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PA Boating Handbook
CHAPTER 3 - BOAT OPERATION
Rules for Power-driven Vessels Underway
HEAD-ON (MEETING) SITUATION

When two boats meet head-on, both boats are required to turn starboard (to the right) to avoid the other. At night, a head-on situation exists when both the red and the green running lights are seen at the same time. Lights required on boats are explained previously in this handbook. Sound signals used when maneuvering are explained later in this handbook.

Head-on situation
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OVERTAKING (PASSING) SITUATIONS

The boat being passed is the stand-on vessel. It must maintain its course and speed while the overtaking (give-way) vessel passes by. The overtaking boat is always the give-way vessel, and it may pass on either side.

Overtaking situation
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CROSSING SITUATION

All boats have a danger zone from dead ahead (12 o’clock) to 4 o’clock (112.5 degrees) starboard (the right). In a crossing situation, the boat in the danger zone (ahead and to the right) is the stand-on vessel. The give-way vessel must stop or slow down and let the stand-on vessel continue on. If the give-way vessel does not take the required action in this or any of the other situations, then the stand-on vessel operator must be prepared to take action to avoid a collision.

Crossing situation
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