Originally Posted by jackdale
Sorry "Captain"; that is incorrect. If the transmission is not engaged, you are a sailing vessel.
Two from the Nautical Institute.
From a maritime lawyer
I also called the USCG. They were in agreement with those above.
Under Rule 17 If the engine was running, and CAPABLE of attaching to a propeller, then you are a power driven vessel at the touch of a control. And therfore CAPABLE of maneuvering as one, and avoiding collision as one.
A "SAILING VESSEL" has no other means of maeuvering EXCEPT by wind in a reasonable amount of time to prevent a collision. (IE if it HAS an engine that is off, it will take several minutes to start, and warmup to engage prop, probably too late for collision).
If you are in a collision, and your engine was running, and you didn't use it, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.