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Old 05-10-2014, 03:16   #1
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Fees? What fees?

I am getting closer to my dream of sailing across the pacific. I'm not there yet but I like to daydream. So I really haven't done much research on customs and clearance of the sopac countries but I was just looking on Noonsite. It's a great site but they seemed to say that most island nations had substantial fees. Micronesia for example seems to charge $30 a day to anchor. Plus each country had a lot of red tape and entry and exit fees. Except Fiji. Which is lucky, because Fiji is one of the two I want to visit most.

Is this the way of the sopac or the world? I more recently did some research on Mexico and there is a minor check in but otherwise it looks like you can cruise baja and anchor and be free. Mexico is starting to sound really good. Am I wrong? I have read about budget cruisers and $500 a month for a bare bones budget. I don't necessarily need to hit that low of a mark but I also don't want to pay $30 a day to anchor.

Please tell me the South Pacific and the world is not really like this. So far the only two countries I have cruised are the US and Canada and they let you love on the water for free almost anywhere even in the major cities like vancouver and San Francisco you can anchor for free for as long as you want.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:48   #2
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Re: Fees? What fees?

Plus French Polynesia you need to pay $1,800 cash per person so they can shove your body on a plane if need be. So you need to do your homework to avoid it... And its not inexpensive to avoid.lol

Less dreaming, more reading.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:01   #3
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Re: Fees? What fees?

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Plus French Polynesia you need to pay $1,800 cash per person so they can shove your body on a plane if need be. So you need to do your homework to avoid it... And its not inexpensive to avoid.lol

Less dreaming, more reading.
True.

Today every Paradise has its limits.

For example, French Polynesia doesn't want to become the long term host of boat bums who jump ship, or who don't contribute (taxes) or don't leave.

Mon Dieu! What would Fletcher Christian think?
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:18   #4
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Re: Fees? What fees?

Noonsite.com is a fairly comprehensive source of information about requirements in each country.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:15   #5
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Re: Fees? What fees?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Micronesia for example seems to charge $30 a day to anchor.
This is maybe only in a few places, many places are free.
Quote:
Please tell me the South Pacific and the world is not really like this. So far the only two countries I have cruised are the US and Canada and they let you love on the water for free almost anywhere even in the major cities like vancouver and San Francisco you can anchor for free for as long as you want.
Southern California is bad . You cannot anchor anywhere for more than a few days.

Most places in the world, including most islands in the south pacific do not have any fees.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:42   #6
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Re: Fees? What fees?

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True.

Today every Paradise has its limits.

For example, French Polynesia doesn't want to become the long term host of boat bums who jump ship, or who don't contribute (taxes) or don't leave.

Mon Dieu! What would Fletcher Christian think?
This is an assumption. Personnaly I'd like to see evidence proving that historically "boat bums... jump ship, and then ...don't contribute (taxes) or don't leave.

Your bond if paid in any denomination other than French francs is deposited into an account holding French francs. Consequently your money is vulnerable to fluxuations in the exchange rate. You are also assessed a fee each time your money is 'converted', either to the franc or back to the original denomination. Any way you look at it's a money making proposition for Tahitians and even if you luck out a bit on the exchange rate by the time you leave French Polynesia, you'll most likely get back less than you originally paid after fees.

Sure, French Polynesia is an attractive destination, but the efficiency of the gendarmes, French coast guard and immigration suggests people who risk staying beyond visa limits will probably not be staying very long.

It's a shell game.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:42   #7
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Re: Fees? What fees?

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Plus French Polynesia you need to pay $1,800 cash per person so they can shove your body on a plane if need be. So you need to do your homework to avoid it... And its not inexpensive to avoid.lol

Less dreaming, more reading.
Is the $1800 returned when you leave, or is it just gone? If not refundable, and you make multiple trips do you have to pay every time?

Just curious, thanks!

Mark
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:39   #8
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Re: Fees? What fees?

Quote:
Please tell me the South Pacific and the world is not really like this. So far the only two countries I have cruised are the US and Canada and they let you love on the water for free almost anywhere even in the major cities like vancouver and San Francisco you can anchor for free for as long as you want.
How long have you owned your boat? I believe most people with experience boating and anchoring in the San Francisco Bay area may disagree with your assessment "you can anchor for free for as long as you want."

Anyway, hate to burst your bubble but it's true, cruising in many parts of the world IS like this.

It's not just the port fees that add up, but in some places anchoring is not an option. Moorings when available will typically cost $15-30 U.S.D. per day. There are other 'hidden' costs like so-called 'tips', 'bribes' and 'fees' paid to officials who insist you wait on your boat at anchor until they 'come out'' to clear you in. Not necessary, but another justification for them to charge a fee.

Some examples of fees you may encounter. Cartagena, Columbia - $300 port fee for a three month stay and you must use an agent. Most likely staying in a marina will be necessary to ensure the safety of your vessel and because anchoring is undesirable due yo exposure, poor holding and access to shore.

Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Anchoring where permitted is inconvenient and of questionable quality. Security is a concern. Otherwise anchoring is prohibited. 'Tipping' is expected. Slips are expensive and moorings will cost - depending upon who to believe -$15-20/day.

Australia. Expect costs for visa, X-ray if you've been in the South Pacific islands more than 90 days, quarrantine and customs to run $500 and up for a 12 month stay. More, the larger your crew and boat.

Maldives. About 2.5 years ago, $1,200 for a +-38' boat with a crew of two. Includes cruising permit, port fees and visit by officials to your boat most likely anchored in 100' and more of depth while you wait...

Lots more, depending on where you choose to visit in the Caribbean. Unless it's changed since 2009, islanders posing as immigration and customs officials at Palmerston in the Cook Islands were charging 'fees'. Refuse to pay and you were treated 'personna non grata' Not so in 2000.

It has become more common to encounter fees than not, although some places will charge very modest fees.

Paying to anchor is in some places is required, especially in Indonesia and other locations with a predominately muslim population.

Could go on and on, but quite frankly it's too depressing an exercise.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:59   #9
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Re: Fees? What fees?

It does seem depressing. I'm really not wanting to make this about California because it's probably one of the worst US states for anchoring but my point is you can find it for free if you want. If a Canadian sailed down from Victoria, they could do a super quick check in at customs along the way for free and drop hook in Sausalito forever for free. Vice versa is even better. Leave SF to Canada and you just give them a phone call and tell them you don't have any guns and they tell you to have a good time.

I thought remote islands without the huge American coast guard and border patrol and homeland security would be even more lax. I had always read about the hospitality of islanders. I thought it was paradise and as long as you were not out to cause any trouble you could just go and do pretty much whatever you wanted. Anchor where ever. Just pick a nice little deserted island and drop hook. Not bribe a chief for permission and pay a port fee every place you go.

I would have a problem with a check in fee. Say 50-$300 depending on the size. Like the Bahamas. It's 700 miles long. Lots to do. I'm ok with a $300 cruising permit. Per day that doesn't add up to much if you stay a while.

Where is not like this:
1. In the South Pacific
2. Worldwide
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:35   #10
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Re: Fees? What fees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
It does seem depressing. I'm really not wanting to make this about California because it's probably one of the worst US states for anchoring but my point is you can find it for free if you want. If a Canadian sailed down from Victoria, they could do a super quick check in at customs along the way for free and drop hook in Sausalito forever for free. Vice versa is even better. Leave SF to Canada and you just give them a phone call and tell them you don't have any guns and they tell you to have a good time.
Just to make sure, you're drawing a "it would be great if only" scenario, right. Not saying this is the way things are? Getting into Canada is not quite so simple, and you'll stay only so long as your visa permits. Same if you're a foreigner sailing into the U.S..

As far as anchoring most places in California is concerned, sooner or later you'll be rousted by the law in boats. At the very least you'll be forced to up anchor and move someplace else and probably at no small inconvenience. Anchoring in Sausalito is pretty much confined to what I call the 'south forty'.. Worst spot exposed to ferry wakes, wind and storm waves. Far out with possible but not ideal access. Illegal moorings scattered about have eliminated swinging room if you're to deploy adequate scope. Forever? Dream on.

Quote:
I thought remote islands without the huge American coast guard and border patrol and homeland security would be even more lax. I had always read about the hospitality of islanders. I thought it was paradise and as long as you were not out to cause any trouble you could just go and do pretty much whatever you wanted. Anchor where ever. Just pick a nice little deserted island and drop hook. Not bribe a chief for permission and pay a port fee every place you go.
Sorry, but it just ain't so.

Quote:
I would have a problem with a check in fee. Say 50-$300 depending on the size. Like the Bahamas. It's 700 miles long. Lots to do. I'm ok with a $300 cruising permit. Per day that doesn't add up to much if you stay a while.
As long as visa restrictions allow you to stay long enough to make it 'worth while'. Australia is one of the few destinations where it's worth while spread over the course of a year.

Quote:
Where is not like this:
1. In the South Pacific
2. Worldwide
It's not the idyllic situation you draw in most places considered primary destinations. The farther from the beaten path you go maybe, but there still isn't such a thing as forever. Well, I suppose if you were to marry an islander, but life on an island can be anything but what you imagine. Why else would so many islanders be leaving to immigrate elsewhere?
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:45   #11
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Re: Fees? What fees?

From what I experienced every time I went to Canada I just picked up a phone and they asked a couple of questions and said have a great time. They didn't even tell me how long I could stay for. They asked how long I intended to stay.

Ok California isn't perfect for anchoring. It's the overall kickass ness of the place and the beauty and the weather.

Washington though. That's almost completely free and unrestricted. You can anchor and do whatever you want for as long as you want there.

How about Mexico. I'm hearing really good things about there. They seem to encourage cruisers and people spend months anchoring in the sea of Cortez and along the mainland.

The bahamas? Caribbean? Mediterranean(I'll probably not like the answer to that)

I don't remember if I said forever, if I did I meant very loosely. Not 50 years but just a long time. Maybe six months to a couple years.
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Old 05-10-2014, 13:19   #12
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Re: Fees? What fees?

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From what I experienced every time I went to Canada I just picked up a phone and they asked a couple of questions and said have a great time. They didn't even tell me how long I could stay for. They asked how long I intended to stay.
Always, in order to avoid running afoul of immigration restrictions, ask what they are.

Quote:
Ok California isn't perfect for anchoring. It's the overall kickass ness of the place and the beauty and the weather.
Maybe best done in a van?

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Washington though. That's almost completely free and unrestricted. You can anchor and do whatever you want for as long as you want there.
Well, at least until winter arrives. Then Mother nature reminds us of our vulnerabilities and our bodies that freezing temperatures and stormy conditions are dangerous.

Quote:
How about Mexico. I'm hearing really good things about there. They seem to encourage cruisers and people spend months anchoring in the sea of Cortez and along the mainland.
I'll defer to Zeehag on this one. But, Mexico has its warts, including hurricanes and a history of corrupt officialdom.

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The bahamas? Caribbean? Mediterranean(I'll probably not like the answer to that)
Right.

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I don't remember if I said forever, if I did I meant very loosely. Not 50 years but just a long time. Maybe six months to a couple years.
Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2014, 13:26   #13
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pirate Re: Fees? What fees?

Become an EU Citizen... Med, Caribbean, F Polynesia.. we've got all the nice places..
you guys have just got Israel and the Middle East for a playground...
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Old 05-10-2014, 14:01   #14
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Re: Fees? What fees?

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How long have you owned your boat? I believe most people with experience boating and anchoring in the San Francisco Bay area may disagree with your assessment "you can anchor for free for as long as you want."

Anyway, hate to burst your bubble but it's true, cruising in many parts of the world IS like .
Right here in the good old US. I paid $30 a night for a mooring ball in Annapolis in back Creek - not because I couldn't anchor for free, but because there was just plain no room and that was before the boat show crowd showed up. It is soon going to get to the point in Florida where it will be illegal to anchor out at all.
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Old 05-10-2014, 14:05   #15
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Re: Fees? What fees?

Well....I do wish sometimes I was an EU citizen. You might have the edge, but it's pretty close.

The Annapolis example is a horrible example. For one thing Annapolis from what I understand is the coastal sailing center serving the DC-Baltimore area. And on a boat show weekend. There are always busy popular crowded cities where you might have to pay for a marina or ball. More to the point would be Chesapeake. If you wanted to leave Annapolis and cruise Chesapeake for six months, do you think you could do it finding only free anchorages and no port check in fees? I have heard there are endless places to drop the hook.
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