Rules of the Road: The Conduct of Vessels in Sight of Each Other

This section outlines how vessels should act when in sight of each other. It covers application, and breaks down the conduct of every vessel on the water when faced with another.

Rule #11: Application

Rules apply to vessels in sight of each other.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #12: Sailing Vessels: Conduct Depending on Tack

Sailing vessels with the wind on their port gives way to vessels with wind on their starboard.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #12: Sailing Vessels Conduct Based Off Who is Windward

Windward vessels give way to leeward vessels.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

Windward means that vessel that is upwind, and leeward means the vessel that is downwind.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #12: Sailing Vessels Conduct: If There is any Doubt

If a sailing vessel has wind on their port side, and cannot determine which side the other vessel has the wind on they must give way.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #13: Overtaking

International Rule:

An overtaking vessel must give way and stay out of the way of the vessel it’s overtaking.

Canadian Modifications:

In the Great Lakes, is considering to be overtaking when:

  • They are approaching another vessel from a direction more then 22.5° abaft their beam.
  • If the vessel overtaking can only see the other vessels stern light, or masthead light.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #14: Head-On Situations

If two power-driven vessels meet head to head they must alter course to starboard, and pass on the port side of each other.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

Tip to remember: “If you see 3 lights a head, starboard wheel and show your red.”

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #15: Crossing Situations

International Rule:

If two power-driven vessels are in a crossing situation the vessel that has the other vessel on its starboard side must give way.

Canadian Modification:

A vessel crossing a river must keep out of the way of a power-driven vessel entering or departing a river, except for on the St. Lawrence River seaward of Île Rouge.

Tip to remember: “if you see red stay clear, if you see green go with caution.”

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #16: Conduct of the Give Way Vessel

The vessel must take early and substantial action to avoid a collision with the stand on vessel.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #17: Stand On Vessel

The stand on vessel must maintain their safe course, and speed. The stand on vessel is also responsible for taking action to avoid a collision when its clear that the give way vessel is not making an appropriate or adequate action.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #18: Responsibilities Between Vessels

These rules are not applicable in narrow channels, traffic separation schemes and when overtaking.

  • A power-driven vessel must give way to: a vessel not under command, a vessel restricted in their ability to maneuver, a vessel engaged in fishing, and a sailing vessel.
  • A sailing vessel must give way to a vessel not under command, a vessel restricted in their ability to maneuver.
  • A vessel engaged in fishing, when underway must give way, as much as possible, a vessel not under command, a vessel restricted in their ability to maneuver.
  • Any vessel other than a vessel not under command or restricted in their ability to maneuver must give way, or as mush as possible not impede the safe passage of a vessel restricted by their draft.
  • A vessel constrained by their draft shall navigate with particular caution having full regard for their special condition.
  • Seaplanes on, or near the water have to stay clear of vessels, and if a risk of collision exists they have to react as a vessel would.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

sailing-vessel-starboard-tack-in-challenge

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #19: Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility: Application

This rule applies to vessels in or near restricted visibility.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #19: Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility: Speed

All vessels must proceed at a safe speed for the condition of visibility. A power-driven vessel must have their engines on stand-by for immediate maneuver.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #19: Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility: Conduct

All vessels must comply with Rules #5-#10. This means they must have a lookout, safe speed, measure and monitor risk of collision, act quickly to avoid collisions, and act appropriately in narrow channels and traffic separation schemes.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #19: Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility: Radar

If a vessel is detected by radar alone and collision is suspected, you need to take early and substantial action to avoid the vessel.

It would be smart to avoid: turns to port if the vessel is detected forward of the beam except if you are overtaking, and avoid any change of course towards a vessel abeam of abaft the beam.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Rule #19: Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility: Fog Signal

If you hear a fog signal in front of you, reduce speed to a minimum that still allows for your vessel to maintain course and stop if necessary, make sure to continue to navigation with extreme caution until there is no risk of collision.

There is no Canadian Modification to this rule.

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

All done this section!

To view the full document, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea from 1972 with Canadian Modifications. You should also check out COLREG's which is the abridged version of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

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