Boats manoeuvring in nearby proximity or in conditions of restricted visibility should interact their place or intentions v sound signals.

You are watching: One prolonged blast plus two short blasts every two minutes

Virtually every watercraft is compelled to have actually some sound producing device. There is a great deal the latitude in what kind of sound making an equipment you choose but the louder the better.

The US shore Guard mandates vessels end 12 meters (approximately 40 feet) be equipped v at least a whistle.

Vessels end 20 meters (approximately 65 feet) need to be equipped v at least a whistle and also a bell.

And vessels over 100 meters (approximately 328 feet) must be equipped through at least a whistle, a bell, and also a gong.

Boats much less than 12 meter must lug “an reliable sound producing device — best a bell, horn or waiting horn — although weapons or even pots and pans can be offered in one emergency.

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When and How to Sound Off

Sound signals room to be offered only when vessels are in sight of every other and are meeting or crossing at a distance within half a mile of each other. These signals have to never be used in fog or other problems of lessened visibility, where the vessels room not clearly shows to each other by eye. Only the fog signals detailed below may be sound in problems of restricted visibility

Sound signal are called “blasts”. There room two various blasts offered for warning and steering signals.

Short Blast – about one 2nd durationProlonged Blast – four to six secs duration

A bell have the right to be sounded as a solitary ring or as a quick ringing for 5 seconds, and also a gong is rung rapidly.

International Manoeuvring Signals when Under Power

Remember the a sailboat is “under power” once the engine is on, also if the sails space up.

There are various blasts combine for miscellaneous movements on the water. Once power-driven vessels room in vision of one another and meeting or cross at a street within fifty percent a mile of every other, each vessel underway have to use the adhering to sound signals.

One brief Blast – This means “I intend to leave you on MY harbor side”.When you pass near another boat, you will certainly manoeuvre to leaving them on your left side as you pass. IIf you are behind one more boat, going the very same direction and about to overtake it, one brief blast means: “I intend to pass you on your starboard side, MY harbor side”.

One lengthy Blast – This means you room leaving a dock or departing her slip. It signals to rather a adjust in status and that friend are getting underway.

A an extensive blast is additionally sounded as soon as a vessel is pull close a bend or an area of channel where various other vessels might be obscured from view. That is periodically referred to as the “blind bend signal”. This signal need to be answered through a an extensive blast to suggest your presence.

Two quick Blasts – This means “I intend to leave you on my starboard side”. Once you pass near one more boat, you will certainly manoeuvre to leaving them top top your right side together you pass. If you space behind an additional boat, going the very same direction and about to overtake it, two short blasts means: “I intend to pass you on her port side, mine starboard side.”

Three brief Blasts – This means you space operating in astern propulsion. The is important to keep in mind that the operating astern signal refers to the shaft and also propeller no to the actual movement of the ship which have the right to be one of two people forward or astern.


One lengthy Blast + Three quick Blasts – This is technically two various signals in succession. One prolonged blast shows you are obtaining under way, and three short blasts show you room backing up. This is what is sounded once you room departing a dock in reverse.

Five short Blasts – This is the peril signal.

When girlfriend approach an additional vessel and also hear either one or two brief blasts –and girlfriend both know their signal and can safely allow them perform it – climate you are forced to respond through the same signal in response. However, if friend don’t recognize their intentions or feeling their propose manoeuvre is attention to one of two people vessel you are required to sound the danger signal.

Power propelled Vessels in a small Channel

The adhering to sound signal are supplied when vessels room in vision of one an additional in a small channel or fairway:

Two lengthy Blasts adhered to by One short Blast – “I intend to overtake you on your starboard side”

Two lengthy Blasts adhered to by Two brief Blasts – “I intended to overtake friend on yourport side”

If in commitment with this manoeuvres you need to acknowledge through the adhering to signal:

One Prolonged, One Short, One Prolonged, and One quick Blast, in that order.

Conversely, if the vessel being overtaken is in doubt around the safety and security of the proposed manoeuvre, or friend doubt even if it is sufficient activity is being taken to stop a collision, you should signal the above five short and rapid blasts the the risk signal to suggest that your intentions are unclear.

Sound signals In limited Visibility

Sounds ~ above the water room many and also varied. Bells, gongs, fog horns, boat whistles all combine to develop a confusing cacophony. Understanding the different species and range of tools used by the assorted classes of vessel help mariners recognize the scale of one unseen vessel by the sound it makes. If motoring, friend may have to turn off the engine at continual intervals to listen for the sound signal of various other vessels or of navigating aids. Do not assume a direction for the naval horn signal as it deserve to be distorted by fog for this reason stop and also double-check the direction then continue with caution.

One prolonged Blast in ~ intervals the not more than two minutes is the signal offered by power-driven vessels as soon as making way.

One lengthy Blast plus Two short Blasts at intervals the not more than two minutes is the signal supplied by sailboats.

Powerboats or sailboats under power must give signals the One an extensive blast every 2 minute to suggest their transforming position together they move through the water.

A powerboat or sailboat under power that is quit (not moving through the water) must give signals that Two prolonged blasts every 2 minutes to indicate their position.

A sailboat or any type of boat that is limited in its ability to move, towing or pushing an additional boat, or is right now engaged in fishing, must offer One prolonged Blast and also Two quick Blasts every 2 minutes.

If you space boating in problems of minimal visibility and also you hear any of this signals, slow-moving down to minimum speed until you have the right to safely ascertain your family member positions and move forward there is no a collision.

Sound signals room not entirely necessary during days of clear visibility, as long as you save a safe distance between yourself and also other boats, but they room a need to on foggy days.

Inland Waterways

Some nations may have different inland waterway regulations, for instance in the United claims port and also starboard signals are reversed and also there are different overtaking signals.

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Inland waters are provided by dashed magenta lines on countless charts and also labelled COLREGS DEMARCATION present which are the limits of restricted-navigation zones. Come seaward of these lines, or where the lines carry out not exist, a skipper should follow the worldwide rules – much more formally known as the 1972 international Regulations for preventing Collisions in ~ Sea (72 COLREGS). Where these currently exist, and also inshore the them, a skipper must use the certain Inland Waterway Rules.