Two 30-foot boats on port tack, OL and IW, are at an obstruction, an anchored boat. OL has chosen to pass to leeward of the obstruction. The boats are overlapped with IW on the inside. Although boats of this class are normally sailed by a crew of six, IW is sailing with a crew of three, and they are relatively inexperienced.
Should the experience and number of crew members sailing IW be considered in determining how much “room” she is entitled to under rule 19.2
(b) between OL and the obstruction?
Neither the experience of IW's crew nor their number is relevant in determining "room". In rule 19.2
(b), which requires OL to give IW “room” between her and the obstruction, "room" is a defined term. The definition Room is “the space a boat needs in the existing conditions . . . while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way.” In determining whether or not OL has given the required space, the interpretation of “seamanlike way” must be based on the boat-handling that can reasonably be expected from a competent, but not expert, crew of the appropriate number for the boat. (Case 21
discusses other aspects of the definition Room
Is the answer the same with respect to ‘room’ as used in the definition Mark-Room
and in other rules in Part 2?