Section C - At Marks and Obstructions, Continued

Last time we presented the rules governing a boats rights and obligations at marks and obstructions. This time we continue with tacking or gybing at marks and with rights at a continuing obstruction.

18.3 Tacking at a Mark

If two boats were approaching a mark on opposite tacks and one of them completes a tack in the two-length zone when the other is fetching the mark, rule 18.2 does not apply. The boat that tacked

(a) shall not cause the other boat to sail above close-hauled to avoid her or prevent the other boat from passing the mark, and

(b) shall give room if the other boat becomes overlapped inside her, in which rule 15 does not apply.

Note - This makes tacking into the two-length zone hazardous. If the other boat was just laying the mark, the boat tacking into an inside overlap cannot claim room. If the other boat can obtain in inside overlap even after the tack she is entitled to room.

18.4 Gybing

When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark or obstruction to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no further from the mark or obstruction than needed to sail that course.

18.5 Passing a Continuing Obstruction

While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, rules 18.2(b) and a8.3(c) do not apply. A boat clear astern that obtains an inside overlap is entitled to room to pass between the other boat and the obstruction only if at the moment the overlap begins there is room to do so. If there is not, she is not entitled to room and shall keep clear.

Note - At Cowan Lake an example of a continuing obstruction would be the shore line.


19.1 When approaching an obstruction, a boat sailing close-hauled or above may hail for room to tack and avoid another boat on the same tack. However, she shall not hail unless safety requires her to make a substantial course change to avoid the obstruction. Before tacking she shall give the hailed boat time to respond. The hailed boat shall respond by either

(a) tack as soon as possible, in which case the boat shall also tack as soon as possible, or

(b) immediately reply 'You tack' in which case the hailing boat shall tack as soon as possible and the hailed boat shall give her room, and rules 10 and 13 do not apply.

Note - This rule has been around a long time.

19.2 Rule 19.1 does not apply at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water or at it's anchor line from the time boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them or at a mark that the hailed boat can fetch. When rule 19.1 applies, rule 18 does not.

Note - Simply, any mark surrounded by navigable water is not an obstruction except the committee boat.