Rules of the Road

Deckhand Wheelhouse

Course Summary:

This course provides classroom training on the Inland and International navigation Rules of the Road covering the examination topics for watchkeeping, COLREGS and Inland Navigation Rules as listed in 46 CFR 11.910.

Test Preparation:

Students are encouraged to view our YouTube channel to prepare for the

Rules of the Road examination by clicking on the link provided in this text.

Course Length:

2 Days (16 Hours)

Class Size:

20 Students

Pre-Registration is Required




This course is principally intended for candidates are required to satisfactorily complete a USCG approved Rules of the Road course. Students are expected to be able to read and speak English.

Course Details:

This course provides classroom training to mariners on the International and Inland Navigation Rules of the Road covering the examination topic for Watchkeeping,COLREGS and Inland Navigation Rules, listed in 46 CFR 10.910, Table 10.910-2and Table A-II/1 of the STCW Code.

The Rules of the Road course is principally intended for candidates desiring a thorough knowledge of the International and Inland Rules of the Road for US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner’s license. Ideally, students attending this course should have completed a minimum of one year underway on vessels with at least 90 days of that experience acquired during the three years previous to enrollment, and preferably have gained some experience in watch standing on the relevant waters. The course is also valuable to others operating vessels who may not be seeking a US Coast Guard license, or whose experience is not up to the minimum requirements under ideal conditions. In most cases, the students for each course will normally have backgrounds that meet or exceed the ideal entry standard requirements stated above.

The course is a comprehensive study of the USCG NAVIGATION RULES AND REGULATIONS HANDBOOK and is amended as the Rules are updated.

The course is presented in three modules of instruction as follows:

  • General – covers the basic rules, definitions and fog signals for both Inland and International rules
  • Lights and shapes – covers all of the possible lighting configurations as well as the day shapes required to be displayed on certain vessels
  • Steering and sailing rules and miscellaneous topics – covers the rules concerning meeting, crossing and overtaking situations and the sound signals associated with each as well as vessel hierarchy and penalty provisions associated with violations of the Rules.

The International and Inland Rules are presented simultaneously with the differences highlighted as they occur.


Completion of the course is marked by a final examination of 50 multiple-choice questions similar in format and content to the US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Rules of the Road Examination. The examination is closed book and requires a minimum passing score of 90%. Homework assignments and in class quizzes serve to reinforce the subject matter and are a required part of this course.

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