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Old 03-07-2012, 07:57   #1
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Harbor Nazis

I'm in this for the freedom - to live where there aren't any cops or anyone to come around and tell me how to live my life or what I'm doing wrong. (I'm not a criminal) But I've been reading and hearing horror stories about the gestapo-like behavior of harbor masters, the coast guard, and their ilk. I'd appreciate experienced input on this subject. Thanks
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:03   #2
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Re: Harbor nazis

Where there are a lot of people there are a lot of cops. Southern California is the worst, except maybe Florida. Northern Ca, Oregon, no problem mostly.
If it's expensive, there are a lot of cops. If the weather is good, there are a lot of people and a lot of cops.
We had our boat impounded in Newport over paying $15.00 2 hours late. We got pulled over by the harbor cops in Dana Point 4 times in 5 days. Orange County was miserable.
Mexico is awesome.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:13   #3
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Re: Harbor nazis

I assume you are asking about the US. We've been boarded twice by the CG--seemed to be mostly a training exercise for new coasties. Not a problem but they sneak up on you in the dark and scare the heck out of you shining bright lights in your eyes.
Otherwise haven't had any problems in general, but then there's always a chance. Florida has been a problem for folks wanting to anchor in a lot of places. Hint: don't anchor outside multi-million dollar homes-they don't appreciate it and will call the authorities to chase you away.
Would recommend that you check on particular places with the forum and see what others have found.

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Old 03-07-2012, 08:20   #4
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Re: Harbor nazis

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Originally Posted by sww914 View Post
Where there are a lot of people there are a lot of cops. Southern California is the worst, except maybe Florida. Northern Ca, Oregon, no problem mostly.
If it's expensive, there are a lot of cops. If the weather is good, there are a lot of people and a lot of cops.
We had our boat impounded in Newport over paying $15.00 2 hours late. We got pulled over by the harbor cops in Dana Point 4 times in 5 days. Orange County was miserable.
Mexico is awesome.
I kept my boat on a trailer in San Diego. When I went out I never had any problem. I did hear plenty of horror stories.
In Antigua, I lived in the harbor. You could not find a cop or coast guard, except on the roads. Pay your road taxes or else. In Guadeloupe it was the same. I couldn't even find any one in customs in Dehais to check in. When I got back to Antigua, the official at customs said that was usual.

So in places where people pay taxes, there's plenty of police to hassel you. In places where they don't not so many.

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Old 03-07-2012, 08:25   #5
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Re: Harbor nazis

Where do you live, or where do you plan to do most of your sailing?

You'll find a lot of joy and a lot of freedom on the water, and annoying officialdom is the exception rather than the rule. Maybe we feel it more because we get so used to the incredible freedom of being on the water.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:26   #6
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Re: Harbor nazis

"In this for the Freedom" , You may be about 35-40 years too late. Even the open sea is not so free.

Third world Caribbean countries want their ounce of flesh from yachties, first world places want to protect their real estate from yachties.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:28   #7
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Re: Harbor nazis

I've never been hassled in all my years of boating around the Chesapeake, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Lesser Antilles. I find all the horror stories people tell entertaining, but I doubt they represent most boaters' experience.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:29   #8
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Re: Harbor nazis

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I kept my boat on a trailer in San Diego. When I went out I never had any problem. I did hear plenty of horror stories.
In Antigua, I lived in the harbor. You could not find a cop or coast guard, except on the roads. Pay your road taxes or else. In Guadeloupe it was the same. I couldn't even find any one in customs in Dehais to check in. When I got back to Antigua, the official at customs said that was usual.

So in places where people pay taxes, there's plenty of police to hassel you. In places where they don't not so many.

Regards
English and Falmouth cost about five bucks a day to anchor there now.
"National Parks" ,they occasionally patrol and check.
San Diego!!! I had a different flavor of cop enforcing anchoring regulations for each different official spot.
Here in Gig harbor, my home, the local water cop is called "Gigstapo"
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:33   #9
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Re: Harbor nazis

Mooring in a naval base we have 24/7 armed water borne patrols and thank goodness for that as it keeps the low life away from my pride and joy that I work to pay for.

I would also tollerate heavy handedness from customs and excise if it stops funny white powder from entering the country and ending up in some kids arm.


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Old 03-07-2012, 08:34   #10
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Re: Harbor nazis

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I've never been hassled in all my years of boating around the Chesapeake, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Lesser Antilles. I find all the horror stories people tell entertaining, but I doubt they represent most boaters' experience.
Nevis??? Try anchoring off Pineys since the mooring fields were put in. You will soon have boat cops knocking on the boat, or just yelling .
And of course they are not free or optional.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:31   #11
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Re: Harbor nazis

Skyking - are you talking 1st world countries here or some of the more 'off-grid' locations?

If 1st world - yes, there is a LOT more presence of officials on the water these days. And the rules keep piling up.....lifejackets, flares, operator licence, booze, registration number, radio licence, holding tank, etc etc. More rules that it seems possible to keep track of. And that's not even including things like Navy no-go zones, anchoring restrictions, crab pot restrictions, eco reserves we have to keep out of...the list goes on.
However - as others have said - I am happy to see the police and CG out there. If things get ugly, they are there to help. And in my experience they honestly ENJOY providing that help! Sure, there is always the odd guy who has let power go to his head, but it seems pretty rare to experience something like that. (Again, 1st world situation).

Once you get your boat in order it really isn't that hard to be compliant. The care-free days are gone. Period. I often lament my friends who are old enough to remember the 'golden age' of modern sail. The 60's and 70's would have been an AMAZING time to be in the UK, or anchored (for free) in the Caribbean. I know so many guys who say - "oh yeah....Honeymoon Bay, St. Thomas - awesome place. My mooring there was the block from a 454 engine that we tossed overboard."
Then again - had I contracted cancer back then, it would have been game over. Today, I'd have a fighting chance.

Progress isn't a straight line!
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:51   #12
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Re: Harbor nazis

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, skyking.

You could try Somalia - I hear they don't have much law enforcement.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:21   #13
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Re: Harbor nazis

I'm Canadian and was cruising the ICW on our way to Miami to cross to the Bahamas, we tried to anchor just south of Ft. Lauderdale and within 5 min we were being circled by a helicopter and had a high speed boat headed our way. It was late so we decided to cross the gulf stream in less than favourable conditions than put up with over zealous and over funded law enforcement. The Bahamas was wonderful, never got hassled. I didn't mind all the patrols radioing us in the windward passage, they say they are concerned about safety, but we knew they were looking for drug traffickers. We were boarded in Jamaica and they were very friendly, we saw them leaving from the dock a few hundred yards away, pretty routine event. In Panama we see the police, but for the most part our dog keeps our boat safe at anchor. Go sail in the Pacific coast of Canada, and you will rarely be hassled, and have many anchorages to yourself.

Yes the US has too much law enforcement on the water, way too much.

Quote:
I would also tollerate heavy handedness from customs and excise if it stops funny white powder from entering the country and ending up in some kids arm.
So how has that plan worked for the US, it's been tried since prohibition hasn't it?
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:49   #14
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Re: Harbor nazis

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Originally Posted by skyking1984 View Post
I'm in this for the freedom - to live where there aren't any cops or anyone to come around and tell me how to live my life or what I'm doing wrong. (I'm not a criminal) But I've been reading and hearing horror stories about the gestapo-like behavior of harbor masters, the coast guard, and their ilk. I'd appreciate experienced input on this subject. Thanks
If you are renting a slip in a marina, you are a tenant of that marina just as if you were renting an apartment and are subject to the rules and regulations of that marina. You are renting their property. What makes you think you should have complete freedom to do as you please with it? Don't be an a**hole and you likely won't have any problems with the management. If you do, you can always move somewhere else.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:24   #15
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Re: Harbor nazis

Yes the US has too much law enforcement on the water, way too much.
Yeah, boy there's been a lot of whining over reducing government during the recession. Yet I've seen as many as 4 local cop cars surrounding one car stopped on a country road. My own son in law got a ticket for 45 in a 35 zone on a country road by two cop cars, he cracked his door open as his electric window didnt work. They handcuffed him. They are heavy handed, get caught on video beating people up, or shooting innocents dead, but apparantly they are allowed to do it because in the end they always go free and rarely even get fired! Welcome to Law Enforcement represented by the Teamsters Union! I guess I shouldnt be surprised, most the bullies I knew in high school who started all the fights at the dances became cops.
The cops on the water seem to have really nothing to do but screw around. Govt waste for sure...
It's not that I'm anti cop, 3 people in my family were cops when the motto was to really "protect and serve"
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