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Old 22-02-2015, 12:14   #16
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

I was kind of wondering what "Exposed Wiring in the bilge" might be. The only wiring I have at all in my bilge are the wires to the bilge pumps and guess what.... They're right out there where I can see them. I had no safety issues what-so-ever so they must not have thought those wires were "exposed". If they wanted to see if I had oily bilges they could have just asked me. I doubt many people smuggling drugs are smuggling them out of the US.
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Old 22-02-2015, 12:16   #17
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

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Damn Ron you must look suspect? Just yanking your chain.
Yep, an old couple and a yorkie in a trawler heading for Hampton, VA.
I think they just needed something to do that day to keep in practice.

It did make me wonder though, it was a bit rough on the water and these guys had to step from one rocking boat underway onto another and back again. What happens if one is injured? Would they attempt to blame me?
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Old 22-02-2015, 12:17   #18
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

I think the wire in the bilge was just a story. I only wonder why they would use it since they don't need any story to begin with.
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Old 22-02-2015, 12:21   #19
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

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Yep, an old couple and a yorkie in a trawler heading for Hampton, VA.
I think they just needed something to do that day to keep in practice.

It did make me wonder though, it was a bit rough on the water and these guys had to step from one rocking boat underway onto another and back again. What happens if one is injured? Would they attempt to blame me?
They boarded us in the Gulf Stream about 12 miles out of Bimini. The wind was out of the SSW at about 18-20 and seas were about 6 feet and choppy. We were doing about 8-9 knots and they did not ask us to slow down. Their RIB came completely out of the water several times as they tried to catch us. I had mercy on the poor boys and turned the boat up into the wind when they got close. For their trouble they found absolutely nothing and were completely drenched.
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Old 22-02-2015, 12:21   #20
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

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I can well see your point. My house is not likely to sink or cause a danger to someone else. I just can't see law enforcement taking a bad rap. Don't like the law change it, don't blame the guy enforcing it. He/she or only trying to make a living. Couldn't give me that job.
Look carefully and you will see I said nothing at all against the USCG or any other LEO. I only stated I did not like my home invaded without warrant or cause by USCG or anyone else for that matter. Yes I know they are only trying to make a living or following orders but I'm not going to go down that slippery slope.

I'm pretty sure my boat isn't going to sink or cause a danger to someone else. That would probably hold true for 99% of the boats on the water. A propane leak in a house could destroy most of a neighborhood so why not conduct safety inspections on houses?

If I could change the law I would but I don't have the money to fight the feds. I do believe that law has been challenged before and failed but not certain if it would stand up to a constitutional challenge.
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Old 22-02-2015, 12:25   #21
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

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They boarded us in the Gulf Stream about 12 miles out of Bimini. The wind was out of the SSW at about 18-20 and seas were about 6 feet and choppy. We were doing about 8-9 knots and they did not ask us to slow down. Their RIB came completely out of the water several times as they tried to catch us. I had mercy on the poor boys and turned the boat up into the wind when they got close. For their trouble they found absolutely nothing and were completely drenched.
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Old 22-02-2015, 13:43   #22
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

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Look carefully and you will see I said nothing at all against the USCG or any other LEO. I only stated I did not like my home invaded without warrant or cause by USCG or anyone else for that matter. Yes I know they are only trying to make a living or following orders but I'm not going to go down that slippery slope.

I'm pretty sure my boat isn't going to sink or cause a danger to someone else. That would probably hold true for 99% of the boats on the water. A propane leak in a house could destroy most of a neighborhood so why not conduct safety inspections on houses?

If I could change the law I would but I don't have the money to fight the feds. I do believe that law has been challenged before and failed but not certain if it would stand up to a constitutional challenge.
I was reading up about this last week and your laws have been challenged and failed at a appeal, in the favour of the government. So no, if you want it changed the only way to do it is by lobbying your Governors for federal changes. Can't see that happening.
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Old 22-02-2015, 13:52   #23
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

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I think the wire in the bilge was just a story. I only wonder why they would use it since they don't need any story to begin with.
As a former cop myself (Australian) and doing marine duties, I think it was just a story. Sounds to me like they had intelligence that was leading them to look for a yacht with something being hidden in a holding tank or bilge.

Why not just tell the truth? I noticed when I was in the job that young guys were reluctant to just come out and say what they were doing. They had this misguided idea that everything official was a secret. Where as those of us who got a few years up would be clearer and as such more honest in what we are doing.

I remember once asking (yes we asked) to board a yacht and they had initially were questioning why we wanted to board and my crewman was quoting legislation and all the rest and I just told them outright we believe someone was trying to sneak in from New Zealand so we have to check any vessel coming into the river. After I said that there was no problem in my crewman boarding. But, that was in the 90's and over here we couldn't go wondering off searching the entire boat. Nor would we want to, it would be just intrusive.

I've never personally experienced it, but it must be a horrible feeling for a law abiding citizen to have all their possessions gone through and searched, like we used to do with drug searches. But we needed either suspicion or a warrant to do that.
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Old 22-02-2015, 14:30   #24
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Yep, an old couple and a yorkie in a trawler heading for Hampton, VA.
I think they just needed something to do that day to keep in practice.

It did make me wonder though, it was a bit rough on the water and these guys had to step from one rocking boat underway onto another and back again. What happens if one is injured? Would they attempt to blame me?
Come on Ron you know better than that. How about they are talking about cutting your chopper service. I don't think if I where you I'd want to wait, I believe from Jax. Savanna is a hell of a lot closer. It sounds like you the better half and the yorkie probably do the ICW. Nothing wrong with that. Don't think I would go outside in a smudge pot.
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Old 22-02-2015, 14:49   #25
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

We were on the Chesapeake Bay heading back south after a tour of the Bay and DC.


http://www.widman.biz/indigo/HIGH_COTTON_IV.pdf


We are heading south to FL this spring if my wife's replaced knee is up to it. Up the St. Johns River
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Old 22-02-2015, 15:06   #26
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

I was boarded off the coast of Oregon. They were very cold at first but became friendly and interested in us as a foreign yacht after having a look around. We called in to Port Angeles later and ended up moored next to the same group for a week. Very nice young men I thought.
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Old 22-02-2015, 15:26   #27
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

I believe "exposed wiring" could be a fuse without a cover or a positive battery terminal without a cover. A good thing to check.

With no disrespect meant to the Coasties who are unfailingly great, I respect the Constitution more. The 4th amendment makes no "probable cause" exception for safety inspections. That's why the police can't pull you over to check that your brake pads are in good shape.

If you want to argue that the Coast Guard should be able to board you for safety inspections at anytime, you should be consistent and allow six heavily armed police to come to your house in the evening for a surprise safety inspection of your smoke detectors.

As with almost everything, this was originally about money. In 1790 the primary source of income (e.g. tax) for the Federal Government was customs duties from ships landing from international waters. Someone had to board these ships or there would be smuggling. So Congress passed the "Revenue Service Act of 1790" which gave the Revenue Cutter Service the right to board any vessel at anytime. This wasn't about safety or drugs. It was about "revenue" (hence the name).

The Revenue Cutter Service eventually became part of the Coast Guard. As is true of government agencies, they hate to give up a power once won and have applied the original law to purposes that Congress never intended such as safety inspections. I'm pretty sure lifejackets didn't even exist in 1790. It's also hard to argue that an 18ft bowrider on the ICW in Myrtle Beach is evading customs duties.

It's time for a change -- probably in the form of a court case reaching the Supreme Court.
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Old 22-02-2015, 15:44   #28
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

They went from Dept. of Treasury to the Dept. of Transportation, I believe, in my lifetime.
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Old 22-02-2015, 17:18   #29
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

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They went from Dept. of Treasury to the Dept. of Transportation, I believe, in my lifetime.
And now it's in Homeland Security.
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Old 22-02-2015, 18:35   #30
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Re: Exposed Wiring In the Bilge?

I've got "exposed" wiring. But the boat would be nearly sunk if it reached it.


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