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Old 15-03-2008, 19:25   #1
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washington state ??

Whats the deal with the waters around Washington state. I just read that you have to have a pilot or an exemption. Does this apply to a 40 foot boat ? or do you have to continue straight on to Canada .
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Old 15-03-2008, 22:13   #2
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What's the source of your read??

It's probably for commercial shipping, which is reasonable considering all the turns to get into Harbor Island and the rip currents during tide changes.
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Old 15-03-2008, 22:33   #3
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i thought so too BUT....from noonsite
Quote:
The Washington State Pilot Board has a regulation requiring all foreign flagged vessels carry a pilot or get an exemption. The exemption requires a fee of $300 for three months, or $500 for a year and is applied to all foreign cruising yachts except for Canadian yachts that regularly sail West Coast waters.
Application forms for the exemption can be submitted online and submitted via email. The form is available at Washington Board of Pilotage Commissioners -- Home
and when I checked the pilots web site I could find no reference to "little boats" It may be there some where but I couldnt see it.
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Old 16-03-2008, 11:53   #4
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Here are the key paragraphs which exempts pleasure craft. It looks to me like the "board of pilotage commissioners of the state of Washington" is trying to round up more monies and to hire more pilots to cover the increasing traffic in the Sound.

Quote:
(1) A United States vessel on a voyage in which it is operating
4 exclusively on its coastwise endorsement, its fishery endorsement
5 (including catching and processing its own catch outside United States
6 waters and economic zone for delivery in the United States), and/or its
7 recreational (or pleasure) endorsement, and all United States and
8 Canadian vessels engaged exclusively in the coasting trade on the west
9 coast of the continental United States (including Alaska) and/or
10 British Columbia shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter
11 unless a pilot licensed under this chapter be actually employed, in
12 which case the pilotage rates provided for in this chapter shall apply.
13 (XXXXXXXX)
(2) The board (XXXXX) may, upon the written petition of any
15 interested party, and upon notice and opportunity for hearing, grant an
16 exemption
from the provisions of this chapter to any vessel that the
17 board finds is (a) a small passenger vessel ((or yacht which)) that is
18 not more than five hundred gross tons (international), does not exceed
19 two hundred feet in overall length, and is operated exclusively in the
20 waters of the Puget Sound pilotage district and lower British Columbia,
21 or (b) a yacht that is not more than five hundred gross tons
22 (international) and does not exceed two hundred feet in overall length.

23 Such an exemption shall not be detrimental to the public interest in
24 regard to safe operation preventing loss of human lives, loss of
25 property, and protecting the marine environment of the state of
26 Washington. Such petition shall set out the general description of the
27 vessel, the contemplated use of same, the proposed area of operation,
28 and the name and address of the vessel's owner. The board shall
29 annually, or at any other time when in the public interest, review any
30 exemptions granted to this specified class of small vessels to insure
31 that each exempted vessel remains in compliance with the original
32 exemption. The board shall have the authority to revoke such exemption
33 where there is not continued compliance with the requirements for
34 exemption. The board shall maintain a file which shall include all
35 petitions for exemption, a roster of vessels granted exemption, and the
36 board's written decisions which shall set forth the findings for grants
37 of exemption. Each applicant for exemption or annual renewal shall pay
38 a fee, payable to the pilotage account.
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Old 17-03-2008, 08:14   #5
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so if I read this right....exemption PLUS #$300 bucks = 21 or (b) a yacht that is not more than five hundred gross tons
22 (international) and does not exceed two hundred feet in overall length.
will humbly allow me to ply these waters ?

or is this an exemption to the exemption !?...
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Old 17-03-2008, 10:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooper View Post
so if I read this right....exemption PLUS #$300 bucks = 21 or (b) a yacht that is not more than five hundred gross tons
22 (international) and does not exceed two hundred feet in overall length. will humbly allow me to ply these waters ?

or is this an exemption to the exemption !?...
Not the way I read it. You have to apply for and pay the $300 or $500 for the exemption. This came up a couple of years ago, I believe in a local magazine, 48 North. I thought it was just a letter to the editor, and not an article. I will try to look some more to see if I can find it.

John
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Old 18-03-2008, 13:37   #7
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Isnt Port Townsend (the site of the famous Wooden Boat Festival) under this regime ? Meaning all foreign visitors would have to pay this impost ?
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Old 28-08-2008, 10:40   #8
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Unhappy Washington pilot issue

I wrote this letter to my state representatives:

"If the following is true, it is quite unreasonable. Surely we don't
want every little visiting yacht to carry a pilot.

'We've got a lot of good friends in the marine business in this area,
but as of now, we will not be coming back, for there is one Washington
State law which we cannot abide. The Washington State Pilot Board has a
regulation requiring all foreign flagged vessels carry a pilot (as in
ship pilot) or get an exemption. The exemption requires a fee of $300
for three months, or $500 for a year and is applied to all foreign
cruising yachts except for Canadians. We've made inquiries and it seems
to us that the Ship Pilot board is using their political power to extort
funds from foreign cruisers.'

Whoever authored this regulation probably did not realize that there are
thousands of small sailing vessels sailing across the world at any given
time. I, myself, sailed a 34' sailboat from Seattle to Hong Kong.
These people are rarely rich, or even well to do. Some built their
boats in their back yards, and they shouldn't be treated this way if
their countries don't treat or visiting citizens that way. A well known
British designer of small sailing catamarans is now cruising in BC in a
boat less than 40' long, and he won't visit us for this reason.

Thanks, Tim Dunn"

Today I received this in response:

"Dear Mr. Dunn,

Representative Smith has read your email, and asked that I look into
this issue. I have been in touch with our staff in Olympia, and have
been informed that others have raised your same concerns. I will get in
touch with you as I find out more, but just wanted to let you know that
we are looking into it.

Thank you for your email, and I look forward to talking with you soon.

With kind regards,

Brad Sherman
Legislative Assistant
Representative Norma Smith
10th Legislative District"
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Old 28-08-2008, 11:41   #9
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I wasn't aware that States were allowed to make international treaties. Or any other sort of law that was directed at nations, i.e. flagged vessels. I wonder if a greedy pilot union may have shot themselves in the feet by going that far?

Much less to ask, would anyone even bother trying to enforce it against a recreational boat, as opposed to commercial vessel?
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Old 28-08-2008, 11:47   #10
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Treaties?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I wasn't aware that States were allowed to make international treaties. Or any other sort of law that was directed at nations, i.e. flagged vessels. I wonder if a greedy pilot union may have shot themselves in the feet by going that far?

Much less to ask, would anyone even bother trying to enforce it against a recreational boat, as opposed to commercial vessel?
I don't like this law, and am trying to change it, but I don't view it as being an international treaty issue. I was just pointing out the inequity of treating foreign yachts this way, when other countries don't treat our yachts this way. There are certainly some countries that have regulations that are quite unreasonable for foreign yachts, such as Indonesia, but I have never heard of an Indonesian yacht visiting foreign waters.
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Old 28-08-2008, 12:00   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I wasn't aware that States were allowed to make international treaties. Or any other sort of law that was directed at nations, i.e. flagged vessels. I wonder if a greedy pilot union may have shot themselves in the feet by going that far?

Much less to ask, would anyone even bother trying to enforce it against a recreational boat, as opposed to commercial vessel?
While I have sympathy, this is not an international treaty, and is the same requirement that applies justifiably to large cargo ships, tankers, etc. It's just that the law does not have a size limitation (except for the 'exemption' clause, which is more like robbery) and it's being enforced on some smaller vessels, the most well known being Steve Dashew's Windhorse. That being said, I haven't yet been able to figure out who is enforcing this 'state' law, and know of some foreign cruisers (non-Canadian) who have entered Puget Sound without confronting this issue, while others apparently have. I do know that several 'foreign' friends I met in Victoria last winter changed there plans and did not enter the US rather than face paying the 'fee'.

One thought, if you enter Juan de Fuca but land in Victoria, you wouldn't be subject to the Washington State fee. From Victoria clear into the US in Friday or Roche Harbor, where the customs guys seem unaware of pilot's rules...

Also, Port Townsend no longer has customs for entering boats, so you would have to clear in at Port Angeles, right near the Pilot launces... unless you went as I suggest.

Finally, I encourage all Washington boaters to write to their legislators, as Brad did.

Scot
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Old 28-08-2008, 12:00   #12
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Well...If I bring a car into the US from Denmark, with Danish license plates on it, I know that federal laws apply to it--but I'm fairly sure that no state can make special laws or requirements to the vehicle, simply because it is foreign flagged. (Titled & registered.)

Changing a law requires politicking. If you can find legal grounds to simply invalidate it and have it declared void--that only requires one judge. (And if the law is void, changing it still won't make it proper. Might as well get to the bottom of it.)
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Old 28-08-2008, 12:11   #13
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Cars from out of state

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Well...If I bring a car into the US from Denmark, with Danish license plates on it, I know that federal laws apply to it--but I'm fairly sure that no state can make special laws or requirements to the vehicle, simply because it is foreign flagged. (Titled & registered.)

Changing a law requires politicking. If you can find legal grounds to simply invalidate it and have it declared void--that only requires one judge. (And if the law is void, changing it still won't make it proper. Might as well get to the bottom of it.)
Are you kidding? If you register a car in Washington that you bought in California, you have to take it in for some tests that make sure that it meets state requirements.

BTW, it was me, Tim Dunn, (aka BigCat,) that wrote to my legislator.
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Old 28-08-2008, 12:17   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCat View Post
BTW, it was me, Tim Dunn, (aka BigCat,) that wrote to my legislator.
Opps, sorry - looked back quickly and apparently pulled the wrong name off!
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Old 28-08-2008, 12:54   #15
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Make noise!

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Opps, sorry - looked back quickly and apparently pulled the wrong name off!
I'd love it if more yachties from Washington brought up the issue with their legislators. Noise makes things happen in politics.
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