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Old 13-10-2013, 18:16   #196
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

This is lots of fun. Can we please add Anchors to the discussion? Does anyone keep the USCG approved sticker that came attached?

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Old 13-10-2013, 19:37   #197
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Originally Posted by Khagan1227 View Post
Want a piece of advice to make a boarding and inspection less painful?

Print out and laminate the applicable Coast Guard regulations out for flares, life preservers, noise makers, etc., put them in a binder with your other "show and tell" papers. (You can also affix them to the locker you keep them in.)

Coasties seem to be impressed with an owner/captain that is prepared and will generally spend a lot less time poking about.

Also, if you have a weapon on board, you might want to have proof of ownership and any weapons class certifications included in your book. I have a copy of my Expert Rifle and Pistol awards in my book and when they see those, it generally leads to sea stories and the "inspection" usually ends, but the visit continues.


Yes. I keep a notebook that has their requirements; my pre-sailing checklist; certificates from classes I have taken; cover page from my insuance; anything that will make me look like a responsible boat owner.

I have a "skipper's cockpit box" that has the things I'm likely to need -- gloves, binoculars, knife with cord (although I fasten that to my pants or a bathing suit strap), horn, pen and notebook ... a variety of things I'm likely to need. I have them marked "SCB" so it's clear to anyone if they find something out where it should go. One of my lazerettes is very shallow, and I have my chart book in there along with flares, tether, anything safety-related that isn't in the skipper's box. The notebook with all the paperwork is in there, too.

I've only been stopped once, and not boarded then. The whole boat is netted and I had my inflatable PFD on, and i suspect that between the two things they realized they wouldn't find anything missing. Don't know for sure, that's just a guess.
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Old 13-10-2013, 19:39   #198
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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And just what would you expert this to accomplish after the short rush of your false bravo passes?

I think they would just say to bring it up. They don't want to be caught off-guard by someone they've "pulled over" suddenly showing a weapon any more than the police do.
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Old 13-10-2013, 19:46   #199
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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We were boarded offshore in the middles of the Gulf of Mexico. It was right at dawn and the wind was dying. I was on watch and saw them coming, every time I change from a collision course they corrected to collide. I called em to see how I could help them navigate they identified themselves and said prepare to be boarded. After a series of questions, my captain reported he had weapons aboard, which was news to me! He was instructed to take apart the weapon and leave down below, while all crew stayed on deck. The ship came along side, a big 400footer with dome like cannons. It was a huge ship to be so close down wind of me, and I had a hard time making head way in the falling winds. Anyways, a 15ft boarding boat came from the stern and started towards us. We were all in the cockpit, me( still at the helm), my boyfriend, and the captain. As the boarding boat got near my captain jumped down below. He had forgotten to take the gun apart. Well, as you can imagine they didn't take to kindly to that. The boarding boat swerved away and held position off our quarter, the captain of the ship, started yelling at us over the radio, getting quite excited. Not to mention the 300+ serviceman and women looking at us from the deck of the ship . I implored my captain to get back on deck while my boyfriend just sat there dead still, I think he thought we were going to get blown out if the water. My captain answered the radio explaining he forgot to dismantle his weapon. After my captain came back on deck, the boarding party, which now doubled, came along side. If I remember correctly there were at least 12-14 of them, 8 came aboard. We were a 27ft sailboat ( island packet), so 4 sat in the cockpit while the rest scattered around deck and below.

Even after my captain pulling that stunt, the coasties were polite and patient. They did however search the vessel from stem to stern, not a inch overlooked. While they searched, I put on the charm. We were low on water ( long story) and could use some diesel. Within an hour we mooched 20 gallons of water, 10 of diesel, and they were sweet enough to throw in a surprise, a fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven loaf of bread ( fresh bread offshore!!). After a couple hours we were on our way, folks waving at us from the deck( lots of binox looking down at us too).

Be cool, they are just trying to do their job. This is what the ship looked like, i think it was navy with coasties aboard, the ship was on it last maneuver before being sold to Greece.

Egads, sorry for the long post.

Yikes! The boat that stopped me was just a Zodiac-type boat! You really got STOPPED!
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Old 13-10-2013, 20:19   #200
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Yikes! The boat that stopped me was just a Zodiac-type boat! You really got STOPPED!
It was pretty wild. As they made their approach the vessel just got bigger and bigger. The guys that sat with me in the cockpit were real chatty and nice,except for one poor seasick guy, green as can be who just sat there gulping air and staring at the horizon. Did I mention we were only 27 feet in sloppy seas I was upwind and kept drifting real close to the ship. I could see the through hulls of the ship, that's how close we were! The guys kept reassuring me that the ship would not run us down, at least, they joked, not with them aboard.
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Old 13-10-2013, 23:51   #201
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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The guys kept reassuring me that the ship would not run us down, at least, they joked, not with them aboard.
Huh. Usually officers stay on the cutter.
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Old 14-10-2013, 00:56   #202
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

Interesting thread. I'll be sailing int he US within the next couple of years. My boat is Danish flagged. I'm assuming that flag nation rules apply? With respect to PFD's (Danish law requires one per person on board, but does not require them to be worn. Inflatables OK.) USCG approval not required for anything (EU approval though).

Do foreign flag rules also apply when sailing on inland waterways (ICW)?
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Old 14-10-2013, 04:35   #203
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

Carsten - once in inland waters the foreign flag rules no longer (fully) apply. The U.S. rules require dinghies to have the mother ship's name on them and I recall having read (here) that some inland waterway police required that to be added to a foreign vessel. I know that in Germany and in France inland waterways require local licensing (and Germany requires an ATIS-equipped VHF and the skipper must be licensed to operate it).
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Old 14-10-2013, 04:47   #204
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Carsten - once in inland waters the foreign flag rules no longer (fully) apply. The U.S. rules require dinghies to have the mother ship's name on them and I recall having read (here) that some inland waterway police required that to be added to a foreign vessel. I know that in Germany and in France inland waterways require local licensing (and Germany requires an ATIS-equipped VHF and the skipper must be licensed to operate it).
I'm well aware of the european requirements. But the USCG? Do I need to have USCG approved PFDs? I have spinlocks - but I don't think they have a USCG approval on the ones I have. The same would be true for my fog horn (big trumpet), or whistles or bell. Boats name on the dink is no problem. My fire extinguishers are are euro approved, but son't have USCG approval. It will be damned expensive if I have to buy new extinguishers, flares, horns, PFDs etc, just to visit the US.

Does anyone know for sure?
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Old 14-10-2013, 05:19   #205
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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
I'm well aware of the european requirements. But the USCG? Do I need to have USCG approved PFDs? I have spinlocks - but I don't think they have a USCG approval on the ones I have. The same would be true for my fog horn (big trumpet), or whistles or bell. Boats name on the dink is no problem. My fire extinguishers are are euro approved, but son't have USCG approval. It will be damned expensive if I have to buy new extinguishers, flares, horns, PFDs etc, just to visit the US.

Does anyone know for sure?
Yes, I know for sure, a foreign flagged vessel on "innocent passage" thru the US does not need uscg approved PFDs (and no, the spinlocks do not have uscg approval) or USCG fire extinguishers, or horn.

The uscg guys I have met specifically all know this with regards to Canadian vessels (who have different equipment requirements than the US).

But you do have to meet other "non safety equipment" local regulations, like the US holding tank regulations.
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Old 14-10-2013, 06:18   #206
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Yes, I know for sure, a foreign flagged vessel on "innocent passage" thru the US does not need uscg approved PFDs (and no, the spinlocks do not have uscg approval) or USCG fire extinguishers, or horn.

The uscg guys I have met specifically all know this with regards to Canadian vessels (who have different equipment requirements than the US).

But you do have to meet other "non safety equipment" local regulations, like the US holding tank regulations.
Well I certainly have the holding tank.

"Innocent passage" Does this construe, taking 6 months to sail up the east coast and then 6 months to sail down the ICW? I have been led to believe "innocent passage" generally means just making harbor or transiting inland waterways
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Old 14-10-2013, 06:26   #207
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

The question isn't regarding "innocent passage" and coastal cruising, but the use of inland waterways and canals. When I got my U.S. cruising permit I asked about having to use the (nasty and large) placards required in the USA for MARPOL garbage plans and U.S. non-drug use and having to put the name of the mothership on the dinghy and they stated that it wasn't necessary, but generally once one enters inland waters comity ends. So perhaps while the lifevests may be accepted, they would need to be worn in the dinghy and that might need to be labelled as well and I'm fairly certain that a local DNR officer won't know about foreign vests not requiring a USCG certification and they'll issue a citation anyway.
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Old 14-10-2013, 06:31   #208
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Re: Boarded by Coast Guard

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"Innocent passage" Does this construe, taking 6 months to sail up the east coast and then 6 months to sail down the ICW? I have been led to believe "innocent passage" generally means just making harbor or transiting inland waterways
No matter what "the law" is, 99% of your experience will come down to the individual enforcement person that you encounter, what kind of a day he/she is having and to a lesser degree how cooperative you are. You can have "the law" on your side, be super cooperative and still have a really bad day because you encounter a fool or worse because you encounter a fool who is having a bad day.

I think a lot of confusion arises from legacy laws that never anticipated the kind of international travel that now happens. The US in particular is obsessed with what they call security and some of their enforcement people have a pretty narrow interpretation of their jobs.
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Old 14-10-2013, 06:44   #209
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

Just for the thread, and since the issue pertains to me (I'll be cruising the USA again) I submitted these questions to CBP and received a case number, along with

Quote:
Thank you for contacting the CBP Information Center. Due to the lapse of appropriations and the emergency furlough, our center is temporarily closed.

We will be unable to address your question, complaint, comment or concerns until the government re-opens and in the order in which it was received.
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Old 14-10-2013, 07:50   #210
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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The U.S. rules require dinghies to have the mother ship's name on them
If this is true, it is a surprise to me. I don't think the USCG has any requirements for dinghies other than the usual safety stuff falling under small boat rules.

States often require registration stickers and numbers if you stay past a certain time or have a certain type of dinghy/engine. I have not encountered a state yet that required the name of the mother ship on the dinghy.

Throughout the US, I have rarely seen the mother ship name on a dinghy, and have seen more novelty "cute dinghy names" than mother ship ones. However, the vast majority have no names at all.

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