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

If you’re recently purchased your first boat, or you’re in need of a refresher on what the correct way of rules is for boating - then you’ve clicked on the right article!

While it should go without saying that we all love to have fun while out on the water, safety should always be the number one priority.

Besides yourself, you have to think about the well-being of your passengers.

Mot to mention the fact that from time to time, you’ll encounter a little bit of boat traffic, too.

Regardless of your level of sailing experience, it can be intimidating to think about taking your boat down a jam-packed waterway that’s full of different types of sailing vessels.

Especially if they’re all heading in your direction!

What can be done to ensure that you stay out of each other’s way?

Fortunately for you, there’s plenty of worldwide recognized regulations put in place to ensure boat collisions are kept to a minimum.

Not only does this help to ensure safety, but it also helps to ensure that order is maintained while out on the water, regardless of the scenario.

To help you out, this article will explain to you what to do in the event that your sailboat encounters a PWC.

And how to safely navigate through this circumstance with safety and ease.

Along the way, we’ll also be sharing some helpful insider tips that will guarantee you’re the best captain you can be.

So, without further ado - let’s dive straight in.

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What is a PWC?

A personal watercraft (otherwise referred to as a PWC) is usually a recreational type of watercraft that the rider will either sit or stand on, depending on the design and model.

The most popular type of PWC is known as a “sit down” water scooter and can be ridden by up to two people.

Just like the name suggests, it is designed for the riders to be seated while on it.

On the other hand, the second type of PWC is known as a “stand up” water scooter and is designed for the rider to use it while in a standing position, with the hands firmly holding the handlebar in order to navigate it. 

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

The latter type of personal watercraft is designed for competitive use, as they are specifically designed to be able to be used for racing and tricks.

In contrast, the sitting personal watercraft is mainly intended for recreational use, or for those who do not have much experience riding PWCs.

However, regardless of their different purposes, both types of personal watercraft are designed to feature an inboard engine driving and a pump jet that features a screw-shaped impeller.

This will allow the PWC to be able to gain speed and power for propulsion, as well as for steering.

On top of that, many of the modern-day personal watercraft is designed to be used for long periods of time

So it is not uncommon to see both kinds featuring larger fuel capacities than older models of PWCs, in order to accommodate for long cruises that can span upwards of 100 miles.

This brings us to our next section: what to do in the event that you encounter one while out on the water!

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

As we’re sure you’re already aware, PWCs are super versatile types of watercraft that are nimble enough to be used across multiple types of water, including the ocean and lakes.

For this reason, it’s extremely important that you’re aware of what to do in the event that you encounter one, as it’s highly likely that you will at one point or another.

Below, we’ll carefully outline what you should do while sailing your sailboat in the event that you encounter a PWC, as well as what the rider operating the PWC should do as well.

Read on:

Before we jump into the actions that should be taken in the event of a sailboat under sail passing a PWC, it’s important to note that many fatalities that involve a PWC result directly from injuries that are caused by collisions, not from drowning.

The main reason for this is that riders sit on top of the PWC, rather than inside it.

Therefore, due to the fact that there are no hulls to provide protection in the event of an accidental collision, there is a high chance that PWC collisions can be deadly, which highlights the importance of making sure that you know exactly what to do in this type of situation, in order to minimize the chances of a collision from happening.

So, with that being said, let’s take a look at the actions required:

Meeting Head-On: In the event that a sailboat is on course to meet the PWC head-on, both vessels should turn to starboard (which is to the right).

Paths That Cross: If the sailboat is on course to cross paths directly with the PWC, the vessel on the left side needs to give way.

Overtaking: If a sailboat or PWC is planning to overtake, the vessel that is overtaking will be the giveaway vessel, and the other will be the stand-on vessel.

Final Thoughts

So, there we have it.

Now that you’ve read through this guide and are armed with the knowledge of what to do in the circumstance that you encounter a personal watercraft.

We’re hoping that you’re now confident enough to take to the open waters.

If you take anything from this article, remember that it is extremely important that a PWC encountering a sailboat under sail follows the exact same navigation rules that apply to all types of power-driven water vessels, as they are both powered from fuel.

So long as you ensure that you follow the steps above, you’ll be able to enjoy smooth sailing, no matter how busy it gets out there!

While you’re here, why not bookmark this page?

That way, if you ever need to come back and refresh your knowledge, you’ll know just where to find us.

Thanks for reading.