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Old 20-04-2014, 18:25   #1
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International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

Hello,

I have a Cal 29. So naturally, the net tonnage is much less than 5, which means I'm not big enough to be a USCG documented vessel. I have CA DMV registration for the vessel, and FCC license for the ssb.

Please help. What have others done to satisfy all documentation requirements for international cruising, when our vessels are too small to be USCG documented?

Thank You.
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Old 20-04-2014, 19:42   #2
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Re: International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

Quote:
Originally Posted by aewing View Post
Hello,

I have a Cal 29. So naturally, the net tonnage is much less than 5, which means I'm not big enough to be a USCG documented vessel. I have CA DMV registration for the vessel, and FCC license for the ssb.

Please help. What have others done to satisfy all documentation requirements for international cruising, when our vessels are too small to be USCG documented?

Thank You.
The Simplified Measurement System puts my Cal 2-27 right at 5 tons. So you should be okay. Plus you can fudge a bit and nobody will make a lot of drama about it.
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Old 20-04-2014, 21:52   #3
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Re: International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

This subject has been debated here on CF for years. A search will unveil many opinions.

Our factual experience: we have been cruising in Mexico and the S Pacific since 1986. We have visited 13 nations so far. Our boats have both been state rego in Illinois, not documented. We have had zero problems with this situation.

There may well be nations that will not accept anything but Federal documentation, but we have not encountered one yet.

Jim
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Old 21-04-2014, 01:04   #4
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Re: International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

Quote:
Originally Posted by aewing View Post
Hello,

I have a Cal 29. So naturally, the net tonnage is much less than 5, which means I'm not big enough to be a USCG documented vessel. I have CA DMV registration for the vessel, and FCC license for the ssb.

Please help. What have others done to satisfy all documentation requirements for international cruising, when our vessels are too small to be USCG documented?

Thank You.
As to tonnage, be sure you're not talking about the listed weight as tonnage. That's not what is used for documentation. Your original manufacturer's documents should have the calculation or you can obtain them. 29' is likely to meet the 5 ton threshold.

Now as to what Jim says, if I was traveling to many other countries, I'd prefer documentation, but I've also not known anyone personally to have issues with a state registration. Just have all your documents with you. I have known people to have questions recently over original versus copy however.
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Old 21-04-2014, 01:07   #5
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pirate Re: International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

I think my Cal29 was documented sometime in the past. The carved number board was still on boat. Someone removed it from being attached to the boat but didn't toss it.
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Old 21-04-2014, 05:59   #6
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Re: International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

Federal (US) documentation is not required. Proof of ownership is... For a US State "registered" vessel, the important document while checking in is the vessels "title" which is usually issued (in the case of non-documented vessels) by the state in which the vessel is registered.

The original title (or better yet a certified copy) should be carried on-board while outside the US.

Quick checklist of paperwork you will (probably) need before checking in (Central America and the Caribbean)

Ships Papers
  • State Title or Federal Documenation
  • "Zarpe" (Outbound Clearance Document) from last country exited. (Note: The United States does not as a matter of course issue Zarpes for outbound, US flagged vessels. Best to fill out the US Customs Vessel Clearance Statement and have it stamped by your local Customs Officer before leaving the US. )
  • SSB and/or VHF radio licenses. US Ships station license and Radio Operators permit are no longer required for US pleasure vessels operating in domestic waters. If you use your radio equipment outside the US, licensing is required. Ships station good for 10 years, Operators permit good for life.

Crew Papers

  • Passports (with Visas if required)
  • Crew List. You can obtain a nice Spanish/English version to download here. It contains more info than required, but a lot of officials appreciate it as it contains most of the required ships info as well, and can save them time shuffling paper.

This is the minimum you will need to check in to a foreign port on a pleasure vessel. Find out in advance what you will need for your next port of call. A current copy of Reeds Almanac for your sailing area will alert you to general check in requirements if you find yourself in an unexpected port of call. Fore warned is fore armed. Remember, we're not in Kansas anymore Toto...

Carry many, many copies of all your paperwork. Some countries require several copies of crew lists for example. You may be required to surrender your Zarpe upon arrival. A new one will be issued when you check out.

Prior to leaving the US obtain a "ships stamp". Either an embossing stamp, rubber stamp, or both. Use to stamp all paperwork you are submitting. Not required in most countries, but highly regarded in most Hispanic ports.
Stamp should contain vessel name, home port, and hull number (or documentation number).
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Old 21-04-2014, 10:12   #7
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Re: International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

Wow, thank you all so very much for your help! This info is exactly what I was looking for.

I apologize if this issue has already been discussed. An initial search of the forums here and on google did not yield the answer I was seeking. I'm days away from leaving, so as a last resort I came here to ask the question.

All the above replies were helpful and taught me something, especially capt-couillon. I now know that I have everything I need to continue on my journey.
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Old 21-04-2014, 10:33   #8
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Re: International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

Quick question for the Cal owners. Where's your HID located? Capt-couillon brings up some really good points. I realize I have it on paper, but I'm going to need to know exactly where it's stamped on the boat. Hopefully it's not painted over.
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Old 21-04-2014, 14:26   #9
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Re: International Cruising with Undocumented Vessel

On vessels manufactured after Nov '72 the location is as follows:

Starboard outboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest.

After Aug '84, a second "hidden HID" is located somewhere on an unexposed interior portion of the hull. (Good Luck)

Prior to '72 numbers were generally stamped on the Mfg name plate, which may or may not still be aboard.

Never had a foreign official compare numbers to the hull. USCG will check documentation board on occasion.

Safe travels....
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