Posted: 9/1/2015 12:30:42 PM
In June and August, I looked at two rules in Section B of the right-of-way rules that limit the actions of right-of-way boats. This month I will look at the third rule, the rule that defines “luffing rights” even though it never uses that term, rule 17. To understand rule 17, you first have to understand something that seems to confuse people – most boats are permitted to sail above their proper course. Many people say that a leeward boat cannot sail above her proper course, but most can. Rule 17 defines those that cannot.
by Andrew Alberti
This page provides links to a set of articles original published in Kwasind magazine. The versions here include animated diagrams. The original articles can be found within the original magazines which are available online back to January 2007. 

Articles before December 2016 are based on the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-12 or 2013-2016 and have not been updated to reflect the changes that apply as of January 2017 with the publication of the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-20. A copy of the new rules can be found on
Andrew Alberti has been writing these monthly articles in the Kwasind since early 1997.  They explain the Racing Rules of Sailing. Andrew is a National Judge and National Umpire. He is a member of the Sail Canada Rules and Appeals Committees. The interpretation of the rules contained in the articles is Andrew's and not that of the RCYC or any of the committees he sits on. 

Send your questions to Andrew at


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