2018 New York State Boater's Guide - 30

Rules of the Nautical Road

The rules of the road are an accepted standard by which all
mariners are to comply when operating a vessel upon the water.
Basically the rules require that every operator conduct his/her
vessel in a prudent manner, at a safe speed, while constantly
maintaining a proper lookout by all means available.

The Sound Signals

All vessels are required to exchange sound signals when their
paths will lead them into any close quarters situation. The following
signals are prescribed for use by vessels when within sight of each
other, to signal their intentions with respect to maneuvering:
1. One short blast - "I intend to leave you on my port side."
Often this means a change in course to starboard (right).
2. Two short blasts - "I intend to leave you on my starboard side."
Often this means a change in course to port (left).
3. Three short blasts - "I am operating astern propulsion."
Usually means that you are backing down.
4. Five or more short blasts - commonly known as the danger
signal and is used when either vessel doubts whether
sufficient action is being taken by the other vessel to avoid
collision.
5. One prolonged blast - the boat is leaving its slip. It is also
used for indicating your boats presence when coming
around a bend.
(A short blast is that of one second in duration. A prolonged blast is
that of four to six seconds in duration.)

The Situations

In the following situations we use the terms "Stand-on" or "Giveway". The Stand-on vessel is generally required by the rules to
maintain both course and speed. The Give-way vessel is required
to take early and substantial action to keep clear and avoid colliding
with the other vessel.
MEETING. In this situation both vessels will pass within close
proximity to one another on nearly reciprocal headings. The rules
require that in this situation both vessels should exchange one short
blast and pass with sufficient room on each other's port side. In this
case both vessels are required to give way.
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2018 New York State Boater's Guide - 1
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2018 New York State Boater's Guide - Table of Contents
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