Sailing Rules And Regulations

Every sailing boat or vessel in coastal and offshore waters has to follow sailing rules and regulations which come under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. On inland waterways and lakes, there are other similar rules and regulations in sailing such as CEVNI in Europe. For sailing events, such as the Olympics, the participants have to follow some specific rules and regulations for sailing, such as the Racing Rules of Sailing. Likewise, in club racing, there may be specific club racing laws and regulations in sailing, perhaps based on RRS.

Generally speaking, regardless of the activity and under any conditions of visibility, every sailor must follow the sailing rules and regulations. For example, he has to keep a proper lookout at all times and adjust speed to according to the weather conditions. He should also know whether to 'stand on' or 'give way' in any close-quarters position.

According to the rules and regulations in sailing, the stand-on vessel must hold a stable course and speed but it has to be well prepared to take any late avoiding action to avert an actual collision if the other vessel is not able to do so in time. The give-way vessel must take early and obvious avoiding action, without crossing in front of the other vessel. Sailing vessels must also give way to vessels occupied in fishing as well those not under command, and also to those limited in their ability to maneuver by their draft.

The laws and regulations in sailing go on to explain the lights to be shown by vessels under way at night or in weather conditions of limited visibility. Sailing boats specifically must support red and green sidelights and a white stern light. At sailing schools, the students or sailors are taught not only of the necessities for their own boat, but of all the other lights, shapes and flags that may be shown by other vessels, such as those fishing, towing, dredging, diving etc. They are also made aware about the sound signals that may be made in poor visibility.

Additionally, there are specific rules and regulations in sailing for lateral marks, lights, signals, and safe navigation. These sailing rules and regulations place the responsibility for safety on the owners and operators of any boat. They stress upon the safety gear needed as well as the emergency measures to be used, according to the boat's size and its sailing range.

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