The Golden Rules Of Safe Boating
Taking time to familarise yourself with the rules of boating can make the difference between a great day boating, or make the critical difference between a safe day and a tragedy.
|Busy day on Sydney Harbour|
Knowledge - know your boat, know the waterway you will be boating on. Make sure you are familar with the local charts and locality.
Keep a good lookout at all times - monitor commercial traffic movements on your radio, look out for sail boats.
SPEED - always travel at a safe speed so that you can take avoiding action whatever the circumstances.
Reduce speed in: poor visibility, when there is alot of traffic around you, when your boat can't manoeuvre as well as normally, or because of bad weather, if there are too many lights around you confusing your recognition of marks and vessel lights, if you're too close to a navigational hazard or if you're in doubt.
Vessel safety check - ensure your boat and all motors are fully serviced.No fuel leaks, an auxilliary motor.
Carry at least 2 means of communication -at least one should be a VHF radio with channel 16, the universal distress frequency,
check out local radio networks and keep your radio on at all times. Ensure you tell someone of your plans and time of return.
Know the Weather - get the the latest marine forecast before you leave. If it is doubtful - don't go! Take advice, contact the local coastguard, your local boating club or an experienced boatie.
Wild Oaks heads to Hobart
Safety check - ensure your boat and all motors are fully serviced.No fuel leaks, an auxilliary motor. - always travel at a safe speed so that you can take avoiding action whatever the circumstances.
Know your boat, know the waterway you will be boating on. Make sure you are familar with the local charts and locality. - monitor commercial traffic movements on your radio, look out for sail boats.
Panic is the enemy - if you are suddenly in an unfamiliar situation, remain calm, assess your position, identify the problem, call for assistance.
Buoys beacons and marks - the road signs of the sea
The meaning of each navigational buoy, or beacon, is found in its shape, symbol on the top (top mark) and its colours. Take time to study and familiarise yourself with their meanings.
These show well-established channels and indicate port (left) and starboard (right) sides of the channels.
A red can shape. At night, a red flashing light may be shown.
A green conical shape. At night a green flashing light maybe shown.
Coming In Rule
When entering harbour the red port mark should be kept on the boat's port (left) side the green mark on the boat's starboard (right) side.
Going Out Rule
When leaving harbour the red port mark should be kept on the boat's starboard (right) side and the green mark on the boat's port (left) side.
Cardinal Marks - yellow and black
Each indicates where there is deep water close to a danger and they show this relative to the compass.
Isolated danger - red and black
Indicates an isolated danger, such as a submerged rock. It tells you not to pass too close. Coloured black with one or more horizontal red bands. If lit at night it shows a group of two white flashes. The top mark has two round spheres.
Indicates a special area and you should beware. coloured yellow. If lit at night it shows a flashing yellow light. The top mark is a single yellow cross. Check your chart to find out what is special in the area.
Safe Boating Tip
Your boat maybe a "tinnie", Quintrex, Haines, or Searay - whatever the size, or type here's a tip to keeping safe on the water.
Hull design, amount of free board (height from deck to water), chine (intersection of the bottom and sides of a flat or v-bottomed boat), passenger numbers, fuel onboard and conditions of the day, all come into play when determining your boats stability and how it handles on the water.
Keep a good lookout. Watch wave height, watch for wake. Reduce speed and take the wave on a 45 degree angle.
Your passengers and other boaties will appreciate your boat handling skill.
Rules Of The Road At Sea
|Entering Circular Quay|
The sea is a wide open space where the lanes are not marked, but there is still a right place to be.
There are rules that apply to boats on the water, just like cars on the road. It's important to learn these rules to avoid collison and maintain your safety and the safety of others on the water.
Rules to remember when two boats meet
- When two power boats are approaching head on, both vessels should alter course to starboard to pass port-side to port-side.
- When two power-driven vessels are in crossing situation on a collison course, give way to the vessel to starboard (right). The give way vessel must take early and obvious action to avoid a collison by either stopping or altering course to starboard.
- If the give way vessel has another power-driven vessel from the Port (left) which does not take obvious action to give way, or alter course to starboard, then the Skipper of give-way (stand on) vessel must take evasive action by either stopping, or again, altering course to starboard.
- Every vessel (power or sail) that is overtaking must keep well clear of the over taking vessel. You are overtaking if you are approaching another vessel anywhere in a 135 degree sector at its stern.
Channels and harbours
- Every boat must keep to the starboard (right) side of any channel
- Inside a harbour (normally shown on the pilotage limit on the chart) you must keep out of the way of any ship over 500 tons (which is about 50 metres in length)
- Do not create a wake which causes unnecessary danger to other boats or people
- You must not anchor in a channel
- All small craft must keep out of the way of larger vessels which are restricted by the channel.
When power meets power
- You must give way to another boat on your starboard (right)
- If you meet head on, both boats must turn to starboard (right)
Sunny afternoon on the water
When power meets sail
- Power gives way to sail unless the sail boat is overtaking
- Sailing boats should avoid sailing in a narrow channel. They have to give way to power boats restricted by the channel.
When sail meets sail
- When the wind is coming from different sides, the boat with the wind on the port (left) side has to give way
- When both boats have the wind on the same side the windward (upwind) boat has to give way
When things go wrong
- If the give way boat does not appear to be giving way, the stand on boat must take evasive action and should turn to starboard (right). If it turned to port it could turn in to the path of the give way boat.
ALL INFORMATION IS PROVIDED BY THE NSW BOATING COLLEGE.
The NSW BOATING COLLEGE is a Registered Training Organisation providing practical, competency based boat licence and boating handling education and training.
For more information please contact:
NSW Boating College