively.