When can navigation rule be overlooked

When can navigation rule be overlooked?

The short answer is – To avoid or minimize any boating accident at sea.

You’re in the middle of your favorite lake, and you want to know if you should head back or not. If that’s the case, this is your blog post. Navigation rules are a set of guidelines for boaters. They’re meant to keep boaters safe on the water.

When can navigation rule be overlooked?

It’s important that these navigation rules be followed, but there may be times when they can be overlooked. For example, if you have the choice between following the rule and risking collision or breaking it and avoiding the risk of collision then you should break the rule.

Keep reading to learn about when navigation rules can be overlooked–and how they can still help keep you out of danger.

Rule number 2 colregs
Rule number 2 colregs

The rule 2 states that, “..or of the neglect of any precautions which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.” So it’s clear that under the Rule 2 (Colregs), all the navigation rules can be overlooked.

How to avoid the risk of collision?


According to Rule 5 of the Navigation Rules, you should take a good hard look around for other boaters and objects in the surrounding area. When you’re navigating your boat, you want to:

Keep as much distance between you and another vessel as possible, until it is safe to pass or until it is clear to alter course.

If you turn into a channel, keep your eyes peeled for another boat that may have continued through the channel without altering course or decreasing speed. When navigating a small lake, it’s important to watch out for other boats in order to avoid colliding with them.

You must post a lookout at all times when operating your vessel. When boating in a narrow channel, you may want to consider posting two lookouts because it’s important that they have a clear view of the area around them.

Consult ENC chart

Reviewing the chart plotter is an important part of navigation, especially when other vessels are on the water. When you know that a vessel is nearby, it’s important to review the chart plotter and make sure that there aren’t any hazards ahead.

Check Your Position

When you’re out on the water, it’s important to know where you are in relation to other boats and objects. When you know where you are, it’s easier to plan the best course of action and avoid collisions. When boating in a narrow channel, using your chart plotter can help with navigation. You can also refer to your ENC charts for additional information related to water depth. When making a sharp turn or going around a bend, make sure that you know how far you’re going and when to stop.

Slow speed

According to the Navigation Rules, you need to slow your speed when transiting hazards or narrow channels. Reduce speed as much as you can while still maintaining steerageway. When boating in a narrow channel, it’s important to slow your speed down because you don’t want to accidentally crash into another vessel. When vessels are close together, you should pass the other boat slowly and avoid causing any unnecessary wake. Always maintain a safe speed as mush as possible.

Use Whistle When Approaching

You must use a whistle to signal your intentions when turning or reversing, and you need to have good visibility for other vessels. When boating in a narrow channel, it’s important that you signal with a whistle before making any changes in direction. When another boat approaches, they should know where you are heading and how fast you’re traveling. When you’re waiting for another boat to pass, make sure that you steer a course so that they can see which direction you’ll be turning.

Contact Via VHF radio

It’s important to communicate with other vessels on VHF radio. When you contact another vessel via VHF radio, they will know that you are approaching and can alter course accordingly. When making a sharp turn or going around a bend, make sure that you relay how far you plan on going and when you plan on stopping. When you switch channels to talk to another vessel, be prepared for a response and remember to give them channel number information when asking about other volunteer vessels.

Turn on the VHF radio 

According to Rule, you must have your VHF radio turned on when operating a vessel. Never talk on a cellular phone, in-port, or onshore. When you have your VHF radio turned off, there is no way for other boats to contact you. If you’re not operating your vessel during the day and it’s anchored in an area with boating traffic, it’s recommended that you leave your radio turned on.

Do not Anchor in a TSS Zone When

If you’re planning to anchor in a TSS zone, it’s important that you ask the local authorities for permission. When anchoring in a TSS zone, it’s important that you don’t anchor too close to a lane.

Up to date equipment

Make sure that you have up-to-date equipment. When your GPS or VHF radio stops working you have a backup plan and can quickly communicate with other vessels. When you operate a vessel without the proper equipment, you are not allowed to leave shore until you fix the problem.

Over-reliance on Navigational equipment

Over-reliance on navigational equipment can be dangerous, and you should never completely rely on the output of a chart plotter. Trust your instincts when it comes to avoiding hazards. When you rely too heavily on the instructions of your equipment you may not be able to react quickly enough when a hazard or another vessel approaches.


Navigation rules are a delicate balance. For the most part, they should be followed as closely as possible to minimize the risk of collisions and accidents in general, but this can also lead to situations where you have no other choice than to break them for safety purposes. The primary purpose of navigation rules is navigating safely; therefore if your intention is avoiding collision or any other situation that may compromise someone’s well-being, then you must break the rule. There are many different types of “special conditions” which may warrant breaking one or more navigational regulations – including inclement weather (sleet), foggy conditions at night time with reduced visibility, severe storms on water bodies like rivers and lakes, etc.

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