On the water, when boats approach each other, they either have Right of Way, or they have an obligation to Keep Clear.

These four Right of Way Rules are numbered from 10 through to 13 in the Racing Rules of Sailing. The numbers help us to remember who has Right of Way.


10 - Opposite Tacks - Starboard has ROW (1) while Port has to Keep Clear (0).


11 - Two boats side by side, same tack - Windward boat has to Keep Clear.



12 - Two boats in line, same tack , First and Second - Second Boat has to Keep Clear.


13 - Bad Luck Number -  When Tacking, if you must Keep Clear of any other boat; bad luck to tack without looking!!!

ROW clear to tack.JPG


Thanks Laurie Jarman for this simple mnemonic to remind us of the 4 basic Right of Way Rules.