Re: Give way when hoisting the main?
Nothing is certain in love, war, or how to apportion fault in most vessel collisions.
But starting up and using the engine as a "last ditch" maneuver to avoid, or try to avoid collsion is probably within the things Rule 17(b) means when it says "...if collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she (meaining the stand-on vessel) shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision".
So you may be wrong NOT to use engine if you could have, in what we call the "jaws of collision" or "in extremis". And if you guessed wrong about whether to turn this way or that "in extremis" even though it was an arguably reasonable "bail-out" try at the time (though maybe not in retrospect), the maritime law tends to look with a more understanding view of "error in extremis" when that error resulted from a tough choice with too little time to think about it, forced upon you by the other vessel (who should have given way much earlier) .
So a definite "maybe" to your very good question. But using your engine at the last second in such a crisis in order to turn away when everything before that was pure sail, "most probably" wouldn't change your pre-existing status as a sailboat for the application of the "sail over Power" provisions of rule 18
Last edited by nolatom; 08-14-2013 at 01:51 PM.