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Old 09-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #21
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Randy, thanks for pointing out I should have said documented vessel. Please note I said "especially in border areas."

This past year I have crossed Canada/US border 8 times by boat and checked in each time by phone with no physical Customs presence on the boat. On the Canada side it is common to see Customs people walking the docks checking names, stern listed hailing ports and customs numbers for US flagged vessels. Most big yachts in the PNW seem to have Cayman IS or some sort of tax free port on thier stern and flagged accordingly. Two years ago we listened to the radio as air surveillance was checking on vessels entering Canada from US waters. But you are safe in the Carolinas from the watchers as you say.

Years ago in Mexico it was money that talked with the customs guys, not numbers, names or location. Is it still that way today south of the border?
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:36 PM   #22
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Undocumented vessels would have a state registration number and year sticker on the bow hull or generally forward of the helm, on both sides, and visisble. Even documented vessels, in FLA anyway, have to be registered and display their sticker, usually stuck on the forward glass to port and or starboard.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:39 PM   #23
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I find lots of sailboats travel with the radio off, I think it is because they often have the radio inside and they are sitting in the cockpit.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:35 PM   #24
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I find lots of sailboats travel with the radio off, I think it is because they often have the radio inside and they are sitting in the cockpit.
Steve W
I don't know whether sailboaters have the radio on or not, but very few answer a call.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:00 PM   #25
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Undocumented vessels would have a state registration number and year sticker on the bow hull or generally forward of the helm, on both sides, and visisble. Even documented vessels, in FLA anyway, have to be registered and display their sticker, usually stuck on the forward glass to port and or starboard.
Should have.

For some reason, perhaps to evade personal property taxes, I often see boats that are too small to be documented with no registration numbers or stickers.

Documented boats owned by South Carolina residents or corporations are not required to display and state stickers. And boats from outside the USA would not have state numbers or stickers.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:09 PM   #26
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I don't know whether sailboaters have the radio on or not, but very few answer a call.
And that's why we have horns. Loud horns!

At my normal cruising speed, more people pass me than the other way around. I remember two occasions where I wanted to pass and could not raise the other boat. One was a sailboat, the other was a tug pushing a barge.

After several failed attempts, I just kicked it in gear and roared past at 8 knots or so. If they won't monitor the VHF and respond, the heck with them.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:07 PM   #27
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The standard world wide convention is name and hailing port on the stern of the mother ship. Today the US, Canada and Mexico Coast Guards are really watching names, flags and hailing ports and plugging same into their on board computers to verify authenticity. If they can't see the name and port they get frazzled and will pull you over, especially in the border areas and likely find something to bitch about. Nothing the matter with on the bottom of the dinghy if stern obscured.
For the first time ever, I went through a swing bridge opening, and the bridge tender asked me for my boat name and hailing port. Obviously he didn't see my alternate sign on the fly bridge. However, I thought it was unusual, never having been asked for the other openings I've encountered. And there have been many.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:18 PM   #28
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For the first time ever, I went through a swing bridge opening, and the bridge tender asked me for my boat name and hailing port. Obviously he didn't see my alternate sign on the fly bridge. However, I thought it was unusual, never having been asked for the other openings I've encountered. And there have been many.
Sometimes there is a BOLO out for a vessel. Bridges and other choke points can be notified. If a documented boat skips out on a yard bill, the boat can be arrested. Stolen boats are a problem also.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:09 AM   #29
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pretty sure if a bridge opening is requested...they are mandated to log the vessel name...if not opening...I think their logging is voluntary unless requested to do so by the USCG
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:29 AM   #30
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...Years ago in Mexico it was money that talked with the customs guys, not numbers, names or location. Is it still that way today south of the border?
We left Mexico in 2011 after 3 years there. The mordida had pretty much gone away. The navy has taken an active roll. Now they all carry digital cameras in addition to the guns and dogs. Of the 5 or 6 times we were boarder not once were we asked for anything.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:17 AM   #31
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All the drawbridges I've been through on the Atlantic ICW ask for name and hailing port. The ones on the St. Johns River in FL did not.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:28 AM   #32
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All the drawbridges I've been through on the Atlantic ICW ask for name and hailing port. The ones on the St. Johns River in FL did not.
I've been through maybe 50 on the AICW, only been asked that one time. However, I've always had our alternate name and hailing port up which is easy to see with a pair of glasses. If they want to know, then should I state my vessel name whenever I request an opening? I usually just say "I'm a Southbound trawler approaching, and I'd like to request your next opening.." and they usually reply "we'll turn you around in a few minutes Cap!" or "4 PM is the next opening an that is in about 20 minutes."
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:26 AM   #33
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I've been through maybe 50 on the AICW, only been asked that one time. However, I've always had our alternate name and hailing port up which is easy to see with a pair of glasses. If they want to know, then should I state my vessel name whenever I request an opening? I usually just say "I'm a Southbound trawler approaching, and I'd like to request your next opening.." and they usually reply "we'll turn you around in a few minutes Cap!" or "4 PM is the next opening an that is in about 20 minutes."

It's been my experience they just write down your name if they can see it...they request it when they can't.

I searched the CFR bridge regs and didn't see the requirement to keep a log but I know many do for some reason. Maybe it's the radio log they are keeping...either way if they ask...I answer and I've never heard one complain that they couldn't read your name for any reason...they just ask if they want to.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:51 AM   #34
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I've been through maybe 50 on the AICW, only been asked that one time. However, I've always had our alternate name and hailing port up which is easy to see with a pair of glasses. If they want to know, then should I state my vessel name whenever I request an opening? I usually just say "I'm a Southbound trawler approaching, and I'd like to request your next opening.." and they usually reply "we'll turn you around in a few minutes Cap!" or "4 PM is the next opening an that is in about 20 minutes."
I don't have to have them opened for my boat, but I spend a lot of time where I can hear the VHF exchanges, and from my experience, anyone who asks to have the Ben Sawyer or Wappoo Cut bridges in the Charleston, SC area (on the ICW) will be asked for the boat's name and home port.

I have no idea why, but it happens.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:22 AM   #35
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I don't have to have them opened for my boat, but I spend a lot of time where I can hear the VHF exchanges, and from my experience, anyone who asks to have the Ben Sawyer or Wappoo Cut bridges in the Charleston, SC area (on the ICW) will be asked for the boat's name and home port.

I have no idea why, but it happens.
Ron, has the work on the Ben Sawyer Bridge been completed?
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:31 AM   #36
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Ron, has the work on the Ben Sawyer Bridge been completed?
I honestly don't know. I don't get out as much as I should and it looks like our next trip will be heading south again.
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