Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-06-2011, 08:15   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 6
Question "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

Let's assume that you want to buy a previously-owned boat for cruising, say, from the western US around the Pacific. You'll want to get it USCG documented (probably) for clearing foreign customs, but besides your papers, how do you make sure that the rest of the boat is in order? Specifically, what if the previous owners, or their kids, or a weekend renter, or another owner years ago stashed some contraband - a little baggie of weed or something relatively innocuous - somewhere? You or a surveyor might never find something like that, but a drug dog would before it even got on the boat, and the international language of customs officials does not include the term "benefit of the doubt". Are there private services that offer to screen boats? Could you ask the USCG to bring a drug dog through as you take ownership, and would you be reasonably safe from prosecution if they found some old dried-out stuff tucked behind a bulkhead cushion or something?

A few months ago on this forum (not this legal one specifically, but one of the cruise notes forums) I read a story which included a nasty malingering crew member who, upon being fired and returned to port, left a going-away present for her erstwhile hosts Luckily, they found it and splashed it before making any other ports. That got me thinking... clearly, they'd have been hosed if it had been found before they found it, and would have been lucky to _just_ lose their boat. How could one be sure that a boat that was recently acquired from someone who is essentially a stranger is clean?

ben_r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2011, 08:30   #2
Registered User
capn_billl's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston,Tx
Boat: Maxum 37'
Posts: 1,587
Re: "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

Good question. There is a local shrimper that lost his boat due to a crewman leving some seeds in a private crew locker. He was able to eventually, (after thousand of lawyer bucks), absolve himself, but he never got his boat back, (it was sold at Gov auction a few weeks after confiscation).

When I bought my boat, I removed everything from the interior, and wiped down with sanitizer solution, including bilge, and bulkhead compartments. It was a long hard job, but now I know where everything is, and in what condition, and that there are no surprises, like a third world pest, hidden in there.

capn_billl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2011, 09:01   #3
Moderator Emeritus
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 9,844
Re: "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

It might at least be worth the peace of mind....

Commercial Drug Sweeps | Drug dogs for hire | Bomb sniffing dogs | Personal Protection canines - K9 Solutions Center

K9 Solutions - drug dogs for hire - police K9 training

Narc dog for rent to parents - The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 05:25   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Niagara on the Lake Canada
Posts: 142
Re: "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

Why not contact your local PD and talk to the drug dog guys and explain. might be a good training exercise for fido. And for the record I read the story about the previous crew and still didn't think of the sanitizing issue and thanks for the idea.
justlearnin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 05:35   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

Just for the record, I've never seen a drug dog being used around boats anywhere. I suspect that most dogs would not be naturally good around boats and the water, requiring special training. It is probably too much time, effort, and money to get many dogs like this, so I suspect that even in the US there are only a handful, and they are probably used for much bigger fry, like container ships and passenger ships. Makes sense to concentrate your limited resources where they will do the most good. Many other countries around the world just don't have the resources. It's usually best to clear in and out of some small port that is used by cruising boats and unless you look suspicious yourself it is usually very perfunctory. A lot of the time it all happens well away from your boat, often inland in town somewhere, and nobody even glances at it.
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 07:52   #6
Registered User
Unicorn Dreams's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Clear Lake Marine Services - Seabrook, Texas
Boat: Gulfstar, Mark II Ketch, 43'
Posts: 2,359
Re: "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

Don't know why a dogs nose would quit working while on a boat. It didn't bother the dogs down in the Keys and it doesn't bother my wife's chihuahua, at least I guess it's his nose that will detect a boat over the horizon
Formerly Santana
The winds blow true,The skies stay blue,
Everyday is a good day for SAILING!!!!
Unicorn Dreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 08:07   #7
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 16,490
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

when in sin diego, uscg boarded me for no reason as i was moored-- apparently someone called in a complaint on 5 neighbors because of his terminal boredom , and they DID bring a sniffy dog on board-- really disrupted my cat--- so there HAVE been incidents of dog aboard in usa waters--
did save me the price of hiring a sniffy dog to go thru my boat--was gonna be 250 dollars..LOL
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 08:46   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,751
Re: "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

Hmmm I never ever thought of that naive by nature I guess
motion30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 09:50   #9
Long Range Cruiser
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in New York
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,204
Images: 25
Re: "Sanitizing" a previously-owned boat?

Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Just for the record, I've never seen a drug dog being used around boats anywhere.
Got boarded by a drug dog when we cleared into Australia. The mutt hadd tiny little leather shoes on so he didn't scratch the boat!

Very cute puppy.

The guys with the dog said that most often when the dog gets a sniff on a 'nice' boat its on the bathroom door. When visitors come aboard and have a drink etc, they may have been smoking before arriving, and when going to the heads they may leave a trace on the door.

Something else to watch out for: Don't have drugo's on board.


Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Special" vs. "Normal" Primer for Prop? rhumbunctious Propellers & Drive Systems 11 22-05-2011 19:10
Sir Peter Blake's "Seamaster," Now "Tara," Still Hard at Work TaoJones Monohull Sailboats 5 15-12-2009 14:40
Can a machine / propeller shop "turn down" a 3 blade 15" feathering prop to be 14" Northeaster Propellers & Drive Systems 10 23-03-2009 09:17
"... owned by a knowledgeable sailor" sailorboy1 Dollars & Cents 7 28-01-2009 09:54
"recent price reduction""owner anxious""bring all offers" sailorboy1 Dollars & Cents 10 22-01-2009 11:25

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:23.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.