2015 New York Safe Boating - 44
Action by Stand-on Boat
If you are the stand-on boat you aren't required to take
evasive action, that is, you must maintain your course and
speed. However, when it becomes clear that the other boat
is not giving way as it should, you must take action to avoid
a collision. In that case, take evasive action and sound the
danger signal. See the discussion of sound signals, below.
There are three types of traffic situations that can lead to
collisions: head on, crossing, and overtaking. There are
rules for each; knowing how to handle your boat, and being
able to anticipate how the other boat will react, reduces the
possibility that the boats will collide.
The traffic rules apply when two motor boats are in sight of
each other, meaning that one boat can observe the other
with the naked eye.
an appreciable bearing change is evident, particularly when
approaching a very large vessel or tow, or when approaching
a vessel at close range.
Action to Avoid Collision
If two boats are proceeding straight or nearly straight
towards each other, they are "meeting." In this situation
each boat must give way to the other. In other words, they
are both give-way boats. Both boats should alter course
to starboard (right). At night, you will see the other boat's
sidelights and the masthead light(s).
All operators must use their best efforts to avoid collisions.
Hopefully the other operator also sees that a collision is
possible, so he or she will be trying to avoid collision too.
Any action you take must be readily apparent so that the
other boater can see that you have taken action. In practical
terms, this means you should:
Allow ample time;
Back off quickly on the throttles;
Make a large turn; and
Use good seamanship (pass far enough away, watch
If the path of the boats will cross each other without a
change of course, the boat that has another on its starboard
out for other traffic and maintain your actions until
you are well past and clear of the other boat.
Give-Way Boat's Actions
If you are operating the give-way boat, take early and
substantial action to keep well clear. In most cases you will
have several options to avoid collision: you can turn, reduce
speed, stop, or reverse engines. If you find that you are the
give-way boat, you must take action significant enough so
that the other boater knows that you have taken action.
You must take the action in ample time and follow good
seamanship. That means moving away from the other boat
and maintaining that course until you are well past and clear.