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Old 03-11-2010, 21:13   #31
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Must of been a serious crime for them to seize a boat like that. i doubt a misdemeanor well do anything.
Not really, what many folks do not realize that legally your boat is not a "home." It is a "transportation system" and is not eligible for any "my home is my castle" provisions of various laws.
- - The officials find any illegal substances on your "transportation system" (a.k.a. home) and you charged with engaging in the transportation of illegal substances. So you can kiss your boat good-bye. There are exceptions but they are so rare and usually involve getting involved in "stings" to arrest known traffickers.
- - So pre-briefing the prospective crew person about the seriousness of having illegal substances onboard and the possibility of losing your "home" is very important. And then you use your judgment to determine if a physical search of their "seabag" is needed.
- - As others have mentioned sometimes it is near impossible to detect the stuff coming on-board - but normally within a few days it will be abundantly evident if they are using the stuff - which they will do since if they have it they will use it. Then you have to jettison the stuff or the crew member and using soap and ammonia wash the whole insides of the boat including drawers and lockers. The USCG gas-chromo system can detect substances up to a year ago that were on the boat. And then you lose the boat and get a paid vacation for x-years in a Federal prison.
- - You are playing with "fire" when taking on unknown crew members. An additional consideration is "financial responsibility" - as mentioned the Captain/owner is financially responsible for all the crew members. And given that most countries are now "closed" - you cannot visit unless you have a confirmed way off/out of the country. So prospective "hitch-hikers," ride along, etc. type crew present a special problem of getting them off the boat's crew list at the next port of call. Currently in the eastern Caribbean several boats have been financially devastated by disappearing young "hitch-hikers" they gave rides to.
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Old 03-11-2010, 22:39   #32
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As a private citizen you may not have access to police records, but if you contact customs and ask about one of your crew members before you get there they will usually be glad to oblige (better than dealing with the problem after it gets there).
Tough in the US the captain may not necessarily be held responsible, the owner of the vessel will.
If you want to check someone out you can become a member of a search forum like this one.............but you have to pay.

Public Records Search
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Old 03-11-2010, 23:47   #33
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The OP cited an Owner who picked up a random bunch of backpackers in Thailand. Prior to getting busted and having his boat seized.

I'd hazard a guess that the odds that one of any random bunch of backpackers in Thailand is carrying a few grams of something illicit are probably near 100%.
As to what specifically it was or how much I don't know, but I know that story was served to me as a warning.
Know who is and who you're letting on to your boat because their actions can get you into a world of hurt!
The chances are they weren't some random bunch of backpackers maybe he did know them.
I don't part take in recreational or prescription drug use but I'll tell you I'm very suprised of the friends and professionals that do. Therefore those that do, are not always blatantly apparent.
I do like the occasional glass of Red Wine or Rum but there are countries where that could get you into trouble too.

I more or less posted this thread especially for the bigger boats that need more crew to operate and charter boats, you will never fully and personally know who you're letting on board and a lack of concentration on your part can lead to anything from getting your boat seized by officials to a repeat of the "Sea Wind" murders.
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Old 28-11-2010, 13:14   #34
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Do a Google search for drug sniffing dogs. They can be hired in most major ports. Just warning your new friends that dogs will search the vessel and them and their gear will get rid of the drugs (or get the idiot arrested). In the US the Coast Guard might do it for nothing.
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Old 28-11-2010, 13:42   #35
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This is mainly a US paranoia... in Europe many countries like Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and yes/no/yesUK have an acceptance of quantity for personal use... anything above is considered for commercial use and thats when the **** hits the fan...
Should add however.... discovery of a 'Personal Quantity' will involve your boat being ripped apart to make sure there's nothing else onboard...
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Old 28-11-2010, 13:53   #36
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Willie Nelson was just busted again for 6 oz on his bus down Texas way. Wonder what the personal use line is? Me and Willie learned to sail on the Whiskey River together.
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Old 28-11-2010, 13:57   #37
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Originally Posted by tgzzzz View Post
Willie Nelson was just busted again for 6 oz on his bus down Texas way. Wonder what the personal use line is? Me and Willie learned to sail on the Whiskey River together.
As far as I'm aware.. tho many 'respectable folks' in the States smoke Pot... there is an 'No Tolerance' attitude in the US...
Unless your someone of influence....
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Old 28-11-2010, 14:50   #38
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No tolerance: This is one of the things I have in common with Fmr Pres Clinton: we don't inhale. The other thing is that penchant for non-beautiful women.
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Old 28-11-2010, 14:54   #39
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No tolerance: This is one of the things I have in common with Fmr Pres Clinton: we don't inhale. The other thing is that penchant for non-beautiful women.
Ahhhh... the second hand stone....
"Personally I've never smoked a joint... but I know some really nice people who do..."
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Old 28-11-2010, 15:05   #40
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Never have, never will. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
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Old 28-11-2010, 15:38   #41
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Thats a little disconcerting

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
Is the USCG boards your boat and finds evidence of drug use through a "residue test" they can seize your boat. It used to be that you needed something major to have a boat seized (like a roach)
Residue?!?! Yet another reason to be VERY careful not to enter US waters.
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Old 28-11-2010, 20:44   #42
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Residue?!?! Yet another reason to be VERY careful not to enter US waters.
Unless it is just a day sail all my sailing is done in BC waters and my boat and I live in US waters.
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Old 28-11-2010, 21:07   #43
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Residue?!?! Yet another reason to be VERY careful not to enter US waters.
More of a reason why you know the proper boarding procedures and what they can and can't do with out cause.
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Old 28-11-2010, 21:47   #44
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.... Currently in the eastern Caribbean several boats have been financially devastated by disappearing young "hitch-hikers" they gave rides to.
Do you have any details on this? We are looking at operating out of that area, so certainly are concerned should clients bring "for their personal use only" stuff on board.
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Old 29-11-2010, 05:17   #45
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The "residue" test procedure involves using cotton balls to wipe down bulkheads, inside drawers and lockers, and the overhead. Then the cotton balls are processed through a GCT machine which will analyze the sample and determine if any "controlled substances" are present. Supposedly the test can detect such things going back as much a one year. They don't really need to find any actual "illegal substances" anymore since they can posit that you had them on the boat but threw them overboard prior to the boarding.
- - Remember this is only applicable to US flagged vessels which the USCG has total legal rights to board anywhere in the world.
- - This procedure was developed in response to a PR fiasco the CG got into by literally tearing boats apart - at sea - including drilling holes in soles, cabinets and occasionally the hull. They did this when the "zero tolerance" program was first instituted a decade or so ago. BoatUS got into the middle of it as they were having to fork over $10K to $30K for repairs to boats they insured and the max US government liability was US$2K. It didn't take long after the program was started for the USCG to move from "your buddy" to your "arch-enemy" because of these (insert a bad word here) searches and damage. PR-wise they have never fully recovered from that fiasco.
- - Problems with "hitch-hikers" are they are young and stupid and carry/buy what is considered by the USA Feds "illegal substances." Any removal of the substances from its plastic bags and contact with any interior surface of the boat will leave a residue that can be detected up to a year after the hitch-hikers have left the boat.
- - It is really a touchy situation when you are bringing "clients" onboard who are younger or the same age than "Willy Nelson." A total wipe down with ammonia and soap water solution will remove the residue, but that is a very labor intensive procedure.
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