2003 California Boating Safety Report

Glossary of Terms



At Anchor

Held in place in the water by an anchor; includes “moored” to a buoy or anchored vessel, and “dragging anchor.”

Cabin Motorboat

Motorboat with a cabin that can be completely closed by means of doors or hatches.

Capsizing

Overturning of a vessel.  The bottom must become uppermost, except in the case of a sailboat, which may lie.

Collision with Fixed Object

The striking by a vessel of any stationary object, above or below the surface of the water.

Collision with Floating Object

Collision with any waterborne object above or below the surface of the water.

Cruising

Proceeding normally, unrestricted, with an absence of drastic rudder or engine changes.

Drifting

Under way, but proceeding without use of engines, oars, or sails; carried along only by current, or wind.

Excessive Speed

Operating at a speed that is not reasonable, prudent, or legal considering the circumstances.

Fire/Explosion (Fuel)

Accidental combustion of vessel fuel or liquids, including their vapors.

Flooding/Swamping

Filling with water, but retaining sufficient buoyancy to remain on the surface.

Grounding

The running aground of a vessel; striking or pounding on the rocks, reefs, or shoals.

Improper Lookout

No proper watch; the failure of an operator to perceive danger because no one was serving as a lookout, or the person so serving failed to do so.  (For purposes of this report, this term refers only to accidents where the ski observers were not present or failed to do their job, or sailboat accidents where a lookout was not posted or failed to perceive danger.  All other accidents involving inattentive operators fall under “Operator Inattention.”)

Maneuvering

Changing course, speed, or both during which a high degree of alertness is required.

Open Motorboat

Craft of open construction specifically built for operating with a motor, including boats canopied or fitted with temporary partial shelters.

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

Commonly known as a life jacket or life saving device, a PFD can be a jacket, vest, cushion, or ring buoy designed to serve as a lifesaving aid.

Personal Watercraft (PWC)

A small vessel that uses an internal combustion engine powering a jet pump or propeller.  It is designed to carry from one to four persons, and to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.

Rules of the Road

Statutory and regulatory rules governing the navigation of vessels.