Ace Boater - Boating license and exam online
Canadian boating license & Online boater test
Accredited by Transport CanadaAccredited by Transport Canada
My Profile Previous Search Close

Starboard and Port

Starboard and Port Side

Starboard side

Starboard is the right-hand side of a vessel. "Starboard" was originally "steerboard", referring to the side that the steering rudder was hung on Viking ships.

Port side

Port is the left-hand side of a vessel.

Port side - Starboard side

 

Starboard & Port Sidelights and Colours:

Sidelights are either red or green. They determine the priority on the water. The sidelights are located at the front of the boat. 

Starboard Sidelight:

Colour displayed: Green.

Arc: Visible at 112.5 degrees.

Position: Front, right side of the boat.

Port Sidelight:

Colour displayed: Red.

Arc: Visible at 112.5 degrees.

Position: Front, left side of the boat.

   

port and starboard sidelights & colors

At night and during periods of reduced visibility, sidelights tell other operators which side of a vessel they are looking at. You will look at the sidelights to determine who has right of way in meeting or crossing situation. If you see a boat with a red light, you are most likely the give-way vessel and do not have right of way. If you see green, you are the stand-on vessel and have right of way. 

If you liked this page, you may also be interested in: 

Navigation lights on boats at night

navigation lights for boat

Back to the safe boating course review