Re: Know the rules!
The French don't get enough credit. They bailed us out of the Revolutionary War, make some pretty nice boats, and they make snails taste good.
I think that I know COLREGs fairly well. But sometimes out in the water it takes you a moment to calculate who is leeward, windward, bigger, smaller or French. I agree that there are some genuine ignoramuses out there ... but mostly it requires patience. A good rule of thumb is to keep a safe distance and assume no one knows what they are doing.
Severna Park, MD
Pearson 35 - s/v Tiger Lily