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Old 09-04-2008
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Well said halekai36. The correct term is "Stand On" and "Give Way" which gives clear indication to the vessels appropriate action in both cases. Some older salts used the term "Priveledged" and "Burdened".

The term right of way implies some sense of absolute right which the rules pretty much never support as the obligation to avoid collision is the primary principal of the COLREGS. Of course the term "Stand On" could be mis-understood to just keep going right into the side of the "Give Way" vessel when the rules state that even if you are the "Stand On" vessel you must deviate course to avoid collision. The point is follow the rules but in all cases avoid collision.
Craig Alger
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