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Old 12-09-2018, 13:16   #16
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

from my last transit though Norfolk. Orange ship is a CNG or ethylene carrier. There were four patrol boats forming a box around the tanker. I thought it best to hail the patrol before approaching, and they were very accommodating letting me pass at a wide point in the waterway.

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Old 12-09-2018, 13:17   #17
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

Take a shower and bake cookies.....
really like was said I would get an auxiliary cg inspection first. Make sure
You have no oil and dirty water in bilge..... they don’t want that feeding the harbor. They don’t want derelict boats all over the place.

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2018, 13:18   #18
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

Easiest is to go their dock with all your required safety gear out. They want to know you’re propulsion works, so if you go to their dock, it obviously does. Our last one they didn’t even come on board, they just signed it.
Another option, depending on where you are (Ventura?) is to schedule the Coast Guard Auxiliary to come to your boat and do the inspection. I never did it that way because they tend to poke around the boat more and it takes longer. I’d just stop by the Harbor Patrol dock on the way out for a sail. Very painless.
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Old 12-09-2018, 13:44   #19
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

The previous poster probably thought he was joking about geiger counters.

I was stopped two years ago on the ICW in Myrtle Beach (15 miles from any entrance to the ocean). It was a Saturday morning and the place was packed with small boats. A black unmarked RIB security boat pulled alongside - not CG.

They announced that they were from Homeland Security and needed to inspect. Four guys came on board. Nice guys but all with side arms. No uniforms or badges. They didn't check safety gear at all but wanted ID's for everyone.

Things became amusing when they lifted aboard a piece of equipment that looked like a dorm refrigerator. They said it was to check for radiation. The thing looked to weigh at least 50lbs and it took three of them to hoist it over my lifelines as their RIB was much lower than my topsides.

Fortunately, they decided they didn't need to take it down the companionway to the cabin but set it up in the cockpit. After doing their test (which took five minutes) they had to reverse the whole process and get it back in their RIB without dropping it in the drink.

They then went onto the next bomb carrying terrorist boat. It was a 27ft outboard with three little kids on board.
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Old 12-09-2018, 13:48   #20
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

No wasn't kidding.

And it's the rugrats you gotta watch the closest, sneaky little buggers.
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Old 12-09-2018, 14:01   #21
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

NYPD has had a "Harbor Patrol" since forever. Many major cities with harbors have had that. IN NYC, they're just regular NYPD members that are assigned to a beat which happens to require a boat. (And helo's.)

And since that's a standard municipal agency...it can be different in every town.
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Old 13-09-2018, 08:18   #22
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

In Ventura Harbor, a few years ago, we got our liveaboard inspection by a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary who I tricked by having everything working on Mana, being friendly and loaning him a copy of Peter Freuchens autobiography. Some years later we sailed back to California and got a slip in Channel Islands harbor and no one asked us to get any ok from anyone. They just asked us to follow the rules.
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Old 13-09-2018, 08:40   #23
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

I'm always surprised at some of the responses questions like this get. I doubt this was anything to do with the establishment of the DHS. On the Chesapeake we always had the CGA around and sometimes the CG themselves, and they could inspect any boat at will. Where I a now in Newburyport, MA we have a Harbor Patrol. It's basically just public safety, not dissimilar from having roving police cars wandering around.
Frankly from the way I have seen many boaters behave, I'm personally glad they are there.
The requirement for an inspection is not something we had for liveaboards where I was on the Bay, but bear in mind that there are CG requirements for any boat and the CG can board at will to check for compliance, so what's the difference?
The advice to have a padlock on the diverter valve is good advice - that was a requirement on the Bay as well.
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Old 13-09-2018, 09:05   #24
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

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Originally Posted by rodgoult View Post
I'm always surprised at some of the responses questions like this get. I doubt this was anything to do with the establishment of the DHS. On the Chesapeake we always had the CGA around and sometimes the CG themselves, and they could inspect any boat at will. Where I a now in Newburyport, MA we have a Harbor Patrol. It's basically just public safety, not dissimilar from having roving police cars wandering around.
Frankly from the way I have seen many boaters behave, I'm personally glad they are there.
The requirement for an inspection is not something we had for liveaboards where I was on the Bay, but bear in mind that there are CG requirements for any boat and the CG can board at will to check for compliance, so what's the difference?
The advice to have a padlock on the diverter valve is good advice - that was a requirement on the Bay as well.
thanks will grab a small padlock just to be sure. yeah i dont mind the harbor patrol either, they dont seem to hassle anyone and will respond for help pretty quickly over VHF if you need it.
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Old 13-09-2018, 09:08   #25
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

In southern california Harbor Patrols, Harbor Departments can vary.

They can be private under the auspicies of a particular harbor area, on up to sheriffs departments .

The harbies here are great, no matter their agency.

Catalina Island : Avalon ( city), and Two Harbors ( private). They assign moorings, take payment, board to check that the head system is on holding tank, give assistance to new mariners who have not picked up a mooring before, respond to emergencies, warn about bad weather situations. Hoist storm warning flags, etc. Lots of responsibilies on top of that. And if a USCG documented vessel, they want to see the documentation papers and note down the doc. number.

Also, the Harbies can inspect vessels that have live aboards, and many of those liveaboards are illegal, and not registered with the harbor dept. Also they check for illegal waste pumping into the harbors. Which some of the liveaboards violate.

Other mainland harbor depts: Assign slips and moorings. Fight boat fires, watch for illegal activities, smuggling drugs and people, rescue vessels who have problems, etc.

The also police for violators of speed limits and no wake zones.

In one instance, in Newport Bay, I had called a Mayday to the harbies due to a heart attack victim.... I was capt, on board a wedding charter ( 55 ft motor vessel) . They responded immediately, transferred the patient to their fast boat, light and sirens, transported the elderly grandpa to their docks and had an ambulance waiting rush the victim to Hoag hospital a few minutes away. ( later that day, we called and grandpa was stable and resting ) .

Not sure about the function of Harbor Depts in other areas, but our harbies here are good people.

Oh, and they also check for up to date CF numbers ( current registration, displayed on the port and starboard bows of the vessels ).

Also, have all of your vessel documentation available for them to verify.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The USCG: They will board vessels and check for safety equipment, and inspect vessels by boarding .

One thing that I was written up for, is that the sailing club boat I was skippering did not have a PLACARD ABOUT "NOT PUMPING OUT OIL, FUEL, ETC, into the waters " . You may want to post one of those. That was at Catalina Island, by four armed Coasties.......They were on their two week training ( active duty) annual requirement, for the Reserve Program.

__________________________________________________ __________

Your harbor dept, or harbor police, may have different requirements than those of the harbor depts here in Southern California. But, it appears that you have received good scoops from other CF'ers, and that you are pretty well prepared.

I would think , if you stopped by the Harbor Dept office and asked them, they would probably have a print out check list for what is required for your inspection.

If I were a harbie, I would want my life made easy, by you having everything all set and squared away. I do not have to write up any citations,and do not have to come back again to re-inspect your vessel.

just from our observations at our local harbors and on our oceans, for 36 years.
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Old 13-09-2018, 09:42   #26
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

Coming down LI Sound last week I saw a sub (Virginia class nuclear attack) off in the distance and they were regularly broadcasting warnings to maintain a 500 yard distance.

An hour or two later I was passing through the Race. Turn around and the sub is speeding up on my stern. Not a lot of width through there. No way I’m going to be able to give him 500 yards. VHF crackles “Polaris this is US Navy submarine.” Was told to maintain course and speed and they would cut my stern to head into New London. Never been hailed by a sub before and given the right of way lol



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As far as “Harbor Patrol” goes for liveaboards they may well be concerned more with your sanitation plumbing and bilge and electrical condition than on the water safety equip.
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Old 13-09-2018, 09:50   #27
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

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Yep, yet another level of Police that came about as a result of 911.
I’d guess as the terrorist threat never really materialized, it has morphed to stay in existence, finding a mission so to speak and is now inspecting live aboards?

You are spot on. It's called mission creep although I am sure you already knew that phrase!
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Old 13-09-2018, 09:59   #28
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

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Originally Posted by fatherchronica View Post
In Ventura Harbor, a few years ago, we got our liveaboard inspection by a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary who I tricked by having everything working on Mana, being friendly and loaning him a copy of Peter Freuchens autobiography. Some years later we sailed back to California and got a slip in Channel Islands harbor and no one asked us to get any ok from anyone. They just asked us to follow the rules.
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Old 13-09-2018, 10:40   #29
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Yep, yet another level of Police that came about as a result of 911.
I’d guess as the terrorist threat never really materialized, it has morphed to stay in existence, finding a mission so to speak and is now inspecting live aboards?


Nope, on the WestCoastUS most were here before 9/11 with on water law enforcement task. 9/11 just gave most of them an extra revenue stream to go with a modest increase in responsibilities.
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Old 13-09-2018, 10:46   #30
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Re: Harbor Patrol inspection question?

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US Navy and other military services are prohibited from being used domestically. The Navy is not specifically, but generally follows the Army in that requirement.
You will see the US Coast Guard doing things that no other Military branch can or will though due to the fact that they do not fall under DOD.

I would be very surprised to see an automatic weapon on any Police vessel, although the Dept of Homeland Security and CBP etc. concern me.


All the DoD services are prohibited from directly participating in law enforcement acts. When the Navy boards a freighter on the High Seas, it’s actually a USCG detachment that does the boarding.
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