[music playing] A powerboat skipper and crew
are out for an afternoon ride when they come upon
a sailboat that’s sailing upwind in a small bay. Because of the water
depth, the sailboat must tack frequently to
remain in deep water, and the power
boater is bewildered by his frequent
change of course. The navigation rules
for power vessels sometimes differ from
those of sailing vessels. It is important to
know how to interact with the different types
of vessels and scenarios you will encounter
while on the water. Can you tell how these power
boaters should approach this navigation dilemma? The powerboat’s
skipper determines that in light of this
sailor’s erratic path he’ll just plow straight on. After all, where in
the rules does it say they can take the whole bay? When powerboats are
crossing, the boat from port shall keep out of the way
of the vessel to starboard. The power boaters
anticipated that the sailboat would stay out of their way. The power skipper
was clearly miffed. The collision was avoided,
but was this the best plan? The power crew has watched
the sailboat change course many times in a few moments. What’s up with that? The powerboat’s skipper
explains the sailors are constrained by
their draft and have to tack back and
forth frequently to stay in a safe depth. The power skipper has been
watching to anticipate the length of each tack. A vessel under sail alone
must tack back and forth through the wind and sail
a zigzag course upwind. When sailing in
shallow bays, sailboats with drafts of six
or more feet need to keep a sharp eye on
the depth meter and chart, and may be required to
tack the boat frequently. In a passing situation,
the powerboat shall keep out of the way. The powerboat
skipper should plan to pass either well ahead of
or else astern of the sailboat. And in tight channels,
the powerboat may benefit from running
just outside the channel, if depth allows. [music playing]

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