....Does anyone know for sure without a shadow of doubt what inspections if any the Bounty went through or did not go through? The fact they may not have been required is not proof that they didnt.
First hand knowledge or report from a government agency will suffice. I prefer not to make assumptions and hypothesis unless it is a known fact.....
There is proof they were inspected. I think it's been posted before.
The Bounty was an "uninspected passenger" vessel, as you can see in the next link, but that apparently doesn't mean its never inspected. From what I've read, the difference is whether she is inspected for the basics or for serious seaworthiness. While I can't find copies of the inspection documents themselves, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable can describe what these would have been on an uninspected passenger vessel. That should not require the results of an investigation to clarify.
USCG CGMIX PSIX Vessel Details Page
I think it is also important to point out that complying with regulation never insures safety. You are required to have PFDs aboard, but people routinely drown. Inspected vessel are known to sink as well. It almost always comes back to one's judgement.
To restrict the Tall Ships to serious professional crews when making a passage would undoubtedly restrict their mobility, perhaps prevent it. I've seen armadas of Tall Ships celebrate various holidays, most typically our Independence Day on Jul 4th. It must be our pride, as a new country, in defeating the most powerful Navy in the world at the time.
However, I will never look upon one again, without the thought of the risk it may have taken to arrive and I'm not impressed.