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The purpose of this publication is to present to the mariner in comparative form the more important of the laws, rules, and regulations known as “The Pilot Rules" or "The Rules of the Nautical Road." This direct comparison of the rules for the various bodies of water covered will be found of value during the present emergency when many vessels are operating on new routes and at various times passing through waters covered by two, three, or even four sets of rules.
In scope, this handbook covers substantially the same ground as the International Rules, the Inland Rules, the Pilot Rules for the Great Lakes, the Pilot Rules for the Western Rivers, and the publication entitled “Motorboats.” It is not the intention, however, that this publication should include all the material found in the documents mentioned above. Much has been omitted in order that the more important rules and regulations might receive greater emphasis.
In arrangement, the basic subdivisions of the pilot rules have been preserved, but, whereas these documents group material according to whether it falls within the category of acts of Congress, rules and regulations of the Coast Guard, or rules and regulations of the Army Engineers, this handbook groups all material strictly according to subject. It must therefore be understood that for full information upon the subjects covered, the mariner should consult the documents of which this is an abridgement, and which it is not intended that it should replace.
Nearly all the material regarding enforcement and penalties for nonobservance of rules and regulations contained in the documents mentioned is omitted. Numerous paragraphs, descriptive of equipment required, where such information has not seemed necessary for the present purpose, have also been omitted. The text and illustrations delineating the exact boundaries between the high seas and inland waters have been likewise omitted, although the areas in which the various other rules are applicable have been described in general terms.
To give greater emphasis to those portions of the rules requiring action upon the part of the mariner, as distinct from portions descriptive of the equipment to be carried and the manner of its installation, the "action" portions have been set in italic type.
The exact wording of the acts, regulations, and rules, has been followed in nearly all cases. Where words have been omitted, as for instance where a paragraph has been divided for insertion on two or