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post #25 of Old 10-10-2012
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Re: Close call! Who had rights?

Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Exactly how is the other boat to note whether or not the transmission is engaged?

If I can see exhaust and water from the stern so I know the motor is running and therefore it's a motor boat, simply knocking it out of gear does NOT enable a skipper to say I'm a sailing vessel and have right of way.

Rule 14 applies here, two POWER driven vessels meeting head on, both turn to the right. No restrictions had been posted.

Rule 17, everything to avoid a collision, not play legal games.

I really don't care about the responses you got via email.
Rule 14 does not apply; rule 17(b) does. Rule 2 is likely the trump card.

While you might not care, those seeking an educated opinion might. Me original question had to do with charging the batteries, but the concept is the same.


I am not aware of any case that has considered this issue. My own view is that the sailboat would not be a power driven vessel for the purpose of the collision regulations as the propulsion power is the sails and not the engine. The definition of "sailing vessel" actually contemplates this scenario. That definition is " ...any vessel under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used". In your scenario the vessel is under sail and the propelling machinery is not being utilized (only the engine is used but, importantly, not the propellers). The sailboat would therefore be a sailing vessel within the meaning of the collision regulations. The sailboat in this scenario is really just running a generator.

I am glad that you have found my site to be of use.

Chris Giaschi

Christopher J. Giaschi
Giaschi & Margolis
401-815 Hornby Street
Vancouver, B.C.
Tel. 604-681-2866
Fax 604-681-4260

Our understanding is that if the engine is disengaged from and not turning the propeller or other propulsion machinery, then the propelling machinery is not being used. The engine is only acting as a generator to charge the batteries.



Captain Harry Gale BSc (Hons) FNI
Technical Manager
The Nautical Institute, 202 Lambeth Road, London, SE1 7LQ

Tel: +44 (0)20 7928 1351 Fax: +44(0)20 7401 2817
e-mail: Home
Dear Mr Dale,

I am not a maritime lawyer, but my interpretation of the Col Regs as a Master Mariner is that for a sailing vessel to become a power driven vessel the propeller must been engaged. Charging the batteries without engaging the transmission would therefore not change the status of sailing.

Best regards

Philip Wake
Chief Executive

The Nautical Institute
202 Lambeth Road
London, SE1 7LQ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7928 1351
Fax: +44 (0)20 7401 2817
Web: Home

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