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Posted by My Sport | Posted on 5:56 AM

Flag Etiquette In Recreational Boating

Flag etiquette, has its foundation within the historical maritime traditions and codes of the merchant ships and navies on the planet. It can be quite intricate and involved, but it is greater than most recreational boaters have to know. A full immersion within the steeped conventions on the use of flags on the high seas is hardly ever required in close selection of a coastal marina or anchorage.

I never believe I'm alone when I see the confusion that nonetheless exists exactly where this tradition in recreational boating is concerned. What ever the explanation, boaters may possibly need a little clarification in view from the vagaries around the subject. To become positive, you'll find a myriad of types of maritime flags with distinguishing marks and shapes, but in this discussion I'll narrow the field to recreational boats, energy and sail, and focus around the basic guidelines of flag placement.

One of the most senior position for a flag on a vessel is at its stern. It was customary throughout the Roman Empire for Roman ships to carry small religious statues or puppis on the aft deck section of a ship; a sacred spot reserved for worship. You have probably heard the term "poop deck" which is the deck that types the roof of a cabin built within the rear part from the superstructure of a ship at its stern. The stern became regarded as a place of authority and respect within the generations that followed; it was where the captain's quarters could be identified. It continues to become a place of honor on a vessel to this day and it is where the national flag or derivative of it may be proudly displayed.

The ensign, the national colors, is rectangular in style, frequently a 1:2 or 3:5 ratio of width to length. It must be flown from a staff off the stern unless it interferes using the operation on the vessel like a boom that extends more than the stern. Should this be the case it can be flown from a backstay from the aftermost mast, at the peak from the gaff* or the leech** of an aftermost sail. (see terminology below)

The ensign ought to be flown, in accordance with tradition, among 8:00 a.m. and sunset. If you strategy to leave your boat and don't anticipate to return before sunset you need to take it down; the ensign ought to in no way be flown at night.

Several examples of ensigns flown within the western hemisphere are the following:

The Usa: The 50-star "Old Glory", the Stars and Stripes or the U.S. Yacht Ensign, a fouled anchor over a circle of 13 stars.

The United kingdom: The "Union Jack", the national flag, with its 3 superimposed red and white crosses on a blue background is reserved for warships. The "Red Ensign", the flag of less engaging maritime traditions, is the ensign for recreational boaters. It's a red flag with the "Union Jack" displayed in the upper left quadrant.

Canada: The Maple Leaf, the national flag, is the preferred ensign for all Canadian vessels. It consists of two vertical bands of red having a red maple leaf centered and emblazoned on a white background

The burgee is usually triangular in shape, your standard pennant, adorned with the distinguishing traits in the yacht club or boating organization it represents. The burgee takes the next most senior position on a vessel, usually the key masthead or starboard spreader or backstays. Inside a powerboat, the burgee flies off a quick staff around the bow. It may be flown each even though underway and at anchor.

Courtesy flags are typically flown in foreign waters or in waters in which you're a guest; they are a token of respect. On a sailboat its flown around the boat's starboard spreader. If your burgee is around the starboard spreader you'll be able to move it for the masthead. Inside a powerboat it's displayed on a bow employees displacing the burgee which could possibly be placed around the portside spreader or antenna.

The rule to stick to for any proper size ensign is 1 inch for each and every foot of overall boat length (LOA). So, in case your boat is 30 feet in length your ensign ought to be a minimum of 30 inches lengthy. If it really is not, the rule is usually to round up to the following offered size. All other flags: burgees, courtesies and other people ought to be roughly 1/2 to 5/8 inch for every single foot of overall boat length (LOA). So if your boat is 30 feet in length, your flag should be 15-19 inches long. For recreational boaters we'll preserve it simple: all flags should be about 1/2 the size on the ensign.

That is it. Fairly simple, huh? Flag etiquette isn't as difficult as several make it out to become. Being aware of what flag is what and what flag goes where is all you must know. Bear in mind, national colors towards the stern, the most essential spot on a boat with burgees and courtesy flags to starboard for sailors, for the bow for power. Any inquiries?

Terminology (see asterisks above):

*Gaff: the outer finish from the spar(a sailing ship's mast, boom or yard) extending aft in the principal mast.

**Leech: The vertical back edge of a sail.

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