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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Basic Sailboat Rules - Rule 10: On Opposite Tacks

When you sail, you have two possible position your sail can be on. Port or Starboard. So if your sails go to the left side of your boat that is starboard-tack and if your sails are on the right side of your boat then you have port-tack boat.

To get to a mark you will need to do both so will others sailing. So rule 10 says that the one that has Starboard-tack is the Right of way boat. Why? Well someone has to . Just like you driving your car, why do you drive in your country on the same side of the road? Well in sailing is the same.

I will be using reference to for these rules.

Rule 10: On Opposite Tacks
When boats are on opposite tacks, a port-tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard-tack boat.

This rule works in all places. Before the start as well as during the race and towards the finish. You will notice that most racers will always start the race on starboard-tack. Now when in a race, look to see if you have starboard-tack. If so look at other boats that approach you and if they are on port-tack, and if your path and theirs will have a collision if you keep it, shout out ‘Starboard!!’ or ‘Stb’ to let other boat know that they must make sure to not collide with you. If they do not and looks like you will have a collision then you need to avoid them. Just like Rule 14 I've already written about. In that case you can have a valid Protest. I will cover this in a later article.

OK now all is good but what if the other boat that may collide with you has starboard-tack too?

Next time we will discuss what to do when boats are on the same tack and who has right of way. Yes there are rules for that too.

Yay for Sailing 

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