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Old 04-04-2012, 13:22   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoduck
PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE! GET WITH IT!!! Zarpes have been required by Mexican law for as long as I can remember - going back to the 70's for sure! I tuna fished for a few years and we always fueled up for the return trip (cheap fuel) These forms were used then to clear in. When I delivered boats, up and down, they were required! I dont care what some of you have gotten away with in the past or what you think you know - I'm telling you that zarpe has been around for years! Some harbor masters dont care - some do! We left Mazatlan and had to turn around and send the captain home. We forgot (or just didnt know) that the captain had to sign off the document and the new one signed on - we got to Cabo and all wound up in jail over night because of a technicality!!! The new captain had to pay a fine, we all got out and were escorted to the boat, told to leave Mexico and DO NOT STOP!
We broke down at Turtle Bay for a few days and were sweating our asses off untill we got out of there!
Then, in San Diego before clearing in - one of the crew jumps off the boat and swims to shore and splits! Try explaining that to customs!! Evidently the guy had warrants out for him we new nothing about!
So, the moral of this story is - GET YOUR DAMN ZARPE AND EVERY OTHER PIECE OF PAPER YOU CAN THINK OF AND STAY OUT OF TROUBLE!!!!
It sounds like you are talking about a zarpe clearing OUT of a port in Mexico. You mentioned clearing out of Mazatlan. We've always cleared out of each port in Mexico- but have never been required to have a zarpe for leaving the US to check INTO Mexico. This was new to me, that's all we were saying.
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Old 04-04-2012, 13:28   #92
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
would a GPS track hold up in the mexican court?
As far as I know electronic evidence is not admissible. However this could be strongly argued and perhaps accepted if verified by a national body controlling yacht movements. An AIS may stand a chance. If a ships written Log is kept this may be evidence. It would depend very much on the judge.
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Old 04-04-2012, 14:07   #93
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

What court?
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Old 04-04-2012, 14:29   #94
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

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Originally Posted by Thumbs Up View Post
........The officials here would obviously prefer us to use an agent. If you are coming here, just pull into El Milagro marina or Paraiso Marina, they both monitor vhf 13. for an extra $30. U.S. Julio or Chepo will have all of the officials come to you, make any extra copies and make sure everything goes smoothly.
I used the dock master at Lima Docks (north end of the island) as an agent. Check-in/check-out was 'no problem'.
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Old 04-04-2012, 16:21   #95
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Many missed the point.

Use an agent.

Or don't, your call.

The small cost of an agent may seem unnecessary but....
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Old 04-04-2012, 16:24   #96
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
would a GPS track hold up in the mexican court?
Probably not but a few hundred bucks might...
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Old 04-04-2012, 17:06   #97
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

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Originally Posted by Thumbs Up View Post
............
A boat came in here the other day that had a Zarpe from Honduras heading to Key West. The agent typed up a nice official looking letter stating the reasons that they put in here and there was no problem. I think that the lesson here is that it is better to use an agent to clear in here, especially if there might be a discrepancy.
This is excellent advice IMO, nothing beats local knowledge from a local agent who job it is to make problems go away. They know (or should know) what strings to pull and as importantly, whose chains not to jerk.

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......For all of you sitting around saying "this will never happen to me because I always follow the rules" or whatever, what are you going to do if your Zarpe says one thing and you are forced to go somewhere else?
At the risk of ending up on your "won't like you" list, I have to question the logic of this statement. The fundamental purpose of the Zarpe is to identify the vessel, it's master and crew left it's previous port in a legal manner and are as such bonafide mariners going about their lawful business. The destination port is only an intention that is true at the time of issue of the Zarpe. If there is a lawful reason (and almost all reasons are lawful) to change the destination port during the voyage, then it simply has to be stated at the next port of call. So changing the next port en-route still keeps one "following the rules".

No doubt changing the master or crew while it can be done lawfully en-route, would raise some flags I' sure and I would want a very good well paid professional agent on my side.
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....Or if you don't get a fair shake? Or an official doesn't like you........
Agreed, that's the risk you take when leaving home and part of the learning curve of human psychology of border crossing. IMO, this is the same world over and in some ways, more of a problem in the 1st world countries when things go sour.

However having as much paperwork perfectly in order ALWAYS helps as does the having right demeanor. As many others have posted, being clean, well dressed, politely spoken, gentle yet remaining quietly firm backs up good paperwork even when there are discrepancies.

A english RTW cruiser whose name I forget once wrote (in the 1960's) that he always kept a suit and tie on board that was ONLY worn when clearing in. That and a stiff upper lip kept him in good stead wherever he went.
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Old 04-04-2012, 17:24   #98
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

@Wotname,

Posts like yours always leave an indelible impression on me. In the past I was the foot loose type, not so much now. After reading your post I think I will use an agent, plus shave and have clean, presentable clothes for the clearing in chores. I have always been courteous in my dealings with other country's government officials, so that will remain the same.

Thanks for taking the time for a well presented post on this subject.
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Old 04-04-2012, 17:35   #99
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

Quote:
ave clean, presentable clothes for the clearing in chores.
Mark Twain said "Clothes makes the man." And there is some truth to that where ever one goes. When checking in always dress neatly and professionally, and within the norms and customs of the locale one is in.

The first impression you make is the most important one.
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Old 04-04-2012, 17:57   #100
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

Quote:
The first impression you make is the most important one.
In addition to the professional appearance I always arrive with my papers organized in appropriate professional looking presentation portfolios or notebooks. I have my passports in a leather passport wallet, several nicer pens, some business cards, my boat stamp, etc. In other words, I arrive like I know what I am doing, with everything organized in such a manner that it is clear I am expecting to be treated in a professional manner. Firm, polite, and friendly. I always start off with a greeting, a smile, and a handshake.

When I was down in the western Caribbean I also had two secret weapons. My daughter, 10 at the time, speaks very good Spanish and would charm anyone, and I would often have her along as interpreter. Or, my wife would smooth the way by engaging the officials in conversation about their families, their children, etc. Many of these officials have family pictures in the office, and that is often a good way to break the ice. More than once we had been warned about some particular official being bad news and yet we had no issues with them. Even the one bunch we did have some problems with, in Panama, we treated so nicely, preparing them tea and cookies, that we had fewer problems than some others. In some areas an agent can smooth things. Often being well worth the cost. In other areas it is worthwhile asking around the marina for someone from the area to help you out, and you will often find they happen to have a relative in the office or someone they know there. I had to go into downtown Colon to take care of some papers and I found a local to accompany me, which really helped me out.
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Old 04-04-2012, 18:04   #101
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

@Kettlewell,

If your 10 year daughter was blond, then that is double good karma in Latin countries. And a little blonde girl speaking Spanish, you had the ultimate custom's asset. From my experience, blond children are universally adored down there.
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Old 04-04-2012, 18:19   #102
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

Red head, but more like strawberry blond after being in the sun all the time--works like a charm!
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Old 04-04-2012, 18:26   #103
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
The fundamental purpose of the Zarpe is to identify the vessel, it's master and crew left it's previous port in a legal manner and are as such bonafide mariners going about their lawful business. The destination port is only an intention that is true at the time of issue of the Zarpe. If there is a lawful reason (and almost all reasons are lawful) to change the destination port during the voyage, then it simply has to be stated at the next port of call. So changing the next port en-route still keeps one "following the rules".
+1

We changed our intended destination several times. As said, the document shows, you cleared the last country properly. The next port might ask why you changed destinations. Weather, fuel, etc is a good reason. With the Zarpe you show a good standing with that last country and you will be welcome in the next.

Just get over it and get the damn form when clearing from the US, no matter where you plan to go, will ya?

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Old 04-04-2012, 19:04   #104
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

The fishermen and cruisers down here use Isla M for a destination, and if they must use another, they write out the reason for the change, IE, weather, fuel, broken machinery, Ill seaman, ect never a problem! Ive skipped everything till I got to Belize, and used the Zarpe for Isl M the weather dictated my sailing thru ! no problem! when we left there we had clearence papers from there that was excepted in Isl M on the way back ! Ya just need to start somewhere with a proper clearence paper and your good to go !! it's so easy !! know Im an American and can go where I wish and all but what if they don't want You ?? ever thought of it that way ??? just a thought !!!
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Old 04-04-2012, 19:15   #105
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

What is significant is te ZARPE requirement is only being enforced on the Carribean side of Mexico.... On the Pacific side, you don't need one traveling from California into Mexico.

On the same note, coming from from anywhere else, Mexico is requiring a Zarpe to enter the country...

The bottom line is before you move into a new country... Check the laws!
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