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Old 08-01-2010, 09:14   #31
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We departed Pascagoula, Miss for Isla Mujeres and I went to the Port Captains office. He was out, but his girl sounded like the Port Captain would be willing to sign my log as a sort of "zarpe" to satisfy the Mexicans.

I went without it and four days later cleared in with no problem. I did use an agent in Isla Mujeres and that always makes things easier.

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Old 08-01-2010, 14:34   #32
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Chuck Baier is absolutely spot on with his reponses. One option for you is to get your boat registered in the country that you hold a passport. If it is an EU country, you've got VAT issues.

You really are in a world of hurt on the check in/check out situation. I'm sorry I've no advice for you there.

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Old 21-01-2010, 09:56   #33
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We have a UK registered boat owned by a company. We are US citizens leaving for Isla Mujeres. Does anyone know if we need to be cleared by customs prior to our departure? Do we need a Zarpe to enter Mexico and does it need to be stamped by customs or can it just be signed by a notary or harbor master?

Thanks MeckDC
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Old 21-01-2010, 10:18   #34
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It's been a few years since I've taken a boat out of the U.S. but when I did I never had a problem with the boat being State registered rather than being documented. And when I was leaving for Mexico it took me about 15 minutes in Customs to get them to give me a "Courtesy" Clearance which was readily accepted in Isla Mujeres.

One thing a friend of mine told me that worked well was that the Mexican authorities LOVED having things stamped. He even had one of those "embossers" with the name and number of the boat and would pull it out and use it on all the paper work. In that vein I had a rubber stamp with the name of my boat along with the registration number and home port on it. Whenever a Mexican or Guatemalan official would stamp any of my papers I would reciprocate and they would give me a huge smile as if to say "this guy really knows what's what."
A small boat and a suitcase full of money beat a 40 footer tied to a bank every time!
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Old 21-01-2010, 15:44   #35
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Just wanted everyone to know that I contacted the SSCA which we are members of and asked if we needed a zarpe issued from the US prior to our deprature. Here is the response I received.

There has been a problem getting Zarpe's issued in the US. If you can get one from anyone that would be great. If not, save your last receipt in the States for the vessel such as the gas receipt, slip receipt, etc. We can get the authorities here to accept that in place of a Zarpe.

Look forward to meeting
Have a great crossing

Thomas Boylan
Marina Paraiso Isla Mujeres
SSCA Cruising Center

I copied a Zarpe out of the "Crusing Ports the Central American Route" and took it to a notary. She is Spanish and said that the document is "poorly written, grammatically incorrect" but we filled it out anyway and had it notarized. We are also keeping our last gas receipt and marina receipt just in case. I'll post after we arrive and update our experience.

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Old 25-01-2010, 04:54   #36
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There are a lot of strange replies and stuff in the above posts along with some very good answers - you need to do more research. As to the reality in the Caribbean, as mentioned by some only the "Territorial/Outlying" islands of France and maybe the U.K. are sticky about have Federal "level" documentation. Most of the independent little countries are not very strict about it although you will have a much easier time with USCG documentation.
- - There are a huge amount of small powerboats and older sailboats that are purchased in Florida and other east coast States by people from the little island countries and then brought down to the islands without anything more than the last State registration. These little countries do not even look to see if the vessel is has a current registration (especially if a little money is passed before checking in as a "service incentive"). There are thousands of expired US/State registered boats in the islands that are not even "registered" with the government of the island.
- - But as others said you will need a current passport for yourself. For the boat you just say you are taking it to the island of "XX" - somewhere beyond where you are. All of this is possible because there is very, very little actual examination/checking of what you put on the "entry" form for the island.
- - From the US east coast you will have no problems going to Bahamas with a State registration and then you can go to the Turks and Caicos and re-register the boat there. Or even work your way to the BVI although you have to pass by Puerto Rico and the USCG and there is a good chance you will be intercepted for "inspection" which would be embarassing if not a major problem.
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Old 25-01-2010, 05:20   #37
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I think the suggestion of taking an American to help you check into the first foreign port should work. If they check the boat in, they will not be asked for a Zarpe in the Bahamas or other places close to the US. They would be the delivery skipper, and you can give them a notarized letter of authorization to use the boat. Then when you leave, you check the boat out and get a proper Zarpe, as long as they name on the state registration matches your passport.

The only problem might be a zealous immigration officer wondering where your passport exit stamp from the US might be, but if you go when they are busy the chances of that happening are quite low.
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Old 25-01-2010, 05:56   #38
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Checking in

I sailed to Isla Mujeres, Mexico last may, did not check out from US (didn't know I was supposed to). The mexican authorities wanted an official document from the port captain where I had left. We had none, they took a receipt from west marine as the official document. Their rules and laws are more like suggestions and for a few bucks, they would probably sell you the original copy of their constitution (if they even have one), possibly even their soul. Good luck and welcome to amerika
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Old 25-01-2010, 08:12   #39
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Still like the idea of state registration,- much cheaper!
Yes, it would be, but a boat reg'd in your own country or say, Panama, would eliminate a lot of potential hassles. As for expense, flag it in another country other than your own. Seems it's done all the time as I'm always seeing boats reg'd in other countries.
...but what do I know, I'm no expert on this part of the deal. But seems like a good time to learn!

"Behind every great man there is a woman, rolling her eyes."
But not for long! Now she's gone!
and peace and tranquility reign forever!
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