Boat navigation in restricted Visibility

Boat navigation at night, or during periods of reduced visibility deserve to be dangerous. Boaters must take added care once operating in ~ night or during periods of restricted visibility, such as darkness, fog or hefty rain.

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If you hear a sound signal during minimal visibility, girlfriend should mitigate your speed in bespeak to proceed safely. Make certain you save the engine prepared for immediate action in case one more boat or hazard comes v the fog or darkness and also puts your watercraft at instant risk that collision.

Boat navigating at Night


Right-of-way and also navigation rules room the very same whether you operating throughout the work or in ~ night. However, while operating at night or during restricted visibility, girlfriend must identify the speed, position and also size of other watercrafts according come the navigating lights lock exhibit.

Navigation lights need to be provided on any kind of pleasure craft the operates indigenous sunset come sunrise or throughout periods of limited visibility.


The navigation lights you are compelled to display screen depend top top the following:

The dimension of her boat.Whether your watercraft is power-driven, human-powered or sail-powered.Whether your watercraft is underway or in ~ anchor.

Head-on Approach


If girlfriend meet another boat and also see a green, red and also white light, you approaching another power-driven boat head-on. In this situation, neither watercraft has the right-of-way. Both operators have to take early and substantial action to steer well clear that the other boat by reducing your speed and steer come starboard (right).


If girlfriend meet another boat and see a green and also red light yet no masthead (white) light, then you’re approaching a sail-powered boat. In this situation, you space the give-way craft and must productivity the right-of-way to the sailboat.

Port (Left) Approach


If a green and also white light is visible, then one more boat is approaching friend from your boat’s harbor (left) side. In this situation, you space the stand-on craft and should keep your speed and direction. The other watercraft should take it early and substantial action to steer fine clear of your boat.

Starboard (Right) Approach


If a red and also white light is visible, then another boat is approaching friend from your boat’s starboard (right) side. In this situation, you space the give-way craft and also must productivity the right-of-way. You must take early and substantial activity to steer well clear of the other boat. Minimize your speed, change direction and also pass in ~ a safe street behind the various other boat.

Safe Boating Tip:

A simple means to make feeling of powerboat navigation lights is come remember the following rule of thumb:A green light = GO (because an additional boat is approaching friend from her port side).A red light = STOP (because one more boat is draw close from her starboard side).

What else Does a White light Indicate?


If you view a white irradiate on that own, it identifies among the complying with three situations, indicating the you do NOT have actually the right-of-way:

You’re approaching one more boat indigenous behind.You’re approaching a boat that’s at anchor.You’re pull close a human-powered boat.

Approaching Human-Powered Boats

When pull close a human-powered boats, she the give-way craft and must yield the right-of-way. You should take early and substantial action to stay well clear and pass at a safe speed and distance.

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Remember that if you’re operating a human-powered watercraft at night, you’re required to have actually a working, electrical torch, flashlight or lighted lantern reflecting a white light (this rule applies if the watercraft cannot be equipped through standard navigation lights.).