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Old 06-10-2013, 05:43   #61
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Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
i never planned to give the CG any grief what so ever. HOWEVER if they try to tell me to return to the dock because my 6 fire extinguishers do not have a special sticker, i shall tell them where to sticker it.
Please update us and let us know how much that ended up costing you once it happens
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:48   #62
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Please update us and let us know how much that ended up costing you once it happens

there is no fine for having a bad attitude. i should know, i spent 30 min calling DEC cops on inland water about 4 years ago that did a boarding of my powerboat fascist pigs. they wrote me about 8 tickets. i told them i would never answer them, and never did. the courts up here in NY have no power to enforce boating infractions, only misdemeanors and felonies. so it is as i said to them, a waste of money, a waste of peoples time, and they would be better serving to go clean public toilets.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:49   #63
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Originally Posted by ElGatoGordo View Post
I've dealt with both CG and HLS on several occasions. I sail weird boats, that helps. They always treated me well. One thing I found interesting in this story is they asked you to stop. I've been boarded twice, and pulled up to maybe 3 or 4 times for a few questions (Can we see your life vests please?) or compliments (WOW! Cool boat!!) and they NEVER ask me to stop. I thought SOP was boarding in motion, easier to deal with to me than trying to sit still. They just match my speed. Hosted two young guys from HLS for maybe 45 minutes once in June in the Houston ship channel while sailing 5kts or so. Very professional.
Also been boarded many times and was never ask to stop, I informed them, via VHF, I will maintain course and speed, and they ease up and board, surprisingly quickly. They were ALWAYS polite and courteous, as was myself. And we have a gun on board, which never got them excited, they wanted to retrieve it though rather than myself. Makes sense though. They were always impressed that we have a bell, they said they just don't see them that often anymore.
What does everyone do with expired flares? I just can't bring myself to throw them away. Maybe I can use to start garbage fires in the islands!!!
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:52   #64
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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What does everyone do with expired flares? I just can't bring myself to throw them away. Maybe I can use to start garbage fires in the islands!!!

i had a few on the boat from the 90's. i thought they wouldn't go off, so i went to the end of the dock finger, the one i shot worked perfect. i never plan to toss them. if i am going down, and a merchant ship is passing, i will put on a nice fireworks show for them, but honestly, i would love to shoot off an expired solas flare!
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:24   #65
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

Some years ago, pre 9-11, we were in Charlette Amalie at a bar at happy hour. There where a good group of Coasties there. My wife went up to get us a couple of beers, (females get better service), and wound up being in the middle of a skirmish between a couple of the Coasties. She acted as peace maker, and they would up buying us a round. Next day we had to go across the harbor to get a boat part. Dingy not registered, never threw vests in, a beer in hand for the ride. We tied up at a pier right next to the CG Cutter "Invincible". After getting our part, we got back to the pier and recognized the guard at the companion way. I went over and said "permission to board your vessel for an inspection." We where taken on board, and given a complete tour of the ship, except for the communications center. We where also given lunch, and I left with a hat. They were gracious, funny, and human. They asked where we were going, and we gave them as good an answer as we could, because we weren't sure. I asked them where they were going, and they said they couldn't reveal their orders, but did say they would be watching for us. They also gave us some insight on boarding, and it seems as if the first 5 minutes sets the tone for the whole experience. One thing they did emphasize was to be truthful when asked about weapons on board. It is a shame, now with HLS rules, and such stepped up security, that we now have to stay 500 feet away from any military vessels. It was a great experience meeting those guys, and as much as it gets a little irritating at times, I am glad they are there, and the Coast Guard members are a unique group.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:47   #66
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

Lots of good advice here. Going back to the horn, though, I'm not sure why the eco-horn was questioned. In the Nav Rules, Rule 33, it states:

"(b) A vessel of less than 12 meters in length shall not be obliged to
carry the sound signalling appliances prescribed in paragraph (a) of
this Rule but if she does not, she shall be provided with some other
means of making an efficient sound signal."

Since the whistle was acceptable, then I'm assuming you're less than 12 meters. In that case, there is no CG approval required for the sound producing device.

Just like "Y" valves and mounted extinguishers, sometimes boarding officers get obsolete or just plain wrong information from the old-timers who train them.

Moving on to CG approval, I read that the CG will no longer be approving life jackets. Going forward, life jackets will require an IMO (I think it was) or some other internationally-recognized approval. This seems like a great idea to me. Presumably most manufacturers would rather deal with one international approval, than get the US CG involved, too. I know it's not actually the CG who does the inspections at the factory, but there must be some overhead they can now avoid, saving more tax dollars.

Hopefully this works out well, and is expanded to other safety equipment. I knew a guy who boat a boat from Canada, complete with all the needed life jackets. None of which were acceptable in the US because they were approved by only the Canadian CG.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:18   #67
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

Coast Guardsmen are human and have bad days, too.

We were once running surveillance on a suspected drug smuggling operation with the Coast Guard and we utilized our undercover 43 foot cruiser to watch it.

About a week into the surveillance, we spot a Coast Guard vessel heading over to us with it's blue lights on. It pulled up next to us and we heard over the PA speaker, "Please go to the front of the boat."

I yelled back, "Why?" and they repeated, again. "Please go to the front of the boat."

Again, I said, "Why?" and I got a third, "Please go to the front of the boat,"

About that time, the Coast Guardsman who was below came up into the cockpit and yelled over to the Coast Guard boat, "Hey, Steve. Why do you want us to go to the front of the boat?"

The blue lights cut off.

They didn't recognize the boat, which they knew well.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:40   #68
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

The Code of Federal Regulations Title 46 covers everything you ever wanted to know about maritime regulations.

Title 46 governs everything the USCG requires and enforces aboard your vessel, even the USCG Rules are codified in the CFRs.

Title 46 also specifies how safety equipment is built and certified. In other words, why your fire extinguisher has to be marine grade and why you can't count a Type 5 PFD, unless you wear it.

46 CFR 25 covers most of what we have been talking about small uninspected passenger vessels (recreational Boats).

LIFE JACKETS

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

The CFRs comply with SOLAS, which means the United States is enforcing existing International Laws. In other words, very seldom will you find something in the CFRs concerning vessels, that isn't enforced worldwide.

The links above will take you to the indexes of the listed chapters.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:44   #69
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Yet to meet a young Coastie who was not from Iowa or some other land locked State. These kids dont know boats and are just trying to do their job as ordered...so of course are going to do things that dont make much sense sometimes.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:11   #70
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
do non-inflatable jackets expire? i have about 8 off shore jackets, i don't plan to scrap them, but will be getting auto's too.... do i need to buy new every so many years? do they mind if i have extra safety gear that is expired?
(i have solas rockets that are 8 years old)
manually inflate hard and squeeze. Make sure it holds for at least an hour. - usually annually. Inspect the gas cylinder for corrosioin or expiration date (this is BS). I suggest that you weigh new cylinders and re-weigh annually. Inspect the auto inflate trigger device. Some of these have a fragile, aspirin looking pill that releases the trigger. These can fail if old and give you a surprise. Note in your log book.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:20   #71
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Except that the rating should be ABC and the bracket should hold the thing in place . Doesn't seem like its hard to meet that criteria.
Surprised they didn't get you for the bell. Do you have a bell. How about day signals. Did you have those would you have used them if you did.
Some stuff is so not used. Good if you are up on it but the beat down for being so compliant is not real for today's mariners. Some stuff makes sense but other stuff is outdated. The majority are not compliant with some out dated rules.
Many do not know the bell is no longer required. I still have one (no batteries required ) I also have and use day shapes but only in busy places where a moment's confusion would be bad. With a sailing vessel its usually obvous what you are doing. I also keep the compressor on while motoring and monster air horns ready. How many use their horns at blind turns in the waterway, overtaking, backing and other places as required by the Rules?
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:31   #72
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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I am confused. Better? We paid well over $100 each for two Suspenders Type 5, CG approved on our boat. Personally, I do not like the inflatables. And sure, a Type 1 jacket provides better survival benefits IF WORN. But again, I guess there are inflatables of many variety.
You got a great deal on these at 100 clams. We paid over 200 for the Mustang inflatables but ours include heavy duty harnesses as well.

We always wear the inflatables, in plain view of any approaching official boats. We are especially aware of the total number of guests and jackets. If the numbers don't work out, we require that the inflatables are on a guest so they count. Always show your guests where the wistle, light, manual inflation tube, pull cord is. We require harnesses & jack lines at night or on deck in any rough conditions.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:33   #73
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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The trick with extinguishers is the mounting bracket...a UL one is the exact same as one that is also USCG approved but doesn't have the retaining strap on the mount....
From my perspective, and yes, all three of mine hang from the tops, the straps on the mounting brackets are dangerous! My hand strength is such that nothing short of a pair of vise grips and a strong pull will open 'em. I've got a small piece of braid with a bow tie around the middle for all of mine as I want to be able to actually pull them off the bulkhead.

And I've never been questioned on them either. Three more than meets the requirements for a 23' boat though I did have four for a while. I met a little spit-kit (20-something footer) with a kid aboard and no fire extinguisher at all so passed along one of mine. He needed it but yes, I'll replace it the next time I get to a box store....
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:52   #74
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

The lifejackets are a must. No getting around that. It's the first thing they usually ask for!
Hard to say about the whistle and fire extinguisher. I have been boarded a number of times and there was no mention of USCG approved stickers needed on fire extinguishers or whistles. I'm finding these USCG/Homeland Security types are getting more aggressive as each year goes by. To be safe, check the regs for your size of boat and have a voluntary inspection done if you can.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:05   #75
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

BTW, if you have a class B AIS, the CG & other enforcement will know a lot about you long before they can see you. I suspect they will know where you live and how many speeding tickest you have. I think this kept us from a boarding leaving the US for the North Channel (Lake Huron). The MIB 900 HP fast boat appeared from nowhere. (No AIS from them) They hailed us from about 200 feet, asked a few questions, wished us a nice voyage & disappeared.

I would rather be boarded by any of these US/Canadian FED guys than any city, harbor cop, DNR, or sheriff types.

In our area of west Michigan/Lake Michigan most stops we see are of smaller boats, power boats and boats obviously overloaded. Drive a 30 ft pontoon boat with too many passengers to count & no lifejackets in site and the inspection is a sure bet. Drop anchor in the channel to fish and you win the blue-light special.
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