When sailing, it is important to remember sailing etiquette. Part of sailing etiquette is the right of way when sailing a sailboat. There are three different situations when boats are near each other and have to deal with the right of way.
The first is when both boats are on the same track, sailing in the same direction. When this happens, the leeward boat has the right of way. This means that the boat that is more sheltered from the wind, or the boat that is downwind, has the right of way.
The second is when two boats are on opposite tracks, heading in opposite directions. When this happens, the starboard track boat has the right of way. This means that the boat on the right side has the right of way. Think about cars driving on a road. The boat that is more right has the right of way (both boats have to be facing the same direction).
The third is when one boat is overtaking another boat. The boat that is ahead, as both boats will be moving in the same direction, has the right of way. The boat behind has to give the boat ahead the right of way.