Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Palm Beach, Fla.
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor
I once asked a merchant captain who has right of way a pushing tug boat or a sailboat?. He said if the tug doesn't display restricted to manuerve he is a powerboat, thus sailboat has right of way.
You are exactly right, a tug-and-barge is simply a motor vessel. However, a prudent sailor will give her a wide berth, make large and obvious course changes, and communicate in plenty of time if necessary.
Regardless of the rules, although most tugs are operated by real professionals, I encounter tugboat drivers on an almost daily basis who are drunks and/or complete morons. It's all fun and games until you get t-boned by a loaded tank barge!