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Old 16-10-2012, 09:52   #1
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Cruising permits in the Caribbean

Once you enter the Caribbean sea, one could be crossing borders almost every week or more, what is the rule for cruising permits, does a boat need a cruising permit for each and every island visited along the way, let say from Spanish Virgin Islands to Trinidad on a long term cruise, a boat must at least enter a dozen different countries? If each and every country charges you for cruising permit, it may considerably add up to the cost of sailing in the Caribbean no?
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Old 16-10-2012, 10:00   #2
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

Simple easy and inexpensive 10 years ago, hope to find out what the status is now though.
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Old 16-10-2012, 10:07   #3
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pirate Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

Cruising Permits needed from the BVI's... if you go West...
No permits needed.. just clearing in and out fee's...
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Old 16-10-2012, 10:11   #4
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

Each and every country has its own rules. For many there is no cruising permit, just clearing-in and clearing-out costs. The best resource is the excellent information available at http://www.noonsite.com/Countries and it is usually quite up-to-date.

The French islands are often the easiest and cheapest, while some countries can charge significant fees for cruising (Bahamas and Anguilla come to mind).
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:10   #5
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

Bahamas is $150 for 30ft or less vessel. $300 for over 30ft.
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Old 19-10-2012, 06:14   #6
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

Each country requires entry clearance upon arrival. Most require clearing out upon departure. Some allow clearing in and out at the same time. Some countries are more relaxed than others but don't take that as a sign they are not serious. For the most part the French islands seem as easy as it gets but on the same token I have a friend who was fined $500.00 for having out of date paperwork. Conversly, I personally have usually had very few problems with the "tougher" islands. Some islands charge nothing, and some charge fees for entry, departure, port fees, garbage fees, cruising fees, anchoring fees, bridge fees, and it seems they just keep coming. Some of these are charged on a one time fee, and others on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Sometimes it seems the Official you are dealing with is making these up as he/she goes along, but they always have a way of explaining things if you ask. So good luck figuring things out ahead of time.
Now that I've said all that, its really not too bad. I've paid fees from $0.00 to over $40.00 for stays in the Windwards and Leewards and while sometimes it gets annoying its just the cost of doing business.
Remember to have all your paperwork up to date and in order, Proceed to Customs and Immigration as quikly as possible upon arrival, Have local currency on hand to pay the required fees, and most of all be patient, polite, and Very respectfull. The Officials take their jobs more seriously than you can imagine.
Hope this helps. Now go have a great cruise!
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Old 19-10-2012, 09:39   #7
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

Thank you all! Has anyone figured out the average cost of permits over a one year period when hopping between islands (excluding the Bahamas)?
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Old 19-10-2012, 10:31   #8
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

Look at the 'customs' category in a recent cost-of-cruising post.

What It Has Cost Us To Cruise - Last 4 Yrs
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:21   #9
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

If you are US flagged, make sure your vessel is documented. The French islands have no sense of humor about US flagged vessels that are only state registered.
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:31   #10
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by Steve Pavlidis View Post
If you are US flagged, make sure your vessel is documented. The French islands have no sense of humor about US flagged vessels that are only state registered.
that is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black! lol the usa has the most stringent rules for visiting foreign vessels in the world

relax some of your rules we would all like to visit,but the red tape involved with an east coast visit to the usa from the caribean on the way back to europe defeats many european yachts men and women,who chose instead to go direct to the azores
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:32   #11
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

I agree with the documentation. Be sure it is up todate. I have been in the Windwards and Leewards for four years. Be very polite, carry a pen so you do not have to borrow one. If you are passing by an island, you do not have to stop. We will sometimes stop late at night and leave at first light and not check into the country. There is a reisk in this though. In Carriacoe, Grenada, do check in and anchor in Hillsborough and not Tyrell. I got a lecture for doing otherwise. Grenada main island is not as bad although they know me and I generally anchore and go in the next day. All of these islands hav a check in and then a check out policy. French VERY easy.
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:42   #12
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

oNe other thing. Buy the most up todate edition of Chris Doyle's Cruising Guide for whatever area you are in. We use ours all of the time. Besides it telling about the in and out procedures, it will tell you everything you need to now about the bays you will be entering. sailing in, foor, fuel, laundry, ect. It also tells you where not to go or visit. Worth every cent it costs.
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:46   #13
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
that is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black! lol the usa has the most stringent rules for visiting foreign vessels in the world

relax some of your rules we would all like to visit,but the red tape involved with an east coast visit to the usa from the caribean on the way back to europe defeats many european yachts men and women,who chose instead to go direct to the azores
This thread is about the Caribbean, not the USA. Perhaps you should start a USA thread if you wish to share your experiences. I would like to know what hassles you went through, you're not the first to complain about the US regulations.
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Old 19-10-2012, 16:37   #14
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by Steve Pavlidis View Post
If you are US flagged, make sure your vessel is documented. The French islands have no sense of humor about US flagged vessels that are only state registered.
Can someone bring this to light for me.As I have only cruised Long Island sound and the coast of Mass and Ri , I would like to take my boat to the Bahamas and maybe farther someday .All my boats have always been state registered ,what is the benefit of a US Coast Guard Documentation? Do I need it to go to the Bahamas and farther and what is actually involved with it.Thanks .....Aaron
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Old 19-10-2012, 16:42   #15
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Re: Cruising permits in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by popeye2818 View Post
Can someone bring this to light for me.As I have only cruised Long Island sound and the coast of Mass and Ri , I would like to take my boat to the Bahamas and maybe farther someday .All my boats have always been state registered ,what is the benefit of a US Coast Guard Documentation? Do I need it to go to the Bahamas and farther and what is actually involved with it.Thanks .....Aaron
i think as long as you can prove ownership ie "bill of sale" your state registration will be fine pretty much anywhere in the world flying the us flag.
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