First, an operator of a watercraft must have a proper lookout, go the posted or safe speed, and take all action necessary to avoid a collision.
For vessels on the water, there are different rules depending on the type of vessel as follows:
Power Vessel v. Power Vessel
If both are meeting head on, then the two vessels are to veer to the right.
If two vessels are to intersect or cross each other, then the vessel to the right (starboard) side of the other vessel has the right away and is to continue its speed and course, and the other vessel is to give way and not cross in front of the vessel on its approaching right side.
If a vessel is wanting to pass or overtake, it can do so on either side, and the vessel being passed must maintain it’s current speed or course.
Power Vessel v. Sailing Vessel
When meeting head on, the power vessel is to veer out of the way.
When the two vessels are to intersect or cross, then the power vessel is to give way to the sailing vessel, no matter which direction.
Navigational Buoys and Markers
If you are traveling upstream or away from open water, then the red marker is going to be on your right as you go through the channel, and the green to the left of your vessel.
If you are traveling downstream or towards open water, then the green market is going to be on your right, and the red marker to your left.
Now, on the intracoastal waterway (ICW) in Florida, if a marker has a yellow triangle, then the marker stays to the right of the vessel.
If the marker has a yellow square, then the marker stays to the left of the vessel.