- - As the All-At-Sea article and others who published the "whole story" state, is that the Privately Owned Marinas lobbied hard and did the work
to "get an exemption" from the classical procedures. As the articles state this was done for their customers. It is reasonable for owners of mega-yachts and Sport Fisherman to not like 6 to 8 officials tracking mud or whatever all over their expensive boats and each official expecting " a gift" for this. So these new procedures are tailored to the customers of the marinas.
- - Remember the boats staying at the marinas are going to pay 5% of their marina bill to the local officials. That could add up to some significant money
. A $1K dockage bill is $50 which is more than the $43 "old charge per boat" and a $2k bill is $100, and on and on. So the officials will be getting some big bucks which makes the "New" system less objectionable to them.
- - Nowhere in the published "New" system is there any mention of boats who are not staying at a marina. Nor is there any mention of coast-wise stopping. It specifically states travel is from one marina to another marina. All of this conforms to the normal desires and habit of Sports Fishermen and mega-yachts.
- - As to the old procedures, there always were and are "highly variable" from one port to another and even within the same port. Having spent a considerable amount of time in Luperon and Samana, as I got to know the officials and their hanger-ons, my costs for checking in/out decreased significantly. I have had Commandantes state that he charges bigger, newer boats more money
than smaller "poor-folk" boats. Sailors with "bad attitudes" get charged more than pleasant, polite and friendly sailors. The system in the D.R. is wonderful in one weird way, they have all the laws and regulations
the USA and others have - they just ignore most of them - unless - your piss them off and then watch your wallet empty very fast.
- - I love the D.R. and will some more significant time there, maybe even live there full time if I cannot sail anymore. The people, the geography and the food
are all fabulous (not to mention that it is cheap
to live there). But you need to be able to "fit in" and not take offense at some of the different ways they do things.
- - -
As to Speedo's question, yes - the new D.R. Guide is one of the best every done and has an excellent discussion in the front about the way folks in the D.R. do things and why. The rest of the guide is sort of slanted towards "marina" bound boats which is not any problem. Most other books
totally ignore that group. It is just that the old check-in/out procedures in the original version should not have been removed. The "New" procedures for "Privately Owner Marinas" should have been presented alongside the old procedures so that a reader can see how each is done.
- - Maybe the D.R. will adopt similar procedures for boats not staying at marinas - but I would not hold my breathe for one very good reason. I don't think any country is going to give up the fees
they have been getting and allow us to stay there "free" - especially in the D.R. That is really stretching reality. As stated in the D.R. Guide, these fees and "gifts" are what buys the food
that feeds the officials families. I don't see them volunteering to starve anytime soon.