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Four Basic Navigation Rules for Sailing Situations
- Port-tack boat gives way to the starboard-tack boat – upwind or downwind. If two vessels might come close or collide, the stand-on vessel maintains course and speed. The give-way vessel alters course and/or speed to pass at a safe distance. (see Image 1 below)
- Windward boat gives way to the leeward boat on the same tack, whether sailing upwind or downwind. (see Image 2 below)
- Overtaking boat gives way to the vessel ahead, whether a sailboat or powerboat.
- Recreational powerboats generally give way to sailboats. It's true most of the time. Stay away from working power vessels, fishing boats, ferries, tugboats, barges, and ships, especially in navigational channels.