Funny, I grew up thinking a boat "under oars" had right of way over a sailboat, but the rules don't mention rowboats.
I think the reasoning behind the rules (unless otherwise stated) is that the more-maneuveable craft should yield to the less-maneuverable one. So 5-knot sailboat should yield to 2-knot rowboat. But your 12-knot crew shells? I don't know, and I used to play that roulette on the Charles River. I'd say, head up, luff, or head the same way they are and put your stern to them and let them steer around you, since you're then being overtaken. Otherwise, you fake each other out and those shell bows are plenty sharp.
Last edited by nolatom; 05-22-2008 at 05:48 PM.