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Old 09-22-2016, 10:17 AM   #21
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Wow! A lot of people apparently have know idea as to what is involved in travel to Cuba for a U.S. boat.

It's perfectly legal if you qualify under one of the twelve categories of permits. The USCG could care less if you go as long as you fill out the proper paper work and the Cubans are very happy to have you come down.

In the past I found the Cuban officials to be some of, if not the, easiest to work with and friendliest of all the officials I've worked with. Including U.S. officials.

And that is what I found on this trip.

The ride down was perfect. Very calm sunny day.

We did come across a Cuban refugee raft. It was made of two square styrofoam pontoons about 8-10 feet long with a motor suspended between the pontoons. There was a make shift rudder, sail, bottled water, box of crackers and a jug of what looked like gasoline on board as well. No people. The drive shaft off the motor appeared to be broken.

On both of the pontoons the word "OK" was spray painted 3 times on the top of the pontoons. So we are assuming who ever was on board was picked up. I reported the position of the raft to the USCG.

Very sobering sight.

Internet is spotty and SAT data is expensive so I'll posts when I can from time to time. Including pictures of the raft when I can.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:24 AM   #22
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Also following as I would love to do this trip one day. Safe travels!
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:08 AM   #23
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Wow! A lot of people apparently have know idea as to what is involved in travel to Cuba for a U.S. boat.
Bill, one of the watch-outs regarding forum reactions to going to Cuba is that behind some of the posts is the fact that many do not agree with opening it up.

Could be more political that factual.
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:41 AM   #24
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Thanks for sharing your experience on this trip, certainly on my bucket list.
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:56 PM   #25
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Don't expect your insurance to cover you in Cuba. There are some limited policies available but you'd likely need to switch carriers and have your boat surveyed. It's something to consider early in the planning process.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:08 PM   #26
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Don't expect your insurance to cover you in Cuba. There are some limited policies available but you'd likely need to switch carriers and have your boat surveyed. It's something to consider early in the planning process.
Any plans to go to Cuba in the new boat? Have you done any offshore cruising on Redhead yet? Just wondering how she does in rougher seas compared to your previous stabilized Defever.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:49 PM   #27
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Don't expect your insurance to cover you in Cuba. There are some limited policies available but you'd likely need to switch carriers and have your boat surveyed. It's something to consider early in the planning process.
Insurance is become much less of an issue.

More and more companies are offering coverage or riders.

They really have no choice now that it is becoming easier for U.S. boats to come here.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:52 PM   #28
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Any plans to go to Cuba in the new boat? Have you done any offshore cruising on Redhead yet? Just wondering how she does in rougher seas compared to your previous stabilized Defever.
Red Head isn't the offshore boat that aCappella is. But the added beam and weight of Red Head help.

We put in 2 days off the coast of NJ in 3-4' beam seas and she didn't roll at all. The boat was chartered in the Bahamas for many years and previous captains told me that they'd gotten caught in 5-8 foot choppy Gulfstream waters and it still felt safe.

That said, we'd pick our day carefully to the Bahamas or Cuba. Yes, we plan to go to Cuba once you can stay longer than 10 days. It seems like a lot of effort for such a short stay right now.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:02 PM   #29
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Insurance is become much less of an issue.
There are precious few insurance provides who will provide coverage for US citizens on their own boat in Cuba. And like I said, it's something to check into early in the process because it might require switching providers which is a time consuming thing.

Some day it'll be like the Bahamas or Canada. But until there are reliable repair facilities and towing services in Cuba, insurance providers are going to be slow to cover you.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:19 PM   #30
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Red Head isn't the offshore boat that aCappella is. But the added beam and weight of Red Head help.

We put in 2 days off the coast of NJ in 3-4' beam seas and she didn't roll at all. The boat was chartered in the Bahamas for many years and previous captains told me that they'd gotten caught in 5-8 foot choppy Gulfstream waters and it still felt safe.

That said, we'd pick our day carefully to the Bahamas or Cuba. Yes, we plan to go to Cuba once you can stay longer than 10 days. It seems like a lot of effort for such a short stay right now.

Good info. Thanks.

What does Red Head weigh?
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:41 PM   #31
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I have been to Cuba several times a year for 20 years, mostly by air but twice I have been on a boutique sized cruise ship, my employer operated Cuba Cruise for three years and we all got a cruise as a bonus twice. I can tell you that it is one of the safest islands to visit as long as you follow several simple rules. Health Insurance is mandatory and NEVER rent a car. Always hire a car and driver (that speaks English) and you are fine to go anywhere at any time in safety. On the cruise I visited Havana, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos and Isle of Pines. I was on the bridge of the 1200 passenger Louis Cristal leaving Cienfuegos at night, (nice employee perk) and that is an experience as they had approx. 20 yards on each side in a very winding channel with rowboat fishermen that just smiled and waved at 5 blasts until they realized that the ship does not have brakes. The Captain was a real card, we went out on the bridge wing in the narrowest part and he looked over and said, "look, they are having peas and rice tonight" Not quite, but we were pretty close.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:59 PM   #32
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well my comment was to the op. i do not know if laws have changed but if you ask the coast guard if you can take your boat to cuba they will say no and your insurance will be void while in cuba so unless many rules have changed that i do not know about it is still illegal.
Many rules have changed. A lot has changed since 2003. Apparently many rules you don't know about. Actually the CG never had anything to say about whether you could take your boat to Cuba. Cuba did and then customs and immigration had something to say about whether you could return or not. Now, insurance may require a rider or one of the policies now being written just for travel to Cuba. Actually our insurance has no provision against Cuba as people they insure from other countries go there regularly.
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Old 09-22-2016, 03:40 PM   #33
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What does Red Head weigh?
180,000 lbs. I think she qualifies for 100 ton sea time.
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:01 PM   #34
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180,000 lbs. I think she qualifies for 100 ton sea time.
My guess would be 120-140 GRT and ITC
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:14 PM   #35
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Jeff, I think you can get the 100 ton masters with sea service time on a boat as small as 34 GRT....
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:45 PM   #36
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100 Ton NC requires 180 days of 51 tons or 360 days of 34 tons.

200 Ton NC requires 180 days of 101 tons or 360 days of 67 tons.

I'm guessing his boat is somewhere between 120 and 140 tons.

100 Ton OC requires 270 days of 51 tons or 540 of 34 tons.

200 Ton OC requires 270 days of 101 tons or 540 days of 67 tons.
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:28 PM   #37
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You can stay for up to 30 days.
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:44 PM   #38
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U.S. approves boat insurance for Cuba travel | Trade Only Today
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:12 PM   #39
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You can stay for up to 30 days.
Things change quick but I believe you receive a visa for 30 days although the permit under one of the 12 reasons that US citizens can travel to Cuba under only allows a maximum stay of 14 days. You can get an export permit to stay longer but I don't think many recreational boaters can legitimately qualify for that.

All of this is changing very quickly. Official government documents should be referenced and not the memory of anyone here, including me.
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:12 PM   #40
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180,000 lbs. I think she qualifies for 100 ton sea time.
Displacement of the vessel has nothing to do with qualifying for a U.S. masters license.
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