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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Caribbean
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Caribbean East and West and including the big islands and the east coast of Central America and Northern littoral of S. America


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Old 10-25-2012
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sailing documents

Hi
I am going south to Antigua with a registered but undocumented boat, US flagged. is there anywhere down there that i will need documentation, not just registration? is there any country that will deny me access without insurance?
thanx a lot
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Old 10-25-2012
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Re: sailing documents

Never been asked for proof of insurance in the Carib. Whether an individual Customs officer will accept an undocumented boat depends on his/her mood at the moment (rules down there are somewhat variable/flexible/changeable. It could make your life difficult anywhere south of the Bahamas.
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Last edited by boatpoker; 10-25-2012 at 02:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-25-2012
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Re: sailing documents

No experience there but it seems a big risky. They can seize the boat if they want.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 10-25-2012
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Re: sailing documents

" a registered but undocumented boat, US flagged."
Dubon, if it is undocumented, it is NOT US FLAGGED. It is only "flagged" by the State that issued the registration, and that's not the same as a national flag.

I doubt any country will deny you entry or ask for your insurance status, but you may find that marinas are reluctant to let you tie up without insurance. Countries don't care about that AFAIK. Businesses like marinas do.

Got an itinerary? Any idea where you will be going? OK, email a couple of marinas and ask what their insurance requirements are, or whether they have any.
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Old 10-29-2012
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Re: sailing documents

In the Caribbean islands in general and Antigua in particular there is no requirement for insurance; some marinas require proof of insurance in order to dock or store the boat there (Jolly Harbour in Antigua has such a requirement, for example). Clearing into Antigua is a bit onerous, as an ex-British colony they tend to be sticklers for procedure. I know of an acquaintance who cleared in with a Delaware-state-registered boat, but as mentioned above a lot can depend upon the immigration official.

When clearing in you will need your outbound clearance papers from the prior departure country, the boat ownership papers and passports for all on board. If you clear in at English harbour there are 4 "desks" that you will need to present yourself and papers in the correct order. The first desk will give you a bunch of forms to fill in, once that is done you'll then be allowed to the immigration desk where you'll get 2 more forms per person to fill in, once that is done you return to have immigration clear the people in, then return to the initial desk to get the boat (almost) cleared in, then to the Parks desk to pay your mooring/anchoring fees and then finally back to the first desk in order to complete the whole procedure. If one is well-kept and polite the procedure is painless but can take 30 minutes or more when the office is empty. I keep on thinking back to one time with a French gentleman in front of me who made the mistake of stating "They don't do it that way back in France" and his sojourn in the immigration offices took hours longer than mine
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Last edited by Zanshin; 10-29-2012 at 07:32 AM. Reason: corrected typographical errors
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Old 11-21-2012
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Re: sailing documents

would the US official make any problems about leaving the US with a registration only and no documentation?
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Re: sailing documents

The US does not have a clearance out requirement at least not for US boats. If you want to leave then just leave. However, in the Caribbean every single island I went to (a dozen or so) wanted to see documentation, not state registration. I watched a guy get refused entry to Martinique for not having ORIGINAL documentation. A copy is no good. No customs official ever wanted proof of insurance but marinas almost always do.

And in Antigua they are VERY serious about the captain ONLY getting off the boat to clear in. I heard of massive fines if they catch you breaking this rule. Other islands were more laid back about it.
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Re: sailing documents

"would the US official make any problems about leaving the US with"
A nice guy might warn you that your destination might want more, or turn you back. Just as a nice guy might warn you that you'll have trouble getting your new Rolex and Nikon back into the US unless you record their serial numbers before you leave.

But (pop quiz!) "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" has been traditionally upheld as the law in the US, meaning, unlike the Hotel California, you can check out any time you like. Any way you like. As long as your bills are paid up.

Which is why there's no zarpe required to exit the US, and why that's such a rare thing.
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Re: sailing documents

At minimum since the boat is not documented, I would bring along the original certificate of Title, as well as registration papers.
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