Everyone always slams the USCG for boardings when they are just doing one of the things they are supose to be doing for our safety
. Does nayone think that the bad guys mark their boats in some way so it is easier for the USCG to find them? Pleasure Craft are seized frequently for anything from drug running to slavery.
The US Congress made the laws allowing them to do it and frankly s a former cop, it is a very useful tool for Law Enforcement. But if you want to hold someone responsible, write you Senators and Congressmen and ask them to change the laws reguarding search of recreational boats
As far as boardings go... The USCG can board any US Flagged Vessel traveling in foreign waters and any other vessels if the US has a Treaty with the Country controlling those waters or in some cases a Treaty with the Country holding the Flag of the vessel regardless of loction.
Someone mentioned this previously, this means the USCG could board any vessel in most of the Americas, the Caribbean
Sea and other countries throughout the world.
Basically, if a USCG Vessel hails you and says they are boarding your vessel, you can probably assume they have the right to. If you are foreign flagged, they would be creating a Diplomactic incident if they are wrong and you would have grounds to both report it to your Embassy and sue the US Government
As far as US Law Enforcement goes... becareful thinking cops can't board your boat. In many places in the US there are local, County and State Laws authorizing Marine
Law Enforcement Officers the right to board vessels for the purposes of inspection
Across the Board, Game
Wardens have tremendious powers of search and seizure on vessels, especially if they see any gear
on board your vesel related to hunting or fishing
Police can also board you vessel if they see a situation that requires immediate action to avoid loss of life or property or if there is something illegal, in plain view, or if you are suspected of drunken boating
. They could also board your vessel while issuing you a citation for some sort of marine waterway violation, like speed, missing lights or reckless operation.
My advice is before you tell a cop to pound salt
and get off your boat... You should reserch the laws in your area, otherwise you may end up getting arrested or ticketed.