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A Sailboat Under Sail Is About To Cross Paths With A PWC. What Action Should Be Taken?

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Arianna Vaccaro Profile
Arianna Vaccaro answered
According to the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea, under these circumstances, the best course of action is for the PWC to change its course of direction and move out of the path of the sailboat. This is because the sailboat has right of way over any other boat or craft that is under power.

To understand this in another way, the sailboat can be described as the 'stand-on' vessel while the PWC is the 'give-way' craft. Usually, the 'stand-on' vessel is the one that would be more difficult to maneuver due to its size usually.

This means the PWC will always have to move out of the path of a sailboat if they are about to cross paths. In these circumstances, the sailboat should stay on the same course and at the same speed. 

Sometimes though, this action may not be taken by the PWC. If for whatever reason it does not change course and the craft are about to collide, they should pass each other on the port to port side.  If both vessels are approaching each other and the PWC has not moved, the sailboat should sound five short blasts of the horn as a warning signal. This will then let the driver of the PWC know you are moving the sailboat to the starboard position.
Karl Sagan Profile
Karl Sagan , motor yacht, answered

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