A powerboat is about to cross paths with a sailboat

If a power-driven boat is about to cross paths with a sailing boat under sail? Then –

  • The powerboat is the give-way vessel
  • And, the sailboat under sail is the stand-on vessel

Why? Because these are the rules of the water. A powerboat is a vessel under a degree of propulsion. Whereas a sailing boat under sail is a vessel without a degree of propulsion. A powerboat cannot sail and a sailboat under a degree of propulsion is a powerboat. So, a power-driven vessel must give way to a sailing vessel under sail (except overtaking situation).

Rules of the road
Rules of the road

In a powerboat, a skipper must keep a good lookout on a sailing boat in his/her vicinity. And a skipper of a sailing boat must keep a good look-out on a powerboat in his/her vicinity.

When powerboat and sailboat in a head-on situation

When meeting head-on situation: The powerboat is the give way and the sailboat is the stand-on vessel.

When powerboat and sailboat in a crossing situation

When meeting crossing situation: The powerboat is the give-way vessel and the sailboat is the stand-on vessel.

When powerboat and sailboat in an overtaking situation

Sailboat
Sailboat under sail

When a powerboat is overtaking a sailboat: a power-driven vessel shall keep out of the way of a sailing vessel, and a sailing vessel that is being overtaken shall keep her course and speed.

Again, when a sailboat is overtaking a powerboat: a sailing vessel shall keep out of the way of a power-driven vessel, and a power-driven vessel that is being overtaken shall keep her course and speed.

This is because the vessel that is overtaking another vessel is the give-way vessel and the vessel being overtaken is a stand-on vessel. This rule applies regardless of whether either boater has a powerful engine or sails for propulsion. If one boat isn’t adhering to this rule, then they may get into an accident with their fellow boaters.

What action should be taken when a sailboat under sail is about to cross paths with a PWC?

PWC means a Personal Water Craft. This is a power-driven vessel. So as per the “Rules of the road” a PWC must give way a sailing vessel under sail. In these situations, the PWC is required to change course or speed to avoid a collision.

The power-driven vessel, as the give-way vessel, should change its speed and course to avoid a collision. If it doesn’t, the sailing vessel is entitled to maintain or alter its course and speed in order that it may take appropriate action for safety purposes. You can find more information about your rights and responsibilities on this website.

What are the basic rules for sailing?

How to boat safely
How to boat safely
  • Try to maintain a proper lookout at all times
  • Know the limitations of your own boat
  • Maintain a proper and safe speed and direction
  • Be a good helmsman
  • Know the wind, wave, and current conditions
  • Make a conscious effort to avoid a collision with other boats
  • Use common sense at all times
  • Know the “rules of the road” for your local area

Conclusion

The conclusion of the post is short and sweet. If you are on a power-driven vessel, you must always give way to a sailing vessel unless the sailing vessel is overtaking your vessel.

Related:

A motorboat is crossing paths with a PWC. What action should be taken?

One boat is overtaking another which boat should stand on?

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