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Old 17-12-2011, 19:06   #1
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Does Boat Have to be Documented to Enter French Islands

I attended a simmenar this week on cruising the eastern caribbean the speaker said boat has to be documented before entering some of the islands especialy the ones that are french. Never heard this before anyone know if that is so or has anyone had any problems with that.
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Old 17-12-2011, 19:19   #2
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

I doubt it as the French Islands are the most laid back of all at entry and exit procedures you DIY on a PC in their office
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Old 17-12-2011, 20:00   #3
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

I bet you could get by with current state registration papers.
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Old 17-12-2011, 20:16   #4
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

Documented or State Registered ?
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Old 17-12-2011, 20:41   #5
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

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I doubt it as the French Islands are the most laid back of all at entry and exit procedures you DIY on a PC in their office
That's somewhat true - I have been in and out of the French Islands using their D-I-Y computers probably a dozen times - but - and here's the "but."

- - You have to fill in the blanks on the computer screen form and some of them are selected from "drop down" window lists. And they are normally in the French Language or at least a French language version of the English Language which makes the selection of the proper entry a matter of hunting and trying to decipher what they are talking about.

- - So a five minute session can take 20 minutes, not to mention the French keyboard. But anyway, under boat "registration" I do not think there are provisions in the computer program for selecting anything other than "les États-Unis" or some other national country's name. In other worlds there is no place to enter a USA State's name (e.g., Florida).

- - Since you are dealing with a "computer" and not with a live official, I don't think you could fill out the computer form correctly with only a U.S. State boat registration.

- - But what's the big deal with not getting a USCG documentation anyway and totally avoiding these questions and hassles? The whole USCG documentation can be done D-I-Y from instructions and forms available on-line at the National Documentation Center website.
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Old 17-12-2011, 20:53   #6
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

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- - So a five minute session can take 20 minutes, not to mention the French keyboard. But anyway, under boat "registration" I do not think there are provisions in the computer program for selecting anything other than "les États-Unis" or some other national country's name. In other worlds there is no place to enter a USA State's name (e.g., Florida).
State registration numbers start out with it's code (e.g. WN = Washington State) So the number should be able to work.

Are there any web copies of the questionnaire that could be translated to english?
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Old 17-12-2011, 21:05   #7
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

The boat registration/documentation "numbers" go in one block and the issuing source/country goes in the next block which is a drop down list of countries of the world. You could enter the State registration numbers and then "lie" about the issuing country since "les États-Unis" is the only USA name in the list. "Lying" on entry papers is not something I would want to do, although you could probably get away with it.
- - And no, I have never seen the French form on any website or link since it is a complicated combination of entry windows and drop down selection windows. It is not difficult, just time consuming trying to select the proper entry for each block.
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Old 17-12-2011, 21:50   #8
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

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Originally Posted by bobby matthews View Post
I attended a simmenar this week on cruising the eastern caribbean the speaker said boat has to be documented before entering some of the islands especialy the ones that are french. Never heard this before anyone know if that is so or has anyone had any problems with that.
So if I'm reading this right, you paid to attend a seminar to gain information realitive to cruising in the Eastern Caribbean. Now you wish to take issue with one of the items you paid to learn, and ask strangers their opinion, right?

My experience was that it was incredibly easy to optain USCG documentation thereby removing one more thing that one needed to worry about. If a bank still has a note on your boat, they tend to like your/their boat documented before you leave the US.

It would be a total bummer to get all the way into the eastern caribbean to learn that state registrations won't work. IMO
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Old 18-12-2011, 06:48   #9
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

thanks for the reply john. not that i paid for info and not willing to listen the problem is i am setting in marathon fl waiting for window now it's a little to late to get documented i had never heard this before and i was wondering what to expect i guess i will find out when i get there.
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Old 18-12-2011, 07:01   #10
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

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thanks for the reply john. not that i paid for info and not willing to listen the problem is i am setting in marathon fl waiting for window now it's a little to late to get documented i had never heard this before and i was wondering what to expect i guess i will find out when i get there.
It's not too late to get USCG documented, many registrations are done for boats that are outside the US border at the time of registration. Although it may warrant hiring an agent to do it.
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Old 18-12-2011, 07:23   #11
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

The only limitation on USCG Documentation is boat size - There is a minimum which I believe is 5 net tons.
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Old 18-12-2011, 10:08   #12
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page

You should find what you need here. The restriction is net tons and has nothing to do with weight. 100 cubic feet enclosed below deck is one ton. Our 58 foot ketch weighs 36 tons; displaces 55,000 and is documented 28 tons. You may find the builder can provide a measurement certificate for you.

As with all things govermental, the forms can be confusing. They are, however, very good about responding helpfully by phone or E-Mail.

Office of Science and Technology This is a useful site to check out any existing documented vessel and to search for available name & home port combinations.
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Old 18-12-2011, 10:23   #13
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

The net tons are determined by the cubic area of the enclosed space if I remember right. It's calculated as if it's a big rectangular box. A 30 footer generally comes out maybe 5-6 tons.
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Old 18-12-2011, 11:32   #14
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

When I went to various French islands last year they not only wanted national documentation (didnt see or meet anyone who tried anything else), they wanted originals and not copies. After filling out the computer program with drop down menus you have to hit "print" and take it to the guy behind the counter. He verifies it all and asks to see ORIGINAL docs for the boat. I saw a guy get turned away for having only a copy.
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Old 18-12-2011, 11:40   #15
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Re: does boat have to be documented to enter french islands

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they wanted originals and not copies. and asks to see ORIGINAL docs for the boat. I saw a guy get turned away for having only a copy.
I have been cautioned to make really good color copies and take a single complete set of papers with you to check in. You may want to decide if you will also carry the original with you to check in but some places will try to take posession of the documentation. Various reasons including souveniers up to holding you hostage for its return later for undisclosed fees. If you can pass off the color print you are not the victim. The same goes for your captain's credentials, station license, insurance etc.
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