Chapter 5: Navigation Rules

Navigation Rules: Terms and Definitions

There are some important terms one has to become familiar with to understand the Navigation Rules in place to keep one safe while operating around other boaters. To get started, let's review some important terms and definitions.

Vessel: Any watercraft.

Underway: Any vessel which is neither at anchor or fast to the shore.

Power-Driven Vessel: Any vessel is propelled by machinery.

Sailing Vessel: Vessel is under sail. A vessel is classified as sailing even if it has machinery, as long as the machinery is not being used to propel the craft.

Fishing Vessel: Any vessel fishing with equipment which restricts maneuverability. Note this does not include vessels which are fishing with equipment that does not impair their maneuverability.

Stand-On Vessel: When approaching another vessel, the stand-on vessel must maintain speed and course, keep a lookout and return any communication with the give-way vessel, and do all it can to avoid a collision.

Give-way Vessel: The give-way vessel must take early and subnational action to keep clear of the stand-on vessel

In Sight of One Another: Two vessels are in sight of each another when one can be visually observed from the other.

Restricted Visibility: Any situation in which visibility is limited by fog, mist, snowfall, heavy rain, or other causes.

Inland Waters: The navigable waters of the United States and the waters of the Great Lakes in the United States side of the International Boundary.