The Navigation Rules are much like the rules of the road on the highway. They establish a consistent way to navigate safely and avoid collisions when two boats are crossing paths, are on course to meet head-on, or when one boat wishes to overtake another.
Navigation Rules book by section
(International and Inland). (.pdf only)
Rule Typographical Error Inserts:
- Part A and Part
B (.pdf, 132 KB) (pg i-25) - Section / Subpart I
- Conduct of Vessels in Any Condition of Visibility - Rules
- Part B (.pdf,
28 KB) (pg 26-37) - Section / Subpart II-III
- Conduct of Vessels in Sight of One Another - Rules 11-18
- Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility - Rule 19
- Part C (.pdf,
359 KB) (pg 38-113) Lights and Shapes - Rules 20-31
- Part D &
E (.pdf, 62 KB) (pg 114-131) Sound and Light Signals / Exemptions
- Rules 32-38
- Annexes I-V
(.pdf, 105 KB) (pg 132-173)
- Positioning and Technical Details of Lights and Shapes
- Additional Signals for Fishing Vessels Fishing in Close
- Technical Details of Sound Appliances
- Distress Signals
- Pilot Rules
(.pdf, 127 KB) (pg 174-215)
- Interpretive Rules
- COLREGS Demarcation Lines
- Penalties Provisions
- Alternative Compliance - International / Inland
- Waters Specified by the Secretary
- Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Regulations
- Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) call signs, designated frequencies,
and monitoring areas.
- Page 2.
International: Rule 1(c). Insert the word "or"
after "...convoy,..." and Footnote 1 to Part
A, Rule 1. Change "Part 707" to "Part 706"
and change "(32CFR707)" to "(32CFR706)." (.pdf,
- Page 3.
International and Inland: Footnote 1 to Part A, Rule
1. Change "Part 707" to "Part 706" and
change "(32CFR707)" to "(32CFR706)." (.pdf,
- Page 6.
International: Rule 3(a) amended as follows: "..including
nondisplacement craft, WIG craft and seaplanes.."
(.pdf, 26 KB)
- Page 8.
International: Rule 3(m) is added as follows: "The
term "Wing-In-Ground (WIG) craft" means a multimodal craft which,
in its main operational mode, flies in close proximity to the
surface by utilizing surface-effect action." (.pdf, 24 KB)
- Page 18.
International: Rule 8(a) is amended as follows: "...collision
shall be taken in accordance with the Rules of this Part and
shall, if the circumstances..." (.pdf, 24 KB)
- Page 34.
International: Rule 18(f) is added as follows:
(i) A WIG craft shall,
when taking off, landing and in flight near the surface, keep
well clear of all other vessels and avoid impeding their navigation;
(ii) a WIG craft operating
on the water surface shall comply with the Rules of this Part
as a power-driven vessel." (.pdf, 25 KB)
- Page 48.
International: Rule 23(c) is added as follows, and the
old Rule 23(c) is renumbered 23(d): "(c) A WIG craft only
when taking off, landing and in flight near the surface shall,
in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this
Rule, exhibit a high intensity all-round flashing red light."
(.pdf, 29 KB)
- Page 58.
International: Rule 24(d). Change "Rule 23(a)(i)"
to "Rule 23(a)(ii)." (.pdf, 119 KB)
- Page 112
. International: Rule 31 is amended as follows: "for
a seaplane or a WIG craft to exhibit lights" (.pdf,
- Page 114
. International: Rule 33(a) is amended as follows:
"provided with a whistle, a vessel of 20 meters or more
in length shall be provided with a bell in addition to a whistle,
and a vessel of 100" (.pdf, 22 KB)
- Page 122
. International: Rule 35(i) is added as follows and
the old Rule 35)i) and (j) are renumbered as 35(j) and (k) respectively:
"(i) A vessel of 12 meters or more but less than 20 meters
in length shall not be obliged to give the bell signals prescribed
in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this Rule. However, if she does not,
she shall make some other efficient sound signal at intervals
of not more than 2 minutes." (.pdf, 22 KB)
- Page 137.
Inland: Annex I, §84.05(d). Second sentence, change "...exhibit
on..." to "...exhibit one..." (.pdf, 8.99 KB)
- Page 145.
Inland Annex I, §84.17 NOTE to paragraph (c).
Change "...1.28 meters appart..." to "...1.28 meters
apart..." (.pdf, 12.9 KB)
- Page 148
. International: Annex I Section 13(a) and (b) are
amended as follows:
13(a) - The words "with a length to breadth ratio of less
than 3.0" were removed.
13(b) "(b) On high-speed craft of 50 meters or more in length,
the vertical separation between foremast and mainmast light of
4.5 meters required by paragraph 29a)(ii) of this annex may be
modified provided that such distance shall not be less than the
value determined by the following formula:
y = (a+17Y)C
- y is the height of the mainmast light above the foremast
light in meters;
- a is the height of the foremast light above the water surface
in service condition in meters;
is the trim in service condition in degrees;
- C is the horizontal separation of masthead lights in meters.
* Refer to the International Code of Safety for High-Speed
Craft, 1994 and the International Code of Safety for High-Speed
Craft, 2000" (.pdf, 32 KB)
- Page 150.
International: Annex II, Section 2(a) and (b) change "...may
exhibit..." to "...shall exhibit..." (.pdf, 11.3
152-155 . International: Annex III Section I(a) and (c)
are amended as follows:
(a) "...which lie within the range 180-700Hz (+/-1%)
for a vessel of 20 meters or more in length, or 180-2100Hz (+/-1%)
for a vessel of less than 20 meters in length and which..."
(c) "...range of frequencies 180-700Hz (+/-1%) for a
vessel of 20 meters or more in length, or 180-2100Hz (+/-1%)
Length of vessel in meters
|1/3rd-octave band level at
1 meter in dB referred to 2X10-5N/m2
||Audibility range in nautical
|200 or more
75 but less than 200
20 but less than 75
|Less than 20
*1 When the measured frequencies lie within the range 180-450Hz
*2 When the measured frequencies lie within the range 450-800Hz
*3 When the measured frequencies lie within the range 800-2100Hz
(.pdf, 57 KB)
- Page 160
. International: Annex III Section 2(b) the words "and
shall be not less than 200 mm for vessels of 12 meters or more
but of less than 20 meters in length" were removed. (.pdf,
- Page 207.
Waters Specified by the Secretary. 33CFR89.27(b)(1) change
"...Dupont Fixed Badge..." to "...Dupont Fixed
Bridge..." and 33CFR89.27(b)(11) change "Christl"
to "Christi". (.pdf, 13.4 KB)