I would like to hear opinions on the following situation.
Place: Main narrow channel in a marina
My boat: pleasure craft sailboat under power (so a power boat) about 40 ft
Boat directly behind me: pleasure craft power boat
, about 40 ft with a side tow of his smaller power boat
(about 20 ft or less).
I am motoring in the channel at a safe speed. As you go down the main channel it is important to check that boats are not coming out of the side channels where the slips are located since there is limited visibility into those channels. This was a very busy day at the marina too.
As I go down the channel a power boat about the same size as my boat comes up directly behind me. He has a side tow of his smaller boat. He calls out to say speed up. I did not feel it safe to speed up so I said no. I told him that I am the stand on vessel. Since it was not easy to communicate over engine noise
I help up my radio
and told him to contact me there if needed. He did not.
He once again repeated his request and again I refused to speed up.
It looked like he had no problems at all maneuvering at the speed I was going.
Once docked he told me that since he was towing in a narrow channel he felt he was the stand on vessel.
I maintain that since I was directly in front I was the stand on vessel.
I also feel that just because he had a vessel tied to his side does not make him a vessel engaged in towing. If his definition was used then every pleasure boat towing a dinghy
behind them would be a vessel engaged in towing.
When I mentioned rule
13 he said that did not apply since he wasn't overtaking me. I maintain that rule
rule 13 defines his boat as the overtaking vessel even if overtaking is not his intent and that I should or could maintain course and speed.
OK folks, Have at it and let me know what you think.