CHAPTER 5: Navigation Rules
You should always operate your vessel at a speed that gives you enough time and enough distance to take action to avoid a collision. Of course, there are different conditions, situations and levels of expertise that warrant different speeds. Here are some factors to take into account when determining a safe speed for your boat:
Is your visibility restricted by fog, mist, rain or darkness?
What are the weather and water conditions like, such as the wind, waves and currents?
How much boat traffic is there, what other types of vessels are in the area, and how close are they to your boat?
How responsive is your vessel and how responsive are other vessels nearby? Remember that larger, more powerful boats require more room to turn and also generally have a higher top-end speed, so they require more time and distance to stop.
Finally, are there any navigational hazards in the area?
The answers to these questions will determine whether you need to adjust your speed for safety.