How do you learn Rules of the Road?

Do not buy Upgrade-U or any app from Jon Phillips.

He will not anwser any emails, app’s are crashing and no updated to fix problens.

I have emailed him on several occasions, and no anwers what so ever.

Do not, do not buy any apps from him. In the past he was very responsive, but it looks like he got the $$$ out of the apps and does not care any more.

Just as a counter point to that, I’ve found Upgrade U to be one of the best programs out there, especially at that price. I think you can get a refund through the App Store, which might be easier then going through the developer. Occasionally it crashed on me, but it was rare enough that it didn’t bother me. Lapware, the closest alternative, is also great but could be a bit expensive. If you’re really serious about passing the Exams, use every method at your disposal. YMMV.

Yeah Jon Phillips does suck at replying to emails. But the app is working fine and is still very useful. It’s too bad he’s abandoned it, cuz it could be perfect with a bit more work.

Actually, I got a reply back from him pretty quick. He was working on an app for the engineering exams and had put all his time lately into getting that fixed up and ready. “Expired” is on his radar to recompile for the new iOS versions. I’m assuming that’s the app you’re complaining about since I’ve heard no complaints about UpgradeU since the last update in January.

Exaxtly, expired is the last app I bought from him. And its not working, just crashes.

So it looks like he picks and choose who to answer, nice way to handle things.

Upgrade U has been an outstanding app for my friends and I. Well worth the money. If it crashes every now and then I haven’t noticed.

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 ;)[/QUOTE]

If you follow step A7 and delete all the expletives, there will be nothing to print for step A8.

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I also used Upgrade U, real good and no problems. I used for a test.

But then I bought Expired, another app that Phillips has and it was worthless. Doesnt work at all.

I have emailed several times Mr. Phillips and no type of answer. Letting him know that his app is not working, nil, nada, zero from him.

Its not only selling the app, but also the service if you need it.
If he is experiencing problems with the app, at least send out the word on that detail.

why are you so upset. use something else.

Because I paid for it, and the least he can do is give us some type of service or explanation of why it is not working.

Buy the Book, every bridge personal should own one anyways. Read it until you know the rules like the back of your hand on what REALLY pertains to you and your work. All the small stuff and Annex’s in the back, maybe get familiar with them but why remember how far a light has to shine on a 56’ boat? Do you really use that? That would be for the builders more than anything. I’ve never had a USCG go up on the mast with a light intensity meter and see if the light would shine 9 miles.

For test purposes all the stuff in is the room. IT’S IN CFR33.

I really don’t know and could care less about bridge lights because I never go up rivers in my job but I have to know it for test purposes. CFR33 is my go to on that. If for some chance I did go up a river I’m pretty sure I would know in advance and would be pulling out the Coastal Pilot and read that and seeing what bridges I may encounter and what light configuration to expect but I’m not going to learn that like the back of my hand when I may do it once in 10 years. All the distance/height separation and all the building code stuff that you may encounter on the test is in the CFR’s. I mean, you are not really going to check on a boat and go measure this stuff right?

You will learn or should have learned the little tricks in AB class on who takes precedence and all the rhymes.

The school I went to had us write these sheets up twice a day with all the rule basics. Passed Rules of the Road with no problem, and I’m refreshing with it now for AB exams.

What sheets and can you post or tell me how to get them?

I had a teacher at Mass that said he would guarantee you passing if you read the Rules cover to cover every day for 30 days. It takes 90 minutes when you only read the applicable annexes. Worked for me and my classmates. You don’t need all those practice questions either. Just know the rules.

Congrats bowditch1990 - You have to be committed to learn them and its a piece of cake. Sounds like you were. Hey bowditch1990 whats the next plan of your voyage?

Another +1 for upgradeU app. Used it along with a 10 year old rules book for a few weeks prior to testing for 3/2 Mate and only missed two.

Just start with two practice tests per day, more if you can and look up the answers you get wrong in the book.

Read rules as much as you can, memorize your “rhymes of the road” and write down as much as you can remember every day before practice tests.

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I have not had time to review it yet but the author of a great shiphandling book just releases a colregs flashcard app. Here is the link:

My review of the book “Shiphandling":

Being able to pass the exam is not the same thing as learning and applying the rules.

Take McKoy’s class at SUNY, (Alumni know what I’m talking about) you will know the rules intimately and how to apply them. Not just be able to pass the exam. I agree he is a difficult individual, but his record stands for itself. Every person that has made it past McKoy’s assessments now has a USCG license.

I originally learned from a USCG Commander who was captain on the cutter I served on. He was on the IMO committee when they modernized the rules in the last 70s early 80s. He literally knew every word even the annexes, and we applied them every day steaming around the Georges Banks and Gulf of Maine.

I had a set of flash cards back in 1987 that were military issue, playing card sized that were very good. I purchased a set recently that were more like business card sized that were not nearly as good. In fact there was a mistake on one of the cards. I called the publisher out on it and he agreed to correct it for the next printing.

There are a bunch of pneumonics that are helpful in memorizing things. We even made up a few of our own.

First, read the whole book, then get upgrade U and eveytime you poop or lay in bed do a practice test.

I was an AB on a Waterman LASH going down the river outbound from New Orleans in the fall of 1981. There was an apprentice pilot (who looked to be about twelve, his father, no surprise was a pilot.) When I got off the wheel I noticed he was studying something while the pilot did the work. As I was intent on getting a license I asked him what it was and he showed me “Unified Rules a Study Guide by Houston Marine Consultants.” I found the approach of this book walking you through the concepts and its illustrations a very useful introduction. I also shortly there after found a book “A Mariner’s Guide to the Rules of the Road” by William Tate to be similarly organized and very useful. I found both of these to be an excellent introduction to the rules of the road. You can still find both of these books on e-bay and Amazon.

Eventually, as you need to develop a more nuanced understanding the the COLREGS you will need to read the actual COLREGS book (again and again) and practice as many test questions, from as many sources as you can possibly find. But this worked for me and in Sept. of 1983 I passed the exam for 3rd Mate. Many years later, when teaching at the local community college a 100 ton Master course I scanned the HMC book and gave it to the students as an introductory guide. Good luck in your studies.