The Navigation Rules are much like the rules of the road on the highway. They establish a consistent way to navigate safely and avoid collisions when two boats are crossing paths, are on course to meet head-on, or when one boat wishes to overtake another.
The U.S. Aids to Navigation System is a system maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard, consisting of visual, audible, and electronic signals which are designed to assist the prudent mariner in the process of navigation. The aids to navigation system is not intended to identify every shoal or obstruction to navigation which exists in the navigable waters of the United States, but rather provides for reasonable marking of marine features as resources permit.
View the Aids to Navigation Brochure online
Download a copy of the U.S. Coast Guard's Aids
Download a copy of the U.S. Coast Guard's Navigation Rules
Should you wish to explore the subject of Federal navigation rules further, below are some additional resources:
Search Federal Navigation Regulations by subject
Search Federal Navigation Regulations by locality
For more information from the Department of Homeland security and the U.S. Coast Guard on navigation:
Visit The Navigation Center for Excellence