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post #1 of 27 Old 05-06-2009 Thread Starter
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Sailing the world - need papers?

If you sail the world, do you accually need any passports, visas and so on? Please educate me.

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post #2 of 27 Old 05-06-2009
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Yes, in most places you need a passport. Most grant a tourist visa on entry. You even need a passport or one of those new state id cards to go to Canada. You will also need your boat's papers in proper order.

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post #3 of 27 Old 05-06-2009
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Yes, you'll need a passport, and you'll need visas for most countries, and some don't grant them on entry. You will need a registration, preferably national, for your boat. You may need proof of insurance in some places.

Check Noonsite.com for the specifics for various countries.

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post #4 of 27 Old 05-07-2009
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In my limited experience, you always need a passport and in some places a visa in advance. But most places issue visas on arrival.

In New Zealand and Australia, you have to give advanced warning of your impending arrival and this is normally achieved from your previous destination. Both countries request at least 24 hours notification and get really disgruntled if you don't.

No official anywhere that I have been has ever asked me for my boat's papers or proof of ownership - I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it's never happened to me. Anywhere.

You'll only need to display evidence of insurance if you're staying in most marinas and there are some that haven't asked us. If you're anchoring off, no worries.

The one thing that you must DEFINITELY have whenever you are reporting to the local authority on initial check-in is the departure documents from your LAST point of departure, duly stamped and signed. I can't recall any place that didn't insist on these and I have seen one very uncomfortable couple who were unable to produce them (never discovered why they never had them).

Another thing that is often overlooked is a courtesy flag. There are a lot of places, some them seemingly most unlikely, that get seriously pi$$ed if you haven't got one. Seychelles and Samoa are two that are like that.


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post #5 of 27 Old 05-07-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
In my limited experience, you always need a passport and in some places a visa in advance. But most places issue visas on arrival.

In New Zealand and Australia, you have to give advanced warning of your impending arrival and this is normally achieved from your previous destination. Both countries request at least 24 hours notification and get really disgruntled if you don't.

No official anywhere that I have been has ever asked me for my boat's papers or proof of ownership - I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it's never happened to me. Anywhere.

You'll only need to display evidence of insurance if you're staying in most marinas and there are some that haven't asked us. If you're anchoring off, no worries.

The one thing that you must DEFINITELY have whenever you are reporting to the local authority on initial check-in is the departure documents from your LAST point of departure, duly stamped and signed. I can't recall any place that didn't insist on these and I have seen one very uncomfortable couple who were unable to produce them (never discovered why they never had them).

Another thing that is often overlooked is a courtesy flag. There are a lot of places, some them seemingly most unlikely, that get seriously pi$$ed if you haven't got one. Seychelles and Samoa are two that are like that.
Ok, thank you for the post. How would I get the departure documents? Should I ask in the marina or should I contact the local gov?
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-07-2009
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The departure documents, or Zarpe, are usually issued by the local government customs office when you check out of a given country.

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post #7 of 27 Old 05-08-2009
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You'll obviously be leaving your own country first so the start of the process is easy.

Normally the local Customs, in third world countries or the islands the police station, gendarmerie or the harbourmaster. Normally when you arrive at a place someone will come and ask for your papers, he's the same person who will give you departure papers when you check out.

If nobody comes to ask for your papers and there is no obvious office around, just ask the locals.

Note that if you don't get the right papers at one destination, your last set from the previous stop will need to have some logic to follow on. In other words, If you leave the States and go to the Marquesas, that'll be a three week voyage.

If you don't get the correct docs there, stay for four weeks and take another week to sail to your next destination, you will need to have reasonable explanation for why it took you eight weeks to get from the States to your second destination. Does that make sense?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by privatearms View Post
If you sail the world, do you accually need any passports, visas and so on? Please educate me.
You may need more than this.
As others said, countries and ports vary in how diligent they are actually checking, but here are some common extras:
1. In some Med countries, you are not allowed to enter w/o a VHF certificate. Don't ask me why - though you can see the safety aspect.
2. You are supposed to carry a Crew List, matched against passports.
3. Theoretically - though this is probably the least commonly checked - a port may require current insurance papers.
4. The boat papers must be complete if entering e.g. EU, with specification of country of origin. If US-registered, duty and VAT is payable if kept in EU waters beyond 6 mnths, to the papers are stamped on date of first entry.
5. Worth looking out for: implementation is only tentative so far, but e.g. EU countries are increasingly steering towards a "skipper certificate", i.e. you need papers to show that you are entitled to skipper a boat the size of yours. Normally, this means that if you are allowed in your home country, they must accept you.

As you may have guessed, there are parts of the world - too many to list - where the request for "papers" is a great pretext for extracting bribes, so it really pays to have as much as possible to beat them over the head with.
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Ps. on Visas: As Omatako mentions, getting your visa in advance is a safe and often more convenient option. Remember that many countries only have certain named harbors as official "Port of Entry", which is where passports and such are processed. If you make landfall elsewhere and lack the visa, you may be sent to run the gauntlet - the locals don't issue visas, and you're not allowed to travel in the country to get one. Does that sound like premium bribe time to you?
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I'd point out that some countries require a bond for any crew you bring with you. This is to ensure the crew can leave the country via plane if they decide not to leave when you depart.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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