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Old 11-11-2012, 14:21   #1
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Cruising the USA

Related to another thread in a way, but does the cost of health care in the USA prevent other from cruising here? What about other polices, are they keeping people from going to the USA to cruise?

I'm interested in hearing from others on this as it seems those of USA'ers are mainly thinking of elsewhere in our cruising plans.

Lets not go down a USA trashing that just becomes a political rant that gets the thread closed.
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Old 11-11-2012, 20:22   #2
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Re: Cruising the USA

Would love to know more about this also.
I'd love to spend some time in US seeing what it has to offer but from what I've read they sure don't make it easy for overseas cruisers to come and visit.

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Old 11-11-2012, 21:17   #3
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Re: Cruising the USA

I had the opportunity to meet a German couple in Bodega Bay, California and asked them about the U.S. Customs. They said that our policies are very hard to deal with, that they had to notify customs when they changed marinas in the same port and every time they left a port and arrived in another. They also mentioned that fewer and fewer foreigners were opting to visit the U.S. because of these things. I have no first hand knowledge of these things as I am from the U.S. but thought I would relate what I was told.

I personally have really enjoyed cruising in S.E. Alaska though.
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Old 11-11-2012, 22:36   #4
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Re: Cruising the USA

We've met a lot of cruisers here in the Caribbean who are bypassing the US on their way back to Europe from the Caribbean, for a few reasons, the least of which is health care.
Our immigration laws for legal visitors on yachts are quite strict and for some countries, quite expensive for just the application process with no guarantees of entry.
The restrictions on anchoring and limited cruising areas where yachts are welcomed if they are not spending mega-bucks at marinas and the like are also becoming well known to foreign cruisers. Ridiculous laws like needing a fire extinguisher in an outboard powered inflatable dink (NH I believe) are also a huge deterrent, as is the frequent harassment by law enforcement over the most trivial things.
When I purchased this boat in City Island, NY, I had planned to cruise Long Island Sound through Maine, but by the time I got to RI, I was so frustrated by the moorings in every port (except Stonington) with no place left for visiting yachts to anchor, I gave it all up and sailed to the Caribbean.
Few down here carry life jackets in inflatable dinghies (with multiple inflated chambers??), anchors, flares or more than a flashlight at night, to get to and from shore except, of course in the US Virgin Islands. I can't think of any injuries or fatalities that any of this equipment would have prevented, even among the bareboaters.
After a taste of the laid back cruising experience of most of the rest of the world, who would want to subject themselves to our over regulated, over populated and in many places, down right unfriendly cruising areas?
When I circumnavigated, no country I visited cared how we were equipped or what safety gear we carried; we were on a vessel registered in another country and it was our responsibility to adhere to the laws of our country of registration and of no interest to them.
I'm sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear, but with the internet today, it's all too easy to get an accurate picture of the places one wants to cruise and cruising the US is not particularly appealing to many.
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Old 11-11-2012, 22:36   #5
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There is a good thread on marinas in the USA. That thread and this one are pretty simular.

What U.S. city is best for liveaboard boats?
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:23   #6
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I must have been in a different USA!

I bought my boat in oriental NC and had a great time sailing around the area before crossing back to europe. I am now living on the boat and cannot wait to get back to the US. (2009).

Everyone was relaxed and enjoying themselves where i was unlike uptight uk and tax hungry europe. ( ok, maybe the sport fishing boats had one or two many strong coffees...)!

Maybe different areas are more relaxed, but the area around beaufort / oriental was so relaxed it was horizontal, just the way I like it!! Marinas and the staff were excellent and everyone calls you captain!!!

I did not have any hassle from anyone including the authorities, infact people could not have been any more helpful, i am counting the months until i sail back over again, thinking of doing half the loop before lift out and truck to vancouver??

I hope the previous posts do not mean that the authorities are tightening things up since 2009?
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:46   #7
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Re: Cruising the USA

The rules for foreigners on boats touring the USA are very strict and make cruising there a real chore. Even with a "cruising permit" and a visa (which non-Americans need in order to enter the USA on a sailboat and which is an expensive and complicated to obtain item) we still need to inform CBP of each and every boat movement - theoretically weighing immediately dropping anchor is sufficient to require phoning in with very steep potential fines for infringement.

This type of bureaucratic overhead plus the other items listed in previous posts makes the USA rather unattractive compared to other places which are more welcoming of foreign boating visitors.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:23   #8
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Re: Cruising the USA

When we cruised Australia when we cleared in at Mackay the officials instructed us to check in with officials at every port we visited, if there were officials located in that port. We did. Nothing formal; just a visit to their offices to say we had arrived and when we would be departing and where next destination. Same was true in Venezuela and in Panama and Ecuador and Tonga and Fiji. Seems pretty common practice to me. After all, are countries to supposed to let foreigners clear in and not follow up on them to keep track of their wherabouts.

Judy
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:45   #9
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Re: Cruising the USA

I like this question. I am told that when visiting the US on own boat, any movement from one marina to another requires notification to the Coast Guard (or someone similar). I have also been told that in reality, visitors need to file a travel plan (don't know if that is true). What happens if you have the intention to sail say, 150 NM and due to bad weather decide to go into a port after 60 NM?

But regarding Don question. We have a universal health plan here in DK that covers us anywhere in the EU. Outside the EU we need a supplementary plan. You must buy that privately. Mine is a "free" benefit of my Mastercard. I covers me anywhere in the world for up to 6 months of travel (including the US . but with immediate reparation).

After that I would have to buy a separate policy. I'm not sure of the costs, but most carriers have a clause limiting their liability in the US, since health care there is unreasonably expensive.

Health insurance for cruisers is an issue - but at least over here does not nedd to be prohibitively expense

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Old 12-11-2012, 03:30   #10
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Jeeez, if you wanna go, then go, if you spend your life listening to the scare mongers and only going where health insurance is cheap, then the world will shrink to a small place quickly.

I find if you take things slow and treat everyone and everywhere with respect and don,t get too hung up on rules etc, things just work out fine. Acting the dumb foreigner always works with me when dealing with authorities, make em think they are really important and they LOVE it!!!

If things go wrong along the way, well i am sure you can work it out.... Life is an adventure, or nothing at all.

C.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:56   #11
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Re: Cruising the USA

I have visited the USA a number of times and only once had a bad experience at the Canada/USA border with an unfriendly customs/immigration officer. For the most part I have been treated without any hassle. I visited all those times on a South African passport. My next visit will be on a British passport. I am hopeful and optimistic that we will be treated ok and that if we end up buying our yacht in the USA, that we will have a reasonably pleasant experience with the authorities.

Like any country we will respect its laws and if they require of us to report in with every movement we will oblige, especially if it's simply a case of making a phone call.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:02   #12
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Re: Cruising the USA

Does anyone know (actually know) or have a link to a website that explains what regulations foreign sailors must obey when visiting? I'm aware that there may be some state regs, but let's keep it to the federal level.

Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:32   #13
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Re: Cruising the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Does anyone know (actually know) or have a link to a website that explains what regulations foreign sailors must obey when visiting? I'm aware that there may be some state regs, but let's keep it to the federal level.

Thanks.

USA — Noonsite

the only thing that states are interested in for the most part is taxes if you stay in one spot too long
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:44   #14
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Re: Cruising the USA

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
USA — Noonsite

the only thing that states are interested in for the most part is taxes if you stay in one spot too long
Thanks for that informative link. I have bookmarked it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:51   #15
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Re: Cruising the USA

Thanks Don, Unfortunately, the government sites linked to by noonsite are the usual bureauspeak. Meaning unless you wrote it - you can't understand it.

As I read it, you can get a cruising license (assuming your boat is over 30 feet - under you can't). A cruising license frees you up from having to file a sailing plan and paying 36 USD every day for the privilege of filing it (ain't bureaucracy wonderful?).

While I've gone through US customs innumerable times and generally always been treated courteously, I have had a couple of nasty experiences. These regs would seem to be the kind that can lead to surprises. But I suppose the American Embassy over here can get me all the necessary paperwork etc before going
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