A problem can easily arise when several knowledgeable sailors are on deck during a passage or even a daysail and it is not clear who is charge. Each is partially attentive, but no one is paying attention to the details on the chart or what other boats are hidden under the jib but are on a collision course. Even couples on a passage can have this problem when both are on deck during the day.
Many of us have a general idea about how we’d tow another boat back to the harbor or gas dock or a safe anchorage. While most sailboats don’t generate a lot of pull, they can generally tow a similarly-sized sailboat at four or five knots, which frequently beats waiting for the wind to fill in. Since the loads generated are more modest than those generated by a vessel capable of higher bollard pulls, a few rules suffice: