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Additional definitions

Additional definitions included in the Rules of the Road:

  • Danger Zone - An arc of 112.5 degrees measured from dead ahead to just aft of the starboard beam.
  • Stand-On Vessel - The vessel that should maintain course and speed.
  • Give-Way Vessel - The vessel that must take early and substantial action to keep clear of the stand-on vessel.
  • Visible (when applied to lights) - Visible on a dark, clear night.
  • Vessel not under command means a vessel that through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by the Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.
  • Vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver means a vessel that, from the nature of her work, is restricted in her ability to maneuver as required by the Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.
  • Vessel constrained by draft means a power-driven vessel that, because of her draft in relation to the available depth and width of navigable water, is severely restricted in her ability to deviate from the course she is following.
  • Length and Breadth of a vessel means her length overall and greatest breadth.
  • Secretary means the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating.
  • Inland Waters means the navigable waters of the United States shoreward of the navigational demarcation lines dividing the high seas from harbors, rivers, and other inland waters of the United States and the waters of the Great Lakes on the United States side of the International Boundary; Inland Rules or Rules mean the Inland Navigational Rules and the annexes thereto, which govern the conduct of vessels and specify the lights, shapes, and sound signals that apply on inland waters.
  • International Regulations means the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, including annexes currently in force for the United States.

USCG Statistics show that each year recreational boaters commit numerous violations of the navigation rules. The most common violations are caused because of the lack of familiarity with the following simple but important rules.