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PA Boating Handbook
Other Important Rules of the Road
Power-driven meets sailing vessel
  • A power-driven vessel must give way to any sailing vessel that is under sail only (no auxiliary power propulsion).
  • When a sailboat is overtaking a power-driven vessel (power-driven vessel is the stand-on vessel and maintains course and speed while being overtaken).
  • When a sailboat is approaching a boat at anchor (the power-driven vessel remains anchored).
  • In narrow channels, recreational vessels under 65 feet long must not hamper the operation of large vessels that cannot operate outside the channel. Boats should operate as near to the outer limit of the channel that lies on its starboard side as is safe and practicable.
  • Vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver, such as tugs with barges, ferryboats, commercial fishing boats with nets or lines out or boats at anchor are stand-on vessels.
  • Vessels not under command (usually because of mechanical problems and are unable to steer) or constrained by their draft are stand-on vessels.
  • On a river, a boat operating upriver (against the current) gives way to a boat operating downriver (with the current). A boat operating across the current gives way to boats operating both upriver and downriver.
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