One strategy we use is to start the new year with a request for courtesy safety inspection and get the decal that goes with it and prominently post it on the windshield.
This reduces the number of boardings.
This spring we were coming up Currituck Sound, a big sportfisher and 3 sailboats, ducklings in a row motoring up the channel in 20-25 knot crosswinds (i.e., rough conditions). The sportfisher requested to pass, they were very courteous on the VHF. One of the sailboats was kind of a jerk, the other was unremarkable. (and of course
, I'm the consummate professional
thank you US Navy for the training). The Coast Guard came by in their red inflatable - obviously they'd heard the radio conversations or lack thereof - and started with the sportfisher "Captain, have you ever had a safety boarding at sea?" "Yes, about a year ago." And the CG said they were going to do it again, asked him to maintain course and speed. Maybe they just needed the rough weather boarding practice. Ten minutes later they were done.
Then the first of the sailboats; the guy who had been a jerk on the radio. Same drill from the Coast Guard, "Captain, have you ever had a safety boarding at sea?" "No." And the CG boarded him, again asking to maintain course and speed.
We were next. I'm hoping that having been professional on the VHF helped, but it didn't help the sportfisher. "Captain, have you ever had a safety boarding at sea?" "Yes, about 2 years ago in South Carolina, and just a few weeks ago we did the dockside courtesy check before we left Florida." Silence from the CG for a few minutes, then, "Thank you for taking the time to do that, have a pleasant voyage." They went on to board the other of the sailboats.
4 boats, 3 boardings, 1 courtesy sticker. I'm convinced!