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Thread: Boating safety/rules of the road question

  1. #1

    Default Boating safety/rules of the road question

    I want to make sure I've got this right. Boat A is heading west. Boat B is heading north. Who has the right of way? Assume the boats are of similar size (not a dinghy vs. a cruise ship). I had two commercial boats that were travelling together come within about 20 feet of me as they were on their way to Ester Island.

  2. #2

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    Skydiver's question is referring to International Navigation Rule 15 (Crossing Situation).

    Crossing Situation (Rule 15)
    With two power-driven vessels crossing and in risk of collision, the vessel which has the other to starboard shall give way and shall, if conditions allow, cross astern of the other vessel.

    In Alaska, the International Rules apply to all boats on all U.S. navigable waters (as defined or designated under federal law 33 CFR 2.05-25).
    Please keep in mind that the Rules assign tasks but never confer entitlements. For example, although vessels in certain situations should “keep out of the way” of other vessels, the Rules never grant any vessel the “right of way.” Also keep in mind that the ordinary practice of seamanship requires precaution and prudent action by all boaters, at all times, under all circumstances. Knowing the Rules is important, but boaters also must be constantly vigilant of the circumstances and be prepared to depart from the Rules, if necessary, to avoid a collision.

    For more information please see the Alaska Boater's Handbook http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/boating/...book082010.pdf

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the clarification/confirmation. There are lots of rules when boating that people either don't know or don't follow (e.g. signaling before passing someone, all the things I once learned but soon forgot), many people don't know or follow even the basic ones such as right-of-way. So yes, you just have to drive defensively.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    There are lots of rules when boating that people either don't know or don't follow

    The State of Alaska Office of Boating Safety offers Alaska Water Wise a free 8 hour boating course that includes navigation. (Schedule varies based on demand please see website for upcoming courses.) http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/boating/boatak.htm. The U.S. Coast Guard Axillary also offers informative boating courses through local flotillas. http://a170.uscgaux.info/

    Other informative courses and partners are listed on the State of Alaska Office of Boating Safety website.
    http://www.alaskaboatingsafety.org/.

  5. #5
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    When in doubt I just let the other guy go first. I am never in that big of a hurry and if I have to slow down or change my course a bit to let someone else get by then I do. The commercial guys don't always follow the rules and neither do many of the private sport guys. I figure the commercial guys are trying to make a living and running on a tight schedule against openings and delivery's and such, let them do what they do and I will stay out of the way.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    When in doubt I just let the other guy go first. I am never in that big of a hurry and if I have to slow down or change my course a bit to let someone else get by then I do. The commercial guys don't always follow the rules and neither do many of the private sport guys. I figure the commercial guys are trying to make a living and running on a tight schedule against openings and delivery's and such, let them do what they do and I will stay out of the way.
    Well said. I want to avoid a collision at all costs, so I'm more than happy to change course or get off the throttle when another boat and I appear to be heading to the same spot at the same time. Unless you are in a tight passage, you should be able to alter course and or speed well enough in advance to keep a decent distance between yourself and other boats.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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