TWO SAILING VESSELS APPROACHING EACH OTHER
THE WINDWARDthe side opposite to that on which the mainsail is carried. SIDE IS DEFINED AS THE SIDE OPPOSITE TO THAT ON WHICH THE MAINSAIL IS CARRIED OR, IN THE CASE OF A SQUARE-RIGGED VESSEL, THE SIDE OPPOSITE TO THAT ON WHICH THE LARGEST FORE-AND-AFT SAIL IS CARRIED.
When each sailboat has the wind on a different side, the vessel that has the wind on its port (left) side is considered the give-way vessel. In this illustration, Sailboat A must take EARLY and SUBSTANTIAL action to keep clear of Sailboat B.
When both sailboats have the wind on the same side, the boat closer to the wind (upwindtowards the windward side.) is the give-way vessel and the boat further from the wind (downwindtowards the direction in which the wind is blowing.) is the stand-on vessel. In the illustration at right, Sailboat B must take EARLY and SUBSTANTIAL action to keep clear of Sailboat A. If a sailboat has the wind on its port side and the sailor cannot determine with certainty whether the other boat has the wind on its port or starboardright hand side of a vessel. side, the first sailboat is considered the give-way vessel and must take EARLY and SUBSTANTIAL action to keep clear of the second sailboat.