"Rules of the Road" class

On Wednesday, October 12th, a presentation on the "Rules of the road" was given by Joe Barnette of the Sarasota Power and Sail Squadron.  Joe explained that it should be called the "Rules of Rhodes" as  the people of Rhodes developed rules of law to deal with occasional shipping disputes including, especially, a code of maritime law (quite likely the world's first as it was in existence in 600 bc.) which serves as the basis of our rules today. The class covered which vessel has to give way based on two sets of criteria. The first is the nature of the vessel. The hierarchy is as follows,  The vessel that has rights over every other vessel is one that is Not under control (say no rudder) all others must give way. Next is those vessels Restricted in maneuverability, followed by vessels Constrained by draft, Fishing vessels (with long lines or trawls), Sailing vessels, Power boats, and last also least Seaplanes. The mnemonic is New Reels Catch Fish SPurchase Some. And fellow sailors if your sails are up and you are motor sailing you are a powerboat. You should display an inverted cone ( a what? ) to let other boaters know. The second set of rules determining who has rights and who must give way is between two boats of equal nature,  e.g. two sailboats. Sailboats could be approaching, crossing or overtaking conditions. If approaching the one on starboard tack has rights and the other must give way, if crossing the vessel crossing from starboard has rights, if overtaking the boat being overtaken has rights. At night if you are crossing and see a green running light you have rights. If you see a red or white running light the other vessel has rights. The rules also cover light patterns, shapes and horn blasts for different vessels and situations which were not covered. Those who wish to learn more can attend the full seminar presented at the Sarasota power and Sailing Squadron. The schedule for this and other courses is available at the Sailing Squadron or online at http://www.sarasota-boating.org/member-courses

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