Rant and rave all you want, my delivery days are long passed (30 years ago, when the ICW was a viable commercial waterway). Perhaps you're the type to try to sail the ICW when a tug and barge is in your way, yelling "I'm under sail, I have the right of way!".
Plenty of folks have gotten themselves into trouble in the ICW because they do not understand the concept of a commercial waterway. There are plenty of offshoots on the ICW for those in their john boats, water skiers and partiers. I can tell you from personal experience, when navigating a tug and barge in the ICW, other traffic had better stay out of the way as there is no way in hell to stop or turn those things once you've set up for the reach to the next turn.
And the truth of the no wake zones and many of the Manatee zones, has nothing to do with boater or Manatee safety; it's the wealthy waterfront property owners not wanting to constantly repair their seawalls because of the erosion from wakes.
Maybe you need to come up to speed there, old timer. The ICW is no longer a commercial waterway as such. Sure commercial traffic still uses it, but the the Army Corp of Engineers doesn't maintain it anymore, at least not consistently. It has become a waterway for pleasure boats and as you say, rich property owners, and Manatee. And of course, all power boaters whine about the speed zones to protect them. Damn them slow moving Manatee!
And since this was a discussion about powerboat wakes, I am not exactly sure how a tug and barge's wake got thrown into this. From what I have seen, tug and barges move pretty slow producing very little wake. Oh, yeah, you did mention that so, what was your point again in regards to their wake? I am a bit confused, how did your "gold plated" sport fishing vessels turn into a tug and barge? How did you get a tug and barge up on plane, so you would have to slow down?
The older gentlemen in the jon boat were at the edge of the river next to the marsh minding their own business. They were no where near the power boat that produced the wake that flipped them over.
The discussion was about the wake of fast moving powerboats, not the right of way of tug boats.
And, I have no idea what you are talking about, every time I sail in front of a tanker or large ship, sighting the sailboat right of way, they immediately turn and get out of my way. They don't do that for you?