The most common two rules are described below.
- For boats on different tacks: the boat on port tack must give way to the boat on starboard tack. (Rule 10)
- For boats on the same tack (and overlapped): the windward boat must give way to the leeward boat. (Rule 11)
Please see the following examples below:
The tack (port or starboard) is determined by which side of the boat the wind hits first (the windward side). In this example, Boat 1 is on port tack as the wind hits the port side of the boat first. It can also be thought of as the opposite side to that of the sail/boom. In this example, Boat 2 has right of way as it is on starboard tack.
In this example, both boats are on the same (port) tack. Therefore, we must use the windward-leeward rule. As Boat 1 is closer to the wind, Boat 1 is the windward boat so Boat 2 has right of way.
The PSYC uses World Sailing’s Racing Rules of Sailing. The full rules are here.