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Old 23-07-2012, 22:49   #1
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VDS required where????

First I carry VDS. Second I'm just a glutton for punishment, I try to figure out the insanity of bureaucracy speak.

The text referred to is below my questions.

A, does not issuing citations means legally you are required to carry VDS in these areas, but USCG won't give you a citation? Or you aren't legally required, but USCG really really wants you to carry them?

B, near as I can decipher this draws a box around the San Juans and a line from Pt. Wilson to Admiralty Head, and means inside the San Juan box and south of Pt. Wilson to Admiralty Head they're not requiring VDS. Any other interpretations?

C, is this description is as convoluted and confusing to you as it is to me?

From:
Adventures in Boating Washington Handbook | Official Publication of Washington State Parks

VDS Requirements for the Puget Sound/San Juan Island Area

Because the Puget Sound/San Juan Island area includes numerous islands and narrow inlets, more specific information regarding VDS requirements has been provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Although the USCG is not issuing citations for insufficient VDSs, carrying VDSs on board is highly recommended in these areas: from the northernmost tip of West Point on Whidbey Island, a line 274 degrees true to position 48-25.40N/123-06.85W on the U.S./Canada border; then along the U.S./Canada border to position 48-46.00N/123-00.50W; then a line 49 degrees true to Alden Point Light (Patos Island); then a line 91 degrees true to the western tip of Sandy Point; then along the eastern shoreline to include all of Puget Sound and those waters connected to it which lie south of a line from Point Wilson to Admiralty Head.

VDSs are required in all other areas of the Puget Sound/San Juan Island area.
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Old 23-07-2012, 23:08   #2
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Re: VDS required where????

Well, the state may not require it, but the feds certainly do, and ALL of Puget Sound is covered by the coasties so having no visual distress is a pretty certain ticket just about everywhere (and insanely stupid too)
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Old 23-07-2012, 23:21   #3
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Re: VDS required where????

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
Well, the state may not require it, but the feds certainly do, and ALL of Puget Sound is covered by the coasties so having no visual distress is a pretty certain ticket just about everywhere (and insanely stupid too)
You missed the part where it states that "more specific information regarding VDS requirements has been provided by the U.S. Coast Guard."

All of the information as to where VDS is required was given by the USCG to the state.

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Old 24-07-2012, 01:23   #4
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Re: VDS required where????

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
You missed the part where it states that "more specific information regarding VDS requirements has been provided by the U.S. Coast Guard."

All of the information as to where VDS is required was given by the USCG to the state.

John
Huh? Boy! are you overthinking this.

From the Fedz rulz buk:

All vessels used on coastal waters, the Great Lakes, territorial seas, and those waters connected directly to them, up to a point where a body of water is less than two miles wide, must be equipped with U.S.C.G. Approved visual distress signals.

So What's the question? They are required in all of Puget Sound, maybe not the locks or lake Union but how much you wanna bet a local won't cite you at Seafair?
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Old 24-07-2012, 02:44   #5
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Re: VDS required where????

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
Huh? Boy! are you overthinking this.

From the Fedz rulz buk:

All vessels used on coastal waters, the Great Lakes, territorial seas, and those waters connected directly to them, up to a point where a body of water is less than two miles wide, must be equipped with U.S.C.G. Approved visual distress signals.

So What's the question? They are required in all of Puget Sound, maybe not the locks or lake Union but how much you wanna bet a local won't cite you at Seafair?
Since you're so certain, why don't you call the CG District Commander and tell him he or someone in his command is screwing up and giving the state bad information.

Pt. Robinson to Des Moine is less than two miles across, so everything south of that is definitely not coastal (as defined by VDS requirements). I did some measuring a couple of years ago when the WA handbook said Foul Weather Bluff to Double Bluff was the end of coastal waters, that point is just over 2 miles across. What's the allowed tolerance of the 2 mile limit? The handbook didn't say if the Double Bluff limit was determined by the USCG or not. If coastal waters end at Foul Weather Bluff, you might as well say it ends at Pt. Wilson as far as exposure is concerned, it is under 3 miles across there. This time the state said they got the information from the USCG.

It would be interesting to know at what level in the CG these kinds of decisions are made.

My guess is there are lots of smaller power boats, that don't carry VDS on Puget Sound even those over 16 feet that would be required to if Puget Sound is actually defined as coastal waters.

In the end I'm not even sure that the description from the CG in my OP actually says that coastal waters ends at Pt. Wilson.

John
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Old 24-07-2012, 12:38   #6
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Re: VDS required where????

From my limited understanding of legalese (I'm not a lawyer and I don't even play one on TV, though I did attend law school), I would say that "not issuing citations" most probably means that they COULD issue them if they wanted to, but are not currently doing so. Which is to say, it doesn't mean that it is legal, it just means that they've decided to overlook it for now.

The really neat thing about this kind of situation is that they can decide at any time to start issuing citations, so things that were okay last week could get you a nice, fat fine this week.
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