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Old 17-01-2004, 09:50   #1
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Flag Etiquette While Cruising

Just how important is flag etiquette in the Caribbean. The boat I bought there has some of the courtesy flags for hanging in the spreaders for each island, but is missing somewhere near $200 worth for our intended landfalls.

Who notices these? When I have been visiting the Caribbean, I see them missing from many boats.

Anybody have a cheaper source for these? Many have details difficult to sew or make.

I hate to make good manners an economic issue, but outfitting is sucking up the kitty.

Give me comments or give me hell, guys.
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Old 19-01-2004, 06:29   #2
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Lightbulb Make your own

I've made burgees and I was inspired with this book.
http://secure.sailrite.com/VALUE/Itemdesc.asp?CartId={FC20D6CE-4A94-4EVERESTAFB-B25E-6CAC7D32F003}&ic=39056&eq=&Tp=

Not difficult really if you can sew a straight line.
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Old 19-01-2004, 09:52   #3
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Courtesy flags

It can be very insulting not flying the country's flag. In parts of Mexico where I have been, the Port Captain will not allow you to enter the country until you fly their flag. And they won't forget you when you need a favor. I've known cruisers who later wished they had known that.

As far as making them, if you will only be in the country a few weeks, you can use the proper color cloth (sown together) with permanent markers for the designs. Even the difficult Mexican flag looks fine 25 feet up the mast with a little care. If you're staying for months, make a good one - the cheap ones don't last.

The book at Sailrite is good, but there was a review of the book in Good Old Boat a few issues agao that had some good suggestions.

The costs of flags is a cost of cruising, like entrance fees and food - budget for it.
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Old 20-01-2004, 08:55   #4
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Flag

If you do choose to fly a flag knowing which side is up would be a big help. BC Mike C
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Old 21-01-2004, 05:08   #5
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Voice of experience?
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Old 22-01-2004, 11:10   #6
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Flag

It was a cheap shot at the Yankees for flying the Canadian Flag upside down. BC Mike C
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Old 24-01-2004, 08:10   #7
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I would not enter another country without having the proper flags up the mast.

What itinerary are you planning if the flags are so numerous they will break the bank...? Around the world in 80 days?

Ya could cruise the Bahamas for years without seeing it all and only need one flag...Or the Virgin Islands with only 2 flags...And so on.

Some places sail used flags, like Sailorman in Ft. Lauderdale.
Or try to get used ones over at the SSCA or Sailnet "For Sale Forums".
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Old 24-01-2004, 09:21   #8
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OK Then - What about Signal Flags?

Nah, you're right, it isn't going to break the bank. It is just another little cost among so many little costs. I posted as much for another interesting and educational discussion as for an investigation of the economic "discourtesy".

Right now the plan is to leave Canada at the end of the hurricanes but before the bad North-easters, and take a quick route through Bermuda, BVI to Trinidad and Tobago, followed by 5-6 months of slowly moseying back to Canada. That is well over a dozen flags at $15-40 US each. I wouldn't want to miss an island or harbour that somebody else suggested, just because I didn't have an appropriate flag.

Still, I agree with the posts. Maybe I can make or borrow some of them.

How about signal flags? Anybody use them for more than a display of colours?
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Old 24-01-2004, 21:11   #9
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Never used a signal flag except the Yellow one.

The days of the other signals flags have probably passed with the exception of the blue/white..Diver Down..

And the red/white diver flag, and uh, my Norwegian flag up the Starboard spreader and the US one the tail.

Plus the SSCA Navy Blue Burgee

5 or 6 flags total...8 years cruising and counting.

Go slow in the beginning, then if ya get into a cruising frenzy and need to cover nations faster that ya can buy flags...Uh, make up some cardboard ones as ya go....D

Anyway, flags have been the smallest problems of cruising.
Weather, anchoring, crew, economy, etc have been higher up on the list.
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Old 25-01-2004, 01:27   #10
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Sonosailor plans to "take a quick route through Bermuda, BVI to Trinidad and Tobago, followed by 5-6 months of slowly moseying back to Canada"

This itinerary doesn't seem (to me) to be leaving much time to stop/visit/explore recommended anchorages etc. Sounds more like an express trip.

I know 2500mi (+-) divided by 150 days is only 16-17 miles/day average. Tho' we've never done the Windwards, it still seems quick to me. Of course, I'm a real "lazy" cruiser.

Have you plotted some weekly / monthly schedules?

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Old 25-01-2004, 13:23   #11
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You are right, as usual, Gord. This is going to take more thought.

We've visited the Bahamas in March (Bimini-Cat Key), and the Admiral says they are not warm enough. We've sailed the BVI, and St. Martins, and want to go further. We also have a friend cruising in Grenada, and it is a dream for us to tie up beside him. However, our primary objectives are the vistas, the warmth, and easy living; and that conflicts a bit with the proposed itinerary.

One thing I have considered, is laying up in Grenada, flying home for Canada's summer, and picking up there the next winter.

I'll give it more thought, and carry on with the thread on the subject under Cruising Destinations.
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Old 26-01-2004, 02:09   #12
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Sonosailor


If you are willing to go through the work to get down to the Genadines staying over until winter a second time seems like a great idea. I fly down to St Lucia for two weeks each winter (leaving in 2 weeks!). Nice temperatures all day and all night with rain showers that are VERY short.

We have chartered a few day sails down there and winter sailing in the southern windwards is just too nice to not come back for a whole second winter season. With a whole winter you could never check out all the great places in that area alone. Seems a shame to work so hard getting to where you really want to be to not stick around.
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Old 21-06-2004, 12:46   #13
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Courtesy Flags

hey all,
my first post!
any as for courtesy flags, they are important in all parts of the world.
I was sailing into Kastellorozen, Greece from Kas, Turkey (a 4NM hop) and forgot to switch the coutesy flags (turkish to Greek) when i tied up on the quay a Greek Coast Gaurdsman "politly" pointed out my oversight.
So from then on I always make sure i have the correct flag up at the border ....
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Old 05-09-2004, 23:24   #14
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By all means fly the proper flags - to include the flag of the country you are entering plus the yellow quarantine flag until you have cleared in. You can get servicable flags for under $10 US, or decent ones for about $15. Two sources we use are www.budgetmarine.com (7 locations in the Caribbean) or www.islandwaterworld.com (my favorite) with 3 locations.
If you decide to winter over in the Grenada area I can heartily recommend Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout in Tyrrel Bay on Carriacou (where we are at the moment). Great people, but very small commercial yard. They can fix anything! There is also a very nice yard in St. David on the south coast of Grenada - a bit more pricey, but large and full-service. If you want to leave the boat in the water there is a terriffic safe anchorage on the southern end of Grenada behind Hog Island. Fully protected and very good holding. (Be very careful entering - it's not very well marked and the reefs are tricky. Go in with a high sun and take your time - or follow another boat.) You can either anchor or take one of the moorings available from one of the boat-watching outfits (we kept our boat there for two years).
By all means, don't hurry. You can spend months and months in the Grenadines and still not really experience them fully. Jus' get on de islan' time, mon ... evry 'ting be allright - no problem, mon. Doan be rushin', now - you jus' be missin' 'tings and be making you self silly. Jus' be drink de rum an' be jammin', mon
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Old 13-09-2004, 03:23   #15
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National Flags*, from the CIA World Factbook:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/...ftheworld.html

* Some nations (eg: The Bahamas) use a variation of the National Flag for their Courtesy Ensign (flown by cruising foreigners).
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