For all you boaters out there . . . . Some rules of the road – from the U.S. Coast Guard

You may get a booklet from the Tanasi Clubhouse or for more information, go to the following,,, or call 615-781-6682.


  • Post a lookout – designate someone to watch for dangers that may come from any direction.
  • Maintain a safe speed – Except where speed is restricted by regulation or the waterway is marked “No Wake” or “Slow Speed” Aid, you must judge “safe speed” for yourself, taking into account visibility, vessel traffic, your boat’s ability to maneuver, and the weather conditions.
  • Avoid a collision – The Rules of the Road include the actions to take when encountering another vessel on the water.  Some of the most common situations you may encounter are overtaking, meeting head on, and crossing the bow of another vessel.  In each case, the boat designated as the “give-way” vessel is required to yield to the other boat, while the boat designated as the “stand on” vessel should maintain its course and speed.
  • Actions(s) – The give-way vessel can pass on either side of the stand-on vessel.
  • Sound signals, inland – Passing portside requires two short one second blasts on the horn signaling the overtaking boat’s intention, and two short blasts for the stand-on vessel’s agreement.  Passing to starboard requires one short blast for intent and agreement.
  • Action(s) – When meeting another vessel head on, a port-to-port passing is preferred.  Passing starboard-to-starboard is acceptable when necessary.
  • Sound Signals – Passing port-to-port requires one short horn blast to signal intention and one short blast for agreement.  Passing to starboard requires two short blasts from each vessel.
  • Action(s) – In a crossing situation, the give-way vessel must act to avoid a collision.  This may include altering its course to pass astern of the stand-on vessel or slowing down.  The stand-on vessel should maintain its course and speed.
  • Sound signals, inland – The give-way vessel signals the stand-on vessel with one short horn blast. No agreement signal by the stand-on vessel is required.

Pre-Departure Checklist from the Handbook of Tennessee Boating Laws and Responsibilities

  • Check the weather forecast for the area and timeframe during which you will be boating.
  • Make sure that the steering and throttle controls operate properly and all lights are working properly.
  • Check for any fuel leaks from the tank, fuel lines and carburetor.
  • Check the engine compartment for oil leaks.
  • Check hose connections for leaks or cracks, and make sure hose clamps are tight.
  • Drain all water from the engine compartment and be sure the bilge plug is replaced and secure.
  • Check to be sure you have a fully charged engine battery and fire extinguishers.
  • If so equipped, make sure the ignition safety switch and wrist lanyard are in good order.
  • Make sure you have the required number of personal flotation devices (PFDs) and check that they are in good condition.
  • Leave a float plan with a reliable friend or relative.