To a new person in the sport, it may seem that there is allot to learn and then some bright spark suggests that you learn the RULES as well !
Well yes, it would be a good idea. Knowing who has RIGHT OF WAY is what makes racing more enjoyable, If everyone knows the rules and applies them fairly, the days sailing goes off much smoother.
Boats on the water will get involved in a contact from time to time and knowing who is in the wrong and who is obliged to to a penalty turn takes allot of agro out of the equation.
There are a few BASIC RULES which are presented here, which if you understand them and visualise them, will get you around the course in your first couple of races.
From here you can slowly work your way down this list.
I have found that a LOUD Hail to the other boat Like “STARBOARD” or “WINDWARD BOAT KEEP UP” said with gusto and confidence, will usually illicit a positive response from the non right of way boat.
ON OPPOSITE TACKS
A boat sailing on STARBOARD Tack has the right of way over a boat sailing on PORT Tack
Here the Green Boats have right of way over the Red Boats
PART 2, RULE 10
ON THE SAME TACK & NO OVERLAP
A Boat CLEAR ASTERN, MUST Keep Clear of a boat sailing ahead, when they are BOTH on the same tack and Not OVERLAPPED
A TACKING Boat MUST keep clear of another boat until she in on a CLOSED-HAULED COURSE again and thus is deemed to have completed her tack
Here the Red Boat MUST keep clear of Green when tacking. The same scenario would apply even if Green shown here was on PORT Tack.
PART 2, RULE 13
ON THE SAME TACK
A WINDWARD Boat MUST keep clear of a LEEWARD Boat when on the SAME TACK and OVERLAPPED.
Here the Red Boats are to Windward of the Green Boats in both cases - The same would apply on the opposite tack.
PART 2, RULE 11