two boats avoiding a collision

Who Is Responsible for Avoiding A Collision Between Two Boats?

Are you looking to get out on the open water?

Maybe you have been out on the open water for several years but aren’t fully aware all the boating laws and regulations. Perhaps, you have a refresher test coming up in the next few weeks.

Whatever the situation is, it never really hurts to fully understand the boating laws. Not only will it make you a more informed and safer boater, but you will know your rights if you get into an accident or legal situation.

The number of boating accidents yearly are on the rise and any boater should do his or her part to get these numbers down. Of course, knowing the laws alone won’t help avoid accidents, but applying and obeying them daily can go a long way to reducing avoidable boating accidents.

Who Is Responsible for Avoiding A Collision Between Two Boats?

You can do your research and you can ask several people this question and you will probably receive varying answers. Some people might tell you that it is the boater on the starboard or right side that is responsible for watching out for accidents.

Well, the truth of the matter is that this is not the case at all. In fact, it is both boat operators that need to keep a wary eye. Every captain or boat operator has an unwritten obligation to maintain the control and duty of his or her ship before it reaches its destination.

Even if you are not the captain that puts the other in potential danger, you need to make sure that you do everything within your power to avoid a collision. This is because it is almost impossible to assess who is at fault on the open water.

Other Boat Exam Questions You Might Need Answered

Knowing that you are always supposed to keep a diligent out for other boaters might go a long way to avoiding accidents, but it will not guarantee a passing grade on your upcoming boating test.

If you are ready to hit the open water and want a guarantee that you will be able to legally do so here are some other questions that you will want to brush up on.

There are a number of boating tests with pre-arranged questions so it is possible that you may or may not even seen any of the following questions. It is also entirely possible that you will see all of the questions.

Can A Teenager Operate A Boat Without Supervision?

The first thing that you need to be aware of is that the answer to this question is going to vary from state to state. However, as a rule of thumb, it should be assumed that no one under the age of 17 can legally operate any water vessel without the guidance of an adult.

It is important to fully understand the laws in your state because inattention to follow them could result in fines or jail time.

Does the State Boating Certificate Expire?

When you pass your boating safety education course, you will be given a card. As of right now, these boating cards do not expire, but this is completely up to each individual state legislation.

This means that one state could change the law and make boaters renew their boating license every ten years. Renewal could mean that you might have to retake the course. However, this is not the case right now and these cards don’t expire.

What Type of Life Jackets Do I Need Onboard?

There are some states that will not require boaters to wear life jackets based on their provisions and experiences.

You never can go wrong with a life jacket because they can and have been known to save lives.

Any well-informed boater should maintain a variety of life jackets. Jackets should be available on-board in several sizes and styles. Keep in mind that patrons being pulled on jet skis or tubes will be required to wear USCG-approved jackets.

What Forms Of Identification Do Boaters Need On The Water?

Anytime you are heading out on the open sea, you want to make sure that you bring along your safety course certification as well as your state-issued identification.

Additional Questions Already Answered:


Owning a boat is without a doubt a rewarding and freeing experience, but it does come with a lot of responsibilities. You can probably see that much from some of the common boating questions.

The water can be a dangerous place and each boat operator is legally required to do his or her part to make sure that they are meeting or exceeding certain lawful requirements.

There are tons of things that boating operators will need to know and do but knowing that every boat operator is legally required to avoid boating accidents is the best possible place to start.

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