Pecking order of vessels while underway

Pecking order of vessels while underway

The Navigational Rules of the Road establishes a "pecking order" between different types of vessels. A vessel higher than you on the list is considered to be the ""stand-on" vessel in a collision situation; vessels below you are considered to be the "give-way" vessel. The list, in order of decreasing rights:

Not Under Command (NUC)

Restricted in Ability to Maneuver (RAM)

Constrained by Draft (CBD)

Fishing Vessel

Sailing Vessel

Power Driven Vessel


Example: A sailboat (powered by sail alone) must keep out of the way of vessels engaged in fishing, constrained by draft, restricted in ability to maneuver, and not under command (all of the vessel types above it in this list), but not ordinary power driven vessels or seaplanes.

To claim special status, a boat must display the appropriate lights or day shapes. Therefore, a fishing boat not displaying fishing or trawling lights or dayshapes and a tug not displaying the lights or dayshapes for a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver are simply considered power-driven vessels.

A sailboat while motorsailing (less than 20 meters) on Inland Waterways, is required to display a cone, apex down, by displaying this cone it drops its status on the pecking order from a sailing vessel to that of a power-driven vessel.