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Old 29-11-2012, 13:29   #1
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Illegal to Crew on Private Yacht?

hi! I am traveling around the world by bicycle and sailboat. after cycling across Europe, sailing across the Atlantic, the Caribbean and cycling across Cuba and the USA I am in Canada right now. When I rode my bike across the border - as usual I was interrogated about every single detail of my now 13month long journey. And for the first time the woman at the border told me, that it is NOT LEGAL to crew on a sailboat without a work permit. Thats crazy ha? I always did it just like this.. the woman said, that even if you just "work-trade" for the passage - it is illegal cause this counts as work - weather there is money exchanged or not - even on a private yacht. I know it is different with commercial boats - but private yachts? or is it just that I have to say I will go on the boat of my friend? would that help?
Its nessessary for me - cause I want to cycle back to the states again and in order they let me in again I will need to tell them exactly how I will leave the country again. Usually they ask for a plain-ticket out - which I dont have cause I dont travell by airplane! - but will leave the country on my friends sailboat. Any advise? how can I tell them in a legal way ; )
thanks!
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Old 29-11-2012, 13:34   #2
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

You must say it was a foreign boat outside US waters... Reckon you are not US citizen either..
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Old 29-11-2012, 13:39   #3
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baerbel View Post
hi! I am traveling around the world by bicycle and sailboat. after cycling across Europe, sailing across the Atlantic, the Caribbean and cycling across Cuba and the USA I am in Canada right now. When I rode my bike across the border - as usual I was interrogated about every single detail of my now 13month long journey. And for the first time the woman at the border told me, that it is NOT LEGAL to crew on a sailboat without a work permit. Thats crazy ha? I always did it just like this.. the woman said, that even if you just "work-trade" for the passage - it is illegal cause this counts as work - weather there is money exchanged or not - even on a private yacht. I know it is different with commercial boats - but private yachts? or is it just that I have to say I will go on the boat of my friend? would that help?
Its nessessary for me - cause I want to cycle back to the states again and in order they let me in again I will need to tell them exactly how I will leave the country again. Usually they ask for a plain-ticket out - which I dont have cause I dont travell by airplane! - but will leave the country on my friends sailboat. Any advise? how can I tell them in a legal way ; )
thanks!
next time tell them you are a passenger,not crew
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:00   #4
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

I think you could ask the question on this site as they have advertisements for crew of all nationalities for yachts in many locations.

Find a Crew™ by NAUTYCAL™ - Worldwide
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:02   #5
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

thanks atoll: ...so you think it is okay to ride my bike back to USA and tell them I will leave the country from LA on my friends sailboat as a passenger?

teddydiver: I dont get what you mean..why would it matter which nationality the boat is? or the waters where I get on it?..
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:08   #6
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

I'm not sure you want to tell them you are a passenger.

Foreign Cruising boats are not allowed to take passengers.

You must be crew on a crew list.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:18   #7
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

...so what is the legal term if my friend takes me from the USA on her boat to Mexico..Australia..?
I know I have to be on the Crewlist. but what will I say to the immigration? if "being crew is illegal without work-permit"?? and "being a passenger" is illegal too?? there must be a legal term - right? because we all do it all the time ; ) right?
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:20   #8
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

What if you told them that you are just wandering the world and you have enough funds to do so. Wouldn't that be the truth?
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:21   #9
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

When I went to Bermuda to crew on my father's boat back to the US I had to have a plane ticket out of Bermuda. This was back in the days when I only needed a voter registration card to get into Bermuda and my father cleared customs for the boat and the entire crew two days after the boat got back over the phone because customs in Norfolk, VA was closed on the weekends. As far as being a "passenger" that could get the owner of the boat in trouble unless they have a captain's license.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:22   #10
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The proper term is guest. A passenger implies that you paid for the passage, illegal on a boat unless the captain has a license to carry passengers for hire; crew, that you are compensated in some way (either money or room and board) for your work.
A guest is just that, no pay or compensation expected from the host (boat owner).
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:24   #11
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baerbel View Post
...so what is the legal term if my friend takes me from the USA on her boat to Mexico..Australia..?
I know I have to be on the Crewlist. but what will I say to the immigration? if "being crew is illegal without work-permit"?? and "being a passenger" is illegal too?? there must be a legal term - right? because we all do it all the time ; ) right?
Maybe tactfully entirely avoid using either the word "passenger" or "crew".
Keep it as vague as you can.
Perhaps try not to look too unkempt when crossing borders either. That always gets officials suspicious.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:25   #12
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

This extract is taken from US department of State website. It could mean the information you have been given by the officer at the border may be incorrect.

Private Yacht Crewmember- You are a crewmember on a private yacht sailing out of a foreign port which will be cruising in U.S. waters for more than 29 days. You will need a B-1 visa.

It does not say anything about a US flagged yacht.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:30   #13
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

Do not use the word CREW, or PASSENGER use the words (INVITED) GUEST.

Anything that implies MONEY or food and lodging in lieu of MONEY is to be avoided.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:32   #14
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Re: illegal to crew on private yacht?!

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Originally Posted by sailronin View Post
The proper term is guest.
A guest is just that, no pay or compensation expected from the host (boat owner).
There is no paperwork that calls for guests on board. The paperwork is "crew list" and everyone aboard must be listed.
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Old 29-11-2012, 14:32   #15
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The flag of the yacht is not the issue it is the nationality of the crewmember in reference to a B/1 visa
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