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Old 23-09-2014, 05:51   #1
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Small Vessel Reporting System

Hi all,
I'm planning on spending several weeks on the south shore of Lake Ontario in 2015. After hearing horror stories about just showing up at US Customs unannounced, I am considering pre-registering using SVRS.

Has anyone had any experience with that? Is there always a face to face interview? (the closest office is 3 hours away) Any experiencial info will be appreciated.

BTW: I've already heavily trolled the internet on this topic so I'm looking for personal experiences with this system.


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Old 23-09-2014, 08:04   #2
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Re: Small Vessel Reporting System

Did the south shore again this year after a break of ten years. Nothing's changed much. Make sure your first port has a video phone (Wilson, Youngstown) and make sure you have your passports. For Canadians no problem. If you have non-Canadians aboard might run into problems. We did not enroll in SVRS.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 16-12-2014, 19:23   #3
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Re: Small Vessel Reporting System

I am with you on the horror stories and finding info. My wife and I are planning a trip down the east coast US next fall. At first I was worried about Hurricanes and Pirates.
Now the thing that scares me the most is US. red tape. It would be nice to have a current list of what permits etc. you need to cruise in US water. There is some info on this sight but a lot of older postings.
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Old 16-12-2014, 21:12   #4
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Re: Small Vessel Reporting System

Heading the other way, we cruised for several weeks in the North Channel of Lake Huron. The Canadians & officials were especially polite and accommodating. We had the nicest time. I hear the US MIB can be a bit odd coming to the US even for citizens. They did materialize from nowhere once but never boarded. We run AIS class B so I feel they all know who we are miles before we see them. We were never boarded by either side the entire trip. This was also true last summer as we transited the St Mary's & Soo Locks. You necessarily cross the boarder a few times under way. We never even saw police, sheriff or CG.

There have been a lot of complaints along some of the lake Erie, Ontario shores in recent years. In Ohio, it was deemed inordinate harassment and the courts ordered the locals to quit bothering boaters without probable cause. Some boats were stopped as meany as 5 times in one day on a coastal (power boat) cruise at every city passed. The legislature of at least Ohio was planning law changes that would restrict the village water cops.

Sure hope your experience is as great as ours.
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Old 16-12-2014, 21:57   #5
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Re: Small Vessel Reporting System

I cross into US water about 15 times a year ..... minimal red tape. If you are Canadian all you need is your passport. Videophone check in at places like Wilson, Rochester, Oswego Alexandria Bay takes about 10 minutes but you must have your DTOPS decal (which can be purchased online) before you arrive.

Just Google "DTOPS" and then "US Customs Ports of Entry Great Lakes"
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