Rule 16 vs. Rule 17


Please accept my apologies for this small “pet peeve” on my part.  Stand on means stand on … give way means give way!

Rule 16 states “Every vessel which is directed to keep out of the way of another vessel shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.”

I’m not sure what it is about the words early and substantial that seems to confound boaters, however, I am always amazed at how late and how small the course change that is made to avoid is!  Please make your course changes obvious, and early enough that I don’t have to wonder if you see me and are going to make the required course change!

Rule 17 states “(a) (i) Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.

(ii) The latter vessel may, however, take action to avoid collision by her maneuver alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these Rules.”

In other words stand on your course and speed until it is apparent a collision will result if you don’t … as the give way vessel I am counting on you to do so!  Being “a nice guy” and giving way when you are the stand on vessel is not only confusing to everyone else, it’s a violation of Rule 17.


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2 Responses to Rule 16 vs. Rule 17

  1. Steve Damm says:

    Once again a nice informative post. After my experiences this last weekend, which were many, maybe we should send copies of the rules to RYC and Brickyard Cove Marina. I trying to teach Rules of the Road and half the boats coming out of those locations don’t know stand on/give way or early and obvious.

  2. Tony Johnson says:

    Good one and well stated Don. This is exactly why it is so important that sailors know the rules, and don’t simply think they can get out of the way of someone when they’re in doubt.

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