Originally Posted by DDW
A sailboat beating to weather doesn't want to give up any ground that is hard won. Sailboat helmsman (any that have ever raced anyway) would not consider 15 feet a close pass. He just ducked you when he knew he had to. On a powerboat you can simply turn the wheel to go where you want. Not so on a sailboat. This is exactly why they have the right of way (in many situations).
If you have never sailed, or raced a sailboat, you may be forgiven for thinking this is close. The reality for sailors is: any close maneuver that doesn't result in a touch, is only close, not "too close". Racing rules allow for protests, when there is an actual collision (touch). Many, (or all) sailors, bring the racing rules to casual sailing. When you see a sail boat (not under power) in your "stand on" zone, always think they will treat a mere power boater as a second class opponent, with no rights. whatsoever.