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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor
As a licensed Unlimited 2nd Mate, I find that if a sailboat is in this situation, they should avoid impeding the tug and barge.. Though not qualified as a ship, tug and barges can easily be big enough to qualify as a ship in their length and breadth. That being said, they can't turn or stop like a normal power boat. They may take a half of a mile to come to an stop, and may take an 1/8 of a mile for the bow to respond to rudder commands. So even though the sailboat has "right of way", do you want to risk you and your crews lives, and the vessel because you wanted to prove a point? And said point won't hold up in admiralty court because you didn't show good seaman prudence.
That being said, commercial maritime traffic is the backbone of this nation so let's try not cause harm and keep it going.
A little saying goes on out here, "if in doubt follow Rule 39: rule of gross tonnage." That being if they are bigger than you and you can go around, do so.