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'Borrowed from Scuttlebutt'

As a small boat skipper or tactician, I am too busy with steering or trimming to get into arcane details (of the rules). I offer the following as a lighthearted collection of very basic rules. While it mixes right of way rules with tactical rules of thumb, I find it quite a good place to start. Experience and study will fill in the blanks.

  1. Don't hit other boats. Collisions are slow and arguments are slower.
  2. Keep out of the way of boats in front of you.
  3. Port tack boats usually have to stay out of the way of everyone else.
  4. Windward boats must stay away from leeward boats
  5. The inside boat gets to go round the mark first.
  6. Don't hit marks. Doing circles is slow.
  7. Don't hit the committee boat. First, it is a mark (see Rule 6) and
    second, it really makes them mad.
  8. Nothing good ever happens on a layline.
  9. The port tack layline is a very ugly place.
  10. Control your own destiny: stay out of the Protest Room.
    Protest Committees are uncontrollable: with a 100% solid case,
    you have a 50% chance of being DSQ.

    -Hugh Elliot, US Sailing Certified Judge

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