1:1 ON YOUR DATE
UNDERWAY OR MAKING WAY
pdf version here: under_way_making_way.pdf
Underway: not anchored, or made fast to the shore, or aground. (As defined in Colregs).
Making way: being propelled through the water by sail, machinery, or oar. (Not defined in Colregs)
This is easy to distinguish by day, at night you can only look at the lights displayed for information.
Navigation Lights - side, stern and masthead (steaming) lights.
Special Lights - indicate the type of vessel eg fishing, NUC, CBD, RAM
Fishing, Trawling, NUC, and RAM vessels are underway when show their special lights, AND making way if they also show navigation lights. Not under command vessels do not show masthead steaming lights when making way.
Any boat fishing and making way is a trawler.
Tugs can be defined as towing when they show towing lights.
Motor, Sail, Tugs, Constrained by Draught, always show special lights if required, side and stern lights and masthead steaming lights. Pilot vessels show side and stern lights and their special white over red lights. All these vessels can only be determined as under way at night and for 99.9% of the time they will actually be making way, but you cannot assume that.
The reason for the different treatment is that certain vessels may or may not be moving through the water by virtue of the work they do - such as dredgers, survey vessels and cable layers. Also fishing boats may drift with nets out, or tow nets or trawls. Vessels not under command may have operational engines - or not. It is important to separate all these situations because it would otherwise be uncertain what the vessels may do and you need to decide on appropriate actions.
In fog, a motor vessel will make different fog signals:
1 long blast when making way.
2 long blasts when stopped - not making way. (Morse M)
All other vessels in restricted visibility make sound signals (1 long and 2 short) when making way; except the last vessel in a tow makes 1 long and 3 short sound signals.
A pilot vessel on duty may make 4 short sound (Morse 'H') in addition to normal signals for a motor vessel. See YACHTMASTER LIGHTS SHAPES AND SOUNDS
posted 22nd February 2012