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Old 04-14-2018, 08:13 PM   #81
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What Comodave said.

Two USCG boardings in the past thirty-five years. Both routine were compliance inspections. I behaved the same way both boarding crews behaved, politely and professionally. I thanked the Coasties for doing what they do, which I mean sincerely. If anyone in the USCG is reading this - thanks again!
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:34 PM   #82
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Were these guys you worked with or knew you from the USCG? Sounds like a great prank on a former colleague to me...



You's guys crack me up!
no.... no one I worked with....

I have been stopped a long way from home waters and the boarding crews were probably not even in the 1st grade when I retired....

but once they notice the few coastie things around, the conversation tuns to places and jobs we all have been while going through their boarding form.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:47 PM   #83
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Can they refuse them cute pink booties I'm going to give them to wear over their boots?
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:22 PM   #84
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In 40 years including two trips from FL to TX in the ICW, I have been boarded only once and I dont even remember the details so it must have not been an event....or my memory is fading at 82 years of age. My only concern was the safety of the one person that came aboard rather clumsily. They gave me a sticker I put in the starboard window of the pilothouse that was supposed to work on the CG like a cross works on vampires. Never got boarded again so I guess it works.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:31 PM   #85
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Non WA vessels can travel throughout Puget Sound without the Registration sticker. Keeping in mind the time duration.


Yup, I was just thinking of WA state boats.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:39 PM   #86
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That was my understanding as well, but as I said, I believe I have read that one could actually take a ticket and refuse a boarding. I will have to look it up again. Without probable cause no other law enforcement has such authority to invade the private premises of a citizen, ( to my knowledge), without probable cause or a warrant for which probable cause must be shown to be granted. And no not playing "sea lawyer".

My understanding is that the USCG can do a search of your vessel in US waters at any time they feel it is warranted. You can try and refuse, but the potential penalties/consequences could be bad.

You may not like the idea of being boarded at will, but that is the way the law has been interpreted. It has been that way for over 200 years and wonít change any time soon. It isnít the individual coasties who wrote the law, and in most cases they are doing their best to carry out their duty.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:50 PM   #87
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Its obviously a different situation here in Australia. I don't know if the coast guard boards any private vehicles. I've never heard of it happening.

We do have occasional inspections by Fisheries Dept boats for undersize fish, and water police for DUI breath testing. I had the police boat pull alongside me for breath-testing on Australia Day. I was sailing at the time so couldn't immediately stop like most power boats. I just ignored him for a while and he eventually decided it was all too hard and moved on.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:58 PM   #88
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My understanding is that the USCG can do a search of your vessel in US waters at any time they feel it is warranted. You can try and refuse, but the potential penalties/consequences could be bad.

You may not like the idea of being boarded at will, but that is the way the law has been interpreted. It has been that way for over 200 years and wonít change any time soon. It isnít the individual coasties who wrote the law, and in most cases they are doing their best to carry out their duty.
Yah, understand all that, just the principle of the whole thing that bothers me I guess, the "anytime THEY feel its warranted" thing. There is no criteria they must meet, none. All other LE must have some reason for doing something and where your home is concerned, no warrant no entry unless invited or obvious probable cause. CG needs ZERO reason to board ANY boat for ANY reason at ANY TIME THEY CHOOSE. Yes, it has been adjudicated thus. Is it right? I don't think so, and I doubt many people would say that it is right or a good idea, but it is apparently an acceptable situation since no real effort has ever been made to change it. Ones rights should not evaporate at waters edge.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:20 PM   #89
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Yah, understand all that, just the principle of the whole thing that bothers me I guess, the "anytime THEY feel its warranted" thing. There is no criteria they must meet, none. All other LE must have some reason for doing something and where your home is concerned, no warrant no entry unless invited or obvious probable cause. CG needs ZERO reason to board ANY boat for ANY reason at ANY TIME THEY CHOOSE. Yes, it has been adjudicated thus. Is it right? I don't think so, and I doubt many people would say that it is right or a good idea, but it is apparently an acceptable situation since no real effort has ever been made to change it. Ones rights should not evaporate at waters edge.
I agree completely with that. Here in Texas the "Castle Law" that allows you to defend your Castle with a gun has been upheld for boats. If your boat is a castle and your car is a castle and your house is your castle then the search of any should have the same rules.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:21 PM   #90
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I have been boarded many times, only once with cause though. I used to take a small bow rider to a popular boating beach where there was rampant alcohol and stupidity. In every instance the USCG was impeccably polite and courteous, even when I blatantly blew through a no wake zone at 30 knots. ( a monster storm cell approached and I was about 4 miles from the boat ramp.). In every instance they would make conversation with my kids, tell me that I was much better equipped than most 17 foot boats, and send me on my way. Even when I deserved a citation, they just made me wait in the freezing rain for a while to teach me a lesson, and let me go with a warning.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:26 PM   #91
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So there is one thing you can do to avoid boarding by the USCG. Take the time and have your boat inspected in advance and then put that nice "Boat US" sticker on your port side window. File the paperwork with your other important papers.

This sticker saved my 3 boarding in the past. One in the San Juans and 2 in Alaska. They see the sticker and wave you on.

Last year Crusty and I almost got boarded on the dinghy. They wanted to see PFDs and a fire extinguisher. This year I had the dink inspected too.

I do challenge the Aux when they board my boat to do the safety check. Things like the "Y" valve MUST be locked or tied off (not true) or I must have a bell on my vessel or I must have a white light on my bridge.

As far as LEOs, my boat is my home and they need probable cause. I have been asked by LEOs if they could board. I ask what is the PC? They state a "safety inspection" which I instruct them to look at the sticker on the port window. I have denied boarding and once they see the sticker they move on.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:26 PM   #92
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Hmm, my sticker actually came with the document. Iím heading over now, so Iíll check it out.
No, your sticker came with your Florida registration.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:33 PM   #93
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I agree completely with that. Here in Texas the "Castle Law" that allows you to defend your Castle with a gun has been upheld for boats. If your boat is a castle and your car is a castle and your house is your castle then the search of any should have the same rules.
Understand that Texas law isn't applicable in the situation being discussed, at all.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:43 PM   #94
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So there is one thing you can do to avoid boarding by the USCG. Take the time and have your boat inspected in advance and then put that nice "Boat US" sticker on your port side window. File the paperwork with your other important papers.
I have found in talking to people along the way and CG officers that placing value on a USCG inspection varies widely by officer and by location. I've found it carries virtually zero value in South Florida. Now, boarding in South Florida is an entirely different game. While some is done for routine inspection, the real interests are smuggling of people, drugs and firearms.

As to earlier conversation about refusing boarding, don't even thing about objecting or questioning. The moment you throw up a red flag, you're going to get a thorough inspection. I've heard of a drunk passenger aboard trying to play "highway" attorney on a boat and start talking non-existent laws. The one incident I'm aware of the passenger was arrested and every inch of the boat was inspected plus the boat ticketed for every possible violation, regardless of how minor. The officers deserve respect and they'll demand it. If any don't show worthy of respect deal with that another time through appropriate channels. We have been stopped once in coastal waters or offshore. We were stopped 4 times on the Great Lakes and I do believe it was all bikini induced, lengthy talk three times and one boarding.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:24 AM   #95
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No, your sticker came with your Florida registration.
That is your FL tax sticker and has nothing to do with Federal Documentation of a vessel.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:30 AM   #96
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Yeah, but a boat with a few nice bits of USCG. memoribilia turns the boarding into a war story fest more than anything, but yes the checklist still gets done....
Funny you should mention: When I got boarded last year one of the party noticed the coast guard book on my shelf and commented favorably so I introduced him to the author, a high school classmate who happened to be aboard for a couple weeks.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:16 AM   #97
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Wouldn't be surprised if government officials monitor boating threads to select boardings of particular boats.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:20 AM   #98
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I agree completely with that. Here in Texas the "Castle Law" that allows you to defend your Castle with a gun has been upheld for boats. If your boat is a castle and your car is a castle and your house is your castle then the search of any should have the same rules.
Boatwise, that attitude will cause you problems.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:21 AM   #99
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I agree completely with that. Here in Texas the "Castle Law" that allows you to defend your Castle with a gun has been upheld for boats. If your boat is a castle and your car is a castle and your house is your castle then the search of any should have the same rules.
Isn`t one purpose of being armed to defend yourself against Govt? CG are an arm of Govt. Go for it! Wish I was there to see it pan out.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:26 AM   #100
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Who you gonna call when you are sinking, disabled in the water or need an armed response?
Play nice and be respectful.
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