Waypoint Amsterdam Sailing School

The Collisions Regulations for yachties

International Regulations for Avoiding Collisions at Sea or IRPCS. The rules are specified in great detail in the regulations and the serious student is encouraged to seek the definitive document. Certain individuals are legally required to carry or possess a copy of the rules, such as the owners and/or operators of certain vessels. These legal requirements vary by jurisdiction. Consult the appropriate maritime authorities for each jurisdiction. Any individual subject to such requirements should obtain a complete, official copy from a government or official source. However, the rules are summarized below.

Part A - General

Part B - Steering and Sailing Rules

Section I - Conduct of Vessels in any Condition of Visibility

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight as well as by hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

Probably THE most important Rule. If an accident occured and this rule proved to broken, you will not be able to support your case.

At all times means that no excuse can be made for a lack of look-out. A look-out should be an all around view. Hearing shall not be restricted by ambient noise or music. And if an equipment like radar, sounder, radio, is fitted, it shall be used.

Because this Rule apply in any condition, proper use of radar must be made even in clear weather.

Single handed sailing vessels are clearly not permitted here.


Section II - Conduct of Vessels in Sight of One Another

Section III - Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility

Part C - Lights and Shapes

Part D - Sound and Light Signals

Part E - Exemptions