The Crossing Rule is a set of rules that governs how people cross freeways. The give-way vessel must stay out of the path when two power-driven vessels are crossing in such a way that there is a risk of collision.
To avoid a collision, the vessel with the other on her starboard side (the give-ways) must keep out of the way, according to the International and Inland Rules.
Rules to remember when two vessels meet
- When two power vessels 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 a crossing situation on a collision course, give way to the vessel to starboard (right). The give-way vessel must take early and obvious action to avoid a collision 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 the 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 harbors
- All vessels must keep to the starboard (right) side of any channel.
- Inside a harbor (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 meters in length)
- Do not create a wake that causes unnecessary danger to other vessels or people.
- You must not anchor in a channel.
- All small craft must keep out of the way of larger vessels that are restricted by their draft to maintain passage and steering within the channel.
When power meets power
- You must give way to another vessel on your starboard. (right)
- If you meet head-on, both vessels must turn to starboard. (right)
When power meets sail
- Power gives way to sail unless the sailing vessel is overtaking.
- Sailing vessels should avoid sailing in a narrow channel.
- They have to give way to power-driven vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver in the channel.
When sail meets sail
- The vessel which has the wind on its starboard (right) side has the right of way. The vessel which has the wind on its port (left) side must 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 vessel does not appear to be giving way, the stand-on vessel must take evasive action and should turn to starboard (right).
- Do not alter course to port, it could place you into the path of the give-way vessel.