Originally Posted by jimgo
Agreed. "I caused/was willing to cause thousands of dollars worth of damage and risked lives to save $300 worth of lures and lines"" is probably not a persuasive argument.
And equally unpersuasive would be the contention that whatever lines in the water caused you to be maneuver-restricted, you evidently didn't consider the situation "important" enough to put up the right lights or shapes, nor get on the radio to warn traffic, nor sound the danger signal when traffic was getting close but not too close. It shows you didn't take your situation seriously, nor the quandry your "signal silence" created for other vessels who couldn't discern your "restricted" status and so (rightly) concluded you weren't.
The "but Your Honor, I was "Fishing" (restricted maneuverability) not 'fishing' (unrestricted)" argument will ring hollow with a judge who sees you didn't really care about it on the water, but just in court. No shapes or comms, "no cred" ;-)
Nevertheless, courtesy helps a lot. If you can tack away early from the F/V without hurting your race, please do it. Then maybe they'll be courteous to you next time, and scooch over a little so you don't have to make a tack that would've hurt you. "pay it forward" does work, and more often than you may think..