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Boat Horn
Infographic For Boat Navigation and Horn Sounds (Inland)
Visual aid on navigating my boat around another boat while in motion on the water. Conditions discussed are Head-On, Overtaking and Crossing situations inland. ... read more

When navigating inland, it is important to understand the intentions of each boater. Where are they going? What way are they going to turn their boat? And, what can I do to ensure the safety of passengers on my boat and the other boat? Navigation rules are the laws that set for steering or sailing on the water. These rules discuss the primary responsibility of each vessel and their role in communication.

The rules on inland water are different from international waters. For example, when boating on inland waters, sound signals are giving your intent. Whereas, boating in international waters, sound signals are defining action.

It's always best to have someone watch for potential dangers or problems that can appear from any direction. It's important to travel at a safe speed where speed is not regulated by a buoy. And, at all costs, makes sure you do everything possible to avoid a collision on the water.

The infographic on boating navigation discusses the actions one should take when they encounter another boat while cruising the water. The most common situations would be overtaking, head-on, and crossing the path of another boater. There are two terms for each boat: the give-way boat and stand-on boat. The give-way boat is required to yield to the stand-on boat and the stand-on boat should maintain its course and speed.

In an overtaking situation, the give-way boat is coming from behind at a greater speed. In this case, the give-way boat would give two, one-second honk of the horn telling the stand-on boat that they are going to maneuver around the stand-on boat to the left. If the give-way boat is going to maneuver to the right of the stand-on boat, they would give one, one-second honk on the horn to indicate their intentions.

In a head-on situation, the preferred way to pass is a port-to-port passing. However, in some cases a starboard-to-starboard pass would be just as acceptable. The boater's intent will be communicated by a horn blast. To pass another boat port-to-port side, sounding one, one-second blast with your horn will show the other boater your intent is to pass port-side. If you are passing starboard-to-starboard, two, one-second blasts will indicate starboard passing.

Be safe on the water and have a good time while boating. Be sure to remember these navigation rules when boating on inland waters.

Infographic on boating navigation and horn sound communication

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