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View Poll Results: Boardings by USCG
Your nationality USA 123 85.42%
Canadian 12 8.33%
Other 7 4.86%
Years cruising in or near US waters 0 9 6.25%
1-2 19 13.19%
3-5 22 15.28%
5+ 94 65.28%
Howmany times boarded 0 73 50.69%
1-2 49 34.03%
3-5 13 9.03%
5+ 7 4.86%
Was boarding party armed Yes 54 37.50%
No 12 8.33%
Have seen both 10 6.94%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 28-05-2008, 14:09   #1
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Survey: Frequency of USCG Boardings

There is a lot of discussion on the forum about boardings by the USCG. It would be interesting to see how prevalent it is. Please respond even if you have little interest so that we get a fair sized sample of the population.

If you do not cruise in or near US waters, please do not respond.

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Old 28-05-2008, 14:27   #2
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We cruised full-time in the U.S. for 5 years. In our fourth year, we were boarded twice in two weeks. However, both times the officers involved were professional and polite. The first boarding party encouraged us to keep the receipt they gave us to prove to any later boarding party that we had been inspected. The second group of boarders looked at our receipt from the first, said thank you, and left. We were very pleased with the way both inspections/boardings were conducted.
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Old 28-05-2008, 21:34   #3
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I was boarded b/c I called a Pan Pan on the radio the should have been a Securite. I was near the shipping channel but not sure if Iwas in it or not. The guys from the Marina came and towed me in; the Coasties sent a helicopter to see where I was and then a patrol boat came and boarded me. They were very professional and polite. I had gone to get some parts to fix the boat and they tracked me down there and then waited till I returned to board my boat even though it was wide open. I had no problem with the way they did their job.
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Old 04-06-2008, 13:23   #4
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Busted on the Bay

We have been sailing for 20+ years from Tampa Bay area to Bahamas , Chesapeake Bay, and New England. We were boarded our first time last year while taking a day sail on Tampa Bay. Coasties were courteous and friendly and we learned a new lesson. When we pulled out our Plastimo life preservers (came with our boat) they told us they weren't legal because they didn't have a CG approved label. They were CE approved for Europe, but apparently there is no reciprocity. I jokingly asked the Coastie if we were to sink on the way home whether we should put on the life preservers anyway. He thought that would be a good idea. We got a warning but no citation. I forgot we had two legal LPs in the dink so we could have "beat the rap" if I had used my head a little more.

The Coasties then boarded a 40' monohull near us and spent a long time on board. Next the local sheriff's boat rafted up to the monohull and proceeded to put the captain in handcuffs and leg irons and haul him away. I suspect the captain had an outstanding arrest warrant and they discovered this during ID check...OR...maybe his flares were out of date...who knows?
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Old 04-06-2008, 14:39   #5
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I have just been reading a book by John Lidgard a noted NZ sailor / yacht designer and builder, in 1984 he mentioned being boarded and inspected by the coastguard twice in his cruise down the west coast of America from Alaska to Mexico, so it is nothing new, although with the heightened fear, security, control, by the Homeland Security people it is probably hapening a lot more often.
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Old 04-06-2008, 20:07   #6
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I have been boating on the east coast of the US for about 50 years and have never been boarded. However, I have been boarded while aboard other's boats in Puerto Rico. On each occasion the boarding persons were armed and on one occasion, the boarding crew had no regard for the lives or safety of the 20 divers in the water when they approached the dive boat.
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Old 04-06-2008, 20:09   #7
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Been cruising 8000 + miles around Florida and the Bahamas the last 10 years, but never been boarded. (Knock on wood)
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Old 04-06-2008, 20:30   #8
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In 46 years of boating in the Puget Sound area I've been boarded only once. That was in the summer of 1988, they were professional,courteous,and even friendly. my fishing buddy 5 year old Sean thought it was the neatest thing that happened all year. I'm sure the tone of boardings has changed since 9/11.
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Old 04-06-2008, 21:04   #9
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I was inspected twice in 3 weeks in the St. Simons Island, GA. USA area. One time, the USCG almost torn my inflatable from the devits in departing. I was told to motor away first, and the USCG boat would pull away, he hit the arch holding the inflatable, broke the bow line and torn a hand hold. Didn't notice it until I was some distance away. Got mad, but didn't report it. Second time, I was checked I showed them the "pink" copy of their last stop/report . They looked around and left.
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Old 04-06-2008, 22:44   #10
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I was boarded once in 30 years of boating.

My brother on the other hand was boarded everytime he came back from sea, over a period of 6 months, one year.
He happened to be operating near a coast guard training facility near Miami at the time, and he supposed it was a matter of USCG convenience to the facility.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:51   #11
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I was almost boarded on the back side of Catalina last spring. They thought all sailboats were trying to sneak past custome after the Newport to Ensanda race by going around the back side of the island. They came up on me while I was drinking a tecate and smoking a cuban cigar. Thought I was done for.

"Excuse me Sir, Is that a contriband tobbaco product in your hand?"

I showed them my mooring receipt from Avalon and they went after bigger game.

One coastie was standing by the .50 cal machine gun on the bow. Made you stop and think for a moment.
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:59   #12
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Originally Posted by Maddog View Post
I was almost boarded on the back side of Catalina last spring. T...
Reminds me of the UPS maintenance log entries:

Pilot complaint: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
Maintenance reply: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

More? Goto: Maintenance humour ...
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:24   #13
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We cruised 10,000 miles over the past four years from Chespeake to Keys and most of the Bahamas. Boarded July 2006 as we tied up to a mooring ball in Annapolis, and we were boarded 12 miles west of West End, Bahamas in July 2008. Both times the coastguardsmen were VERY polite and thorough. The men who boarded us in Annapolis were even wearing Sperries. We were very happy to receive no "demerits" from the inspections. It was especially good to see them patrolling the Florida straits.
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Old 07-06-2008, 21:14   #14
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I don't know how many times I've chugged through Portland Harbor and had to weave my way through all the power boats stopped by the USCG...

One day I was talking to a locally stationed Coastie at a bar and mentioned that I had never been stopped. He said, "Do you have a sail boat?" Apparently they have a policy here of never bothering with sail boats - especially the older ones.

So, if you want to smuggle drugs or terrorists into Portland - do it in a Westsail. <g>
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Old 07-06-2008, 21:27   #15
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I don't know how many times I've chugged through Portland Harbor and had to weave my way through all the power boats stopped by the USCG...

One day I was talking to a locally stationed Coastie at a bar and mentioned that I had never been stopped. He said, "Do you have a sail boat?" Apparently they have a policy here of never bothering with sail boats - especially the older ones.

So, if you want to smuggle drugs or terrorists into Portland - do it in a Westsail. <g>
They read this too.
Let us know how your boarding goes.
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