How do you learn Rules of the Road?

Did a Google site : rules of the road and did not find to much.

i am struggling to learn it was just wondering what aproch other used and how long it took you to pick it up

You can learn them by reading the Rules book and hitting yourself hard with practice questions. Do groups of questions based on a rule or set of rules, until you have a good handle of each category of rules. Then do random multiple choice over and over again until you’re consistently getting above 90%. I used two IPhone/iPad apps called NavRules and Upgrade U. I forget which one I liked better for rules but Upgrade U has all the license subjects.

When it finally comes to passing the exam you really just need to do random Multiple choice practice exams as many times as it takes to consistently have a passing score.

+1 for Upgrade U.

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I think I used Seasources the first time I took rules. You have to be careful with those practice test platforms though, the questions are not as random as they should be and you end up getting a lot of a couple subjects and not so much of some of the other ones. Inevitably you get a bunch of questions on the real test that you’re not familiar with and you get screwed.

Online testing aside, the single most important thing about rules is KNOWING THE ACTUAL RULES. It’s not like some other tests where you can just mindlessly memorize a bunch of questions about junk you’re never going to see again. A lot of the rules questions are only very subtly different and it’s easy to mistake one for another. If you don’t know the actual rules themselves then studying any amount of questions won’t help you. The first thing you need to do is go back and read the book again, cover to cover, word for word, no skipping, no glazing over, and you better make damn sure you stop every so often to make sure you know what the hell it is they’re talking about. Then you can try some test questions.

Good luck!

In regards to “memorizing” the rules or “understanding and applying” the rules?

The reason I ask is because I know plenty of people who can recite the rules verbatum but struggle to actually apply them in real world scenerios.

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Cover to cover, as in the annexes too. They hold some important information!

Hand wrote each rule, word for word, countless amounts of times.

I’ve heard of several people getting the flash cards and using them. Maybe that could help with at least the lights and shapes.

I used a cassette tape and listened to them in the car all the time. I forget who made that product, but I loved it. Really helped. But it’s so important to sit down and analyze each rule in detail and come up with a technique so YOU remember it. Draw upon specific experiences or examples you have had, make up your own pneumonic devices etc. You really need to have an intimate relationship with each rule… And that just takes time.

I used a cassette tape and listened to it over and over all the time. I think Houston Marine made it. Not sure. But it really helped. Then I went over every rule in detail and came up with a way I could remember it, like my own memory aid. It took time. But it worked for me. 100%.

Start by reading the rules, every last word. Flash cards are a great help, especially if you MAKE the cards yourself. Write out the rules by hand. Make notes on the differences between International and Inland. Stop and think out the logic behind the rule. Then, and only then, start going over the questions.

Also, make two small thumb size cardboard cutouts of boats. Label one “A” and one “B”. Move them around on your desk per the question. Memorize the fishing lights in the annex.

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Use mind games to help memorize stuff.

The “Pecking Order” list of Right of Way going from “Stand On” to "Give Way is: Not Under Command, Restricted in Ability of Maneuver, Constrained by Draft, Fishing, Sailing, Power Driven Vessels, and Seaplanes. Vessels at the top of the list have the Right of Way over vessels below them on the list. Now take the first letter of each, and you get N R C F S P S. Now memorize this: New Reels Catch Fish So Purchase Some. See the first letter of each?

“Minus 20, Sail, Fish, Cross.” Memorize this. This is the list of vessels that may not impede a vessel that must stay in a channel. As in, a vessel less than 20 meters long, a sailing vessel, a fishing vessel, and a vessel crossing that channel.

I also remember that the CG will never have a correct answer choice that says anything about “stopping” or “stop” your vessel.

Obviously there are many more of these mind tricks, but I always found these helpful. Good luck.

Here is the only rule you need to know. Don’t hit anything and don’t let anything hit you. That is the cliff notes version.

keep 'er aimed at something cheap ( ain’t nothing cheaper’n saltwater).

Chapman’s book is pretty good about breaking down International/Inland rules into real-world applications.

+1 for reading the rules cover to cover. Also, Charlie Wing’s book

Here’s my system:

1a) Read all the rules twice [B][I]cover-to-cover[/I][/B]… just read, don’t think.
2a) Read them one at a time then close your eyes and [B][I]visualize the scenario[/I][/B]. (if you’re really struggling with a rule then bookmark the page and return to it when you reach step 3b)
3a) Once you’ve established (and can remember) each visualization then try memorizing the words.
4a) Take lots of practice tests.
5a) Keep a copy of the rules book in the shitter :wink:

At this point you should know them pretty well but to really understand them do this:
1b) Get a job as a watch-stander aboard ship.
2b) Re-read the rules book weekly
3b) Talk about the rules with your shipmates.
4b) After each watch in congested watchers spend 15 minutes with the rule book visualizing what scenarios you saw on watch
5b)Start replacing the visualizations you created in 2a with those you saw in 4b

Once you’ve completed steps 1a to 5b then all you have to do is:
1c) Download the latest rule book onto you phone and read it cover-to-cover (be sure to visualize each rule) at the beginning of each new hitch (I like to read them in the airplane on my way to the ship).
2c) Create new visualizations for any rule changes.
3c) At this point you’ll realize two things A) You have zero control over the actions taken by the other ship B) That too many vessels are piloted by mariners who don’t fully understand the rules.
4c) Go purchase license insurance
5c) Find the ship’s copy of the rules in the bridge library, toss the F’n thing out the bridge window and replace it with a big sign that reads:

[I]Rule 1-41:[/I] [B][I][U]Don’t hit ANYTHING! [/U][/I][/B]
[I]Annexes, Interpretative Rules, and other associated Navigation Regulations: [/I][B][I][U]That Means YOU![/U][/I][/B]

P.S. I’ve also heard that writing each rule down in a notebook (i.e. literally copying the entire rule book by hand) is a better alternative to 1a (I like this idea but… in truth… I’ve haven’t tried it myself).

I was just PM’d by someone asking if there is a simpler/quicker method than the one I just posted. My immediate response was “[I][B]NOPE[/B][/I]” but then I thought I sat back and realized there is one alternative method:

A1: Start reading the Rules book.
A2: Stop when you get stuck understanding a particular rule
A3: Read all of c.captain’s posts
A4: Find posts that mention scenario’s witnessed that pertains to the rule you’re stuck on
A5: Copy the following statement into the reply box below post you found in A2: "Wow, c.captain you’re and idiot… do you even own a copy of the Rule of the Road?"
A6: Wait 90 seconds for cCaptain’s reply.
A7: Copy and paste his reply into Microsoft Word and delete all expletives
A8: Print said document

If you successfully complete steps A1-A8 you should now posses a fairly good explanation of the rule written in a manner in which it could be understood by mentally handicapped 3rd grader :wink:

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There are some good apps available for learning. NavRules is one I have (blue crossed anchors icon on iPhone). I’m sure there are others.

Or note cards.