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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor
Well-stated article and comments, both under the article, and here. Note how unanimous the "maybe you have right of way technically but please don't push your luck, give way early and live to sail another day" opinion is.
The best advice amongst all the really good advice was imho, "why don't you just talk on the radio?" I guarantee you that tug listening Ch 16, or the local contact channel, or probably both.
So if you cross clear in front of him but then have to tack back across (which situation please try to avoid if at all possible), please please let him/her know! the worst thing for the tug driver is not knowing what you're going to do next. And if he's towing astern on a wire, he slows or turns to avoid you at risk of getting run over by his barge. And when pushing ahead he may have a large blind spot ahead of his barge.