June 11, 2020

Andrew AlbertiIn the past two issues we have been doing an overview of the right-of-way rules. In the first, we did a review of Section A of Part 2, in the second we did a review of the definitions. This issue, we will look at Section B of Part 2, General Limitations, which is essentially limitations applying to boats that have right of way according to Section A.

GENERAL LIMITATIONS

14 AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

(a) need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room, and

(b) shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does not cause damage or injury.

15 ACQUIRING RIGHT OF WAY

When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear, unless she acquires right of way because of the other boat’s actions.

16 CHANGING COURSE

16.1 When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear.

16.2 In addition, when after the starting signal a port-tack boat is keeping clear by sailing to pass astern of a starboard-tack boat, the starboard-tack boat shall not change course if as a result the port-tack boat would immediately need to change course to continue keeping clear.

17 ON THE SAME TACK; PROPER COURSE

If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above her proper course while they remain on the same tack and overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat. This rule does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required by rule 13 to keep clear.

There are four restrictions or limitations. The first (rule 14) says to avoid contact, even if you are the right-of-way boat. The more detailed subsections explain when the right-of-way boat will or will not be exonerated if it fails to avoid contact, but the key point is, if the give-way boat is not going to avoid contact, then the right-of-way boat should. The second restriction (rule 15) says, if you become the right-of-way boat, you have to give the other boat time to keep clear.

The two most common examples of the transition from give-way to right-of-way are shown in the diagram. Blue at position 1 is clear astern, so must keep clear. At position 2, Blue has established an overlap to leeward so Blue now has right of way over Yellow. At position 3, Yellow tries to luff up to get out of the way. While doing so she makes contact with Blue. Blue did not give Yellow room to keep clear when Blue became the right-of-way boat – Blue is thus at fault.

Red is on port tack at position 1 while Green is on starboard, so according to rule 10, Red must keep clear, which she decides to do by tacking. The rules have a narrow definition of “tacking” – it’s the action between being head-to-wind and being settled on a close-hauled course; boatspeed and state of trim of the sails are irrelevant. Between position 2, when she is head to wind, and position 3, when she is on a close-hauled course, Red is tacking, so Red must keep clear according to rule 13. At position 3, Red has reached a close-hauled course, so she has completed her tack, and is now clear ahead of Green. Green must now keep clear of Red according to rule 12. The obligation for Green to keep clear does not begin until Red has achieved a close-hauled course. In this diagram, Red has not given Green time to keep clear before Green hits Red on the transom. Red, like Blue has now broken rule 15.


The next rule in Section B (rule 16) talks about right-of-way boats altering course. Sometimes you hear give-way boats yelling “Hold your course” and some people believe this is a governing hail, but is more of a plea than an order; no rule forces right-of-way boats to hold their course. Right-of-way boats can alter their course, but they have to give the give-way boats room to keep clear. The most common form of this is a leeward boat luffing a windward boat, but it can be almost any other right-of-way boat as well. There are special restrictions, in rule 16.2, that cover boats on opposite tacks, usually on a windward leg.

The final rule in Section B (rule 17) puts restrictions on boats that establish overlaps to leeward. The Blue boat in our diagram establishes an overlap to leeward from clear astern. Since Blue gained an overlap to leeward, Blue is prohibited from sailing above her proper course. She can luff up to her proper course even if she starts below that, but she can’t go above it.

Andrew Alberti is a National Judge and National Umpire. He is a member of the Sail Canada Rules and Appeals Committees. Send your questions to Andrew at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Related Articles

Tuesday, 07 April 2020 18:41

Last column we started an overview of the right-of-way rules. That issue focused on Section A of Part 2. At the end of that article, I said would next focus on the definitions. Early in the Rules...

Tuesday, 10 March 2020 19:29

As we start a new sailing season, I am going to start a new view of the right-of-way rules. I hope that by giving an overview, I can help my readers understand the rules for themselves.

Boat Reviews

Video Gallery

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.

Design

Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Last issue we featured a story about the engagement proposal aboard Via-Mara, a 1969 Trojan 42 Aft ...
With thanks to Sail Canada, here’s a collection of photos that are Olympic quality. Clearly our ...
Wow. That was a lot of fun reading the collection of boat names that came in from all over the ...
No individual had a greater impact on the modern sport of sailing than Bruce Kirby. Known and ...
Just off The Ocean Race European Tour, Daniel is setting his sights on competing in The Ocean Race ...
After being our fearless leader and publisher since CYOB kicked off, Greg Nicoll, handed over the ...
Swim Drink Fish is spearheading the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and ...
With but four weeks to go, Sarah is in Japan, staying safe while acclimatizing to the heat at ...
MJM is a different kind of boat builder, second generation family owned and operated, we design and ...
Stuart Hendrie, a pro photographer sent along this photo of the pirate ship in Jordan Ontario. Many ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Watermakers take ocean water and create perfect drinking water using reverse osmosis. A Schenker ...
If you’re headed out for a weekend afloat or on a week-long cruise you often must park your vehicle ...
Ten years ago, St. Margaret’s Bay (Halifax), Nova Scotia-based SailTimer Inc. made the first ...
Between the odor and working in confined spaces, replacing an onboard sanitation line is never a ...
For many boat owners who have gear to tote and the occasional stretch of bumpy road to negotiate, a ...
The 2022 Sea-Doo Switch is a re-imagined pontoon that makes hitting the water more accessible than ...
On the water audiophile-quality sound is attainable with the new JBL-R3500 source unit. The latest ...
An environmentally friendly product for refinishing your teak, hemp wood finishing oil is an ...
August means cruising, entertaining and enjoying summer at its finest. And that means food and ...
A Bluetooth-enabled phone or tablet is ideal for streaming music, but it's often stowed safely away ...

News

  • Prev
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the ...
On September 6, Groupe Beneteau laid out its course to develop new boating experiences, new ...
Last Friday, the first ever Canada’s Celebration of Sailing honoured the season for Sailing in ...
Boating Ontario is very proud to have Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety jump on ...
Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies, Inc. is headed to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to ...
Summer is in full swing with Canadians enjoying time outside and on the water. So, while enjoying ...
On July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor ...
HanseYachts AG presents RYCK, its third motorboat brand carrying the "Made in Germany" label. The ...
“We are all proud of our athletes and coaches who have dedicated themselves to push Canadian ...
Collingwood, ON hq’d Limestone Boat Company – owner and builder of Aquasport Boats, Limestone Boats ...

Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More