by Nathan Bechtold & Al Griffin
Appoint A Sober Captain
It’s obvious. It’s so obvious, and the message gets beaten into our heads through every medium so often, it’s impossible to forget it. So at this point, there’s no excuse. Sure, back in the “good old days,” every boat driver had a beer can in the hand he wasn’t steering with. But times have changed, and failing to appoint a sober captain can be catastrophic. Maybe you get pulled over and fined (or jailed) for BWI. Or, worse, buzzy boating can cause a collision. Too many boating incidents at the Lake occur because of intoxicated captains.
When Two Boats Meet: What To Do
A common question among boaters is, when two boats meet and their courses overlap, which one should keep its course (“stand on”) and which should alter its course (“give way”)?
The answer is found in COLREG (Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea), specifically Rule 18. It outlines a pecking order for boats:
(Note, COLREG defines “underway” as a vessel not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground.)
1. A power-driven vessel underway shall keep out of the way of:
-A vessel not under command
-A vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver
-A vessel engaged in fishing
-A sailing vessel