If you meet a vessel and see a green, red and also white light, you are approaching an additional power-driven vessel head-on. In this situation neither vessel has actually the right-of-way.

You are watching: Which side of a boat has a green light at night

 Both operators need to take early and substantial activity to steer well clear the the various other vessel. Both operators should mitigate their speed and steer come starboard.


If you fulfill a vessel and see a green and red light yet no masthead (white) light, climate you space approaching a sail-driven vessel. You room the give-way craft and need to yield right-of-way come the sailing vessel.

Port (left) Approach


If a green and also a white light room visible, then one more craft is approaching friend from the port (left) side. In this situation, you space the stand-on craft and should maintain your speed and course. The various other craft need to take early and substantial activity to steer fine clear of your craft.

Starboard (right) Approach


If a red and also a white light room visible, then another craft is approaching girlfriend from the starboard (right) side. In this situation you room the give-way craft and must productivity right-of-way. You have to take early and also substantial action to steer well clear that the various other craft. Mitigate your speed, change direction and pass in ~ a safe distance behind the various other boat.

Safe Boating TipA simple way to decipher powerboat navigating lights is to remember: If you see a environment-friendly LIGHT you have the right to ‘GO’: an additional boat is pull close from her port side.

If you check out a RED irradiate you have to ‘STOP’: one more boat is draw close from your starboard side.

What does a White light Indicate?


If you see a white irradiate on its very own it suggests that you carry out NOT have the right-of-way. The white light will be identifying among the complying with three things:

1) You space approaching another craft indigenous behind

If only a white irradiate is visible, you might be approaching another craft from behind. You are the give-way-craft and have to take early and substantial activity to steer well clear by transforming your course and passing in ~ a safe street on the starboard (right) or harbor (left) side.

2) You room approaching a non-powered craft

If you room approaching a non-powered craft, you space the give-way craft and need to yield the appropriate of way. You must take early and also substantial action to stay fine clear and pass at a for sure speed and distance.

Remember the if you’re operating a non-powered handmade at night, friend are required have ready because that use an electrical torch, flashlight or lighted lantern mirroring a white light (this rule uses if the watercraft cannot be equipped through standard navigation lights).

3) You room approaching one anchored craft at night

If you are approaching one anchored craft, the anchored craft will certainly be exhibiting an all-round white irradiate to suggest to other boaters the their handmade is at anchor.

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Remember: anchored watercrafts should never display your green and red sidelights as these lights will suggest to various other boaters that your craft is underway.