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Old 02-02-2009, 15:10   #1
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Transporting Alcohol non-commercial

Hi
I was wondering how much alcohol you can legally transport in U.S. waters. I have a 26' Catalina, and I vacation on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay, MD. I go with several friends and family members, for up to a week at a time, and we bring are own supplies, and several case's of beer and liquor. If stopped by the Coast Guard or local police would I get in trouble? Is there a limit on how much personal alcohol you can carry on board? Or would this just fall under a weight / boat restriction?
Also what are the restriction on transporting alcohol across state lines? MD, VA, DE, NJ, PA, DC, waters are all less than a day away by boat.

Thanks, Tom
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Old 02-02-2009, 16:48   #2
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Within the US there is no limit since you paid tax on it some place. If you were drunk and stupid any amount would be enough to send you to jail. Many states will throw you in jail should you be found tooling around on a boat drunk.

Were I to venture out on a trip of finite length I would haul I expected to really use with me. Should the volume get to be really large you might be considered as selling it since the volume would be beyond personal. I really can't see how you could exceed that unless you intend to operate a boat under the influence.

I really wouldn't want to venture what the limit of liquor one might be able to drink legally over a given length of time. being responsible does matter.
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Old 02-02-2009, 17:12   #3
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There could be an issue of transporting liquor across state lines. When I lived in Delaware, it was a common practice to drive down to Maryland to buy liquor, because the taxes were much lower. The state police would sometimes lie in wait and arrest people who had large amounts of booze in their trunk. Not me, of course. I imagine that, in theory, the same would apply to boats, but I've never heard of any instances of boaters being arrested in modern times.

Of course, rum-running by boat is an ancient and noble profession, as evidenced by the exploits of the Bronfmans and Joseph Kennedy.
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Old 02-02-2009, 17:34   #4
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There could be an issue of transporting liquor across state lines. When I lived in Delaware, it was a common practice to drive down to Maryland to buy liquor, because the taxes were much lower. The state police would sometimes lie in wait and arrest people who had large amounts of booze in their trunk. Not me, of course. I imagine that, in theory, the same would apply to boats, but I've never heard of any instances of boaters being arrested in modern times.

Of course, rum-running by boat is an ancient and noble profession, as evidenced by the exploits of the Bronfmans and Joseph Kennedy.
This reminds me of a story that I must tell.

Back in the 80's we were cruising thru the Caribbean. One of the guys that was single handing landed a good deal on 100 Gallons of rum (I think it was about $1.00 a gallon). He cleaned out and filled one of his 2 water tanks with the stuff.

He was on his way home to the East Coast, where he owns a bar. He figured he would make enough off of that rum to pay for a lot of his entire circumnavigation (at about $3 a shot). Now.............THAT'S illegal....
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Old 02-02-2009, 23:47   #5
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What small Island in the Chesapeake are you going to?

I hope it isn't the Methodist Strongholds of Smith and Tangier
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Old 03-02-2009, 00:14   #6
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Yeah, Smith Island, I'm not Methodist, actually Irish Catholic. The people there are very nice, willing to help you anyway they can. Driving a golf cart or riding a bike everyone waves as you pass, I was out walking one day, about a mile from the house and it started to rain, a women (complete stranger) stopped and gave me a ride back to my house. A year ago a neighbor stopped by and brought soft shell crabs, and cooked them up in our kitchen for us. That's how it is down there, everyone is willing to help every one out. Anyone cruising the Chesapeake must stop at Smith Island, Fresh Seafood, and wonderful 50's style hospitality. I have had a house there since 2004, so I bin going down there for 4-5 years, and I never even heard of a crime committed ever!

I was never at Tangier.
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