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  #1  
Old 03-17-2003
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hayesemily is on a distinguished road
Courtesy Flags?

We are going to be cruising in Canada, the Caribbean, and South and Central America starting this summer. This may be a silly question, but I''ve heard different opinions - how important is it to have courtesy flags for each country we visit? If it is recommended strongly, then has anyone ever tried making some of these flags vs. buying factory made ones?
(Planning our first sailing voyage abroad,)
Emily
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Old 03-17-2003
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tsenator is on a distinguished road
Courtesy Flags?

You can go here

http://usflags.com/browsestore.asp?CategoryID=6

and get some flags for a decent price.
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Old 03-18-2003
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Courtesy Flags?

You MUST have courtesy flags - some countries will fine you if you don''t. It can be very insulting not to fly their flag and you won''t make any points with the port captain.

During our last cruise, we made all of our flags. Unless you''re going to stay a long time, they don''t have to be bullet-proof (remember, they are 20 feet up the mast and don''t have to be perfect). We used cheap fabric and fabric markers for designs (like Mexico). There is a book, I think put out by Sailrite that was reviewed in Good Old Boat last year - it''s pretty good. Has all designs and scales. You''ll need a sewing machine, unless you like hand sewing, but you can use a home machine.

Often other cruisers will sell their flags or even make them for sale. We liked to keep ours for the memories (look at the shredded Guatemala flag - remember that gale ?)



You might consider a better quality "Q" flag since you will hoist it alot.
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Old 03-18-2003
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WHOOSH is on a distinguished road
Courtesy Flags?

Emily, yours is a normal question and you should assume that any ''absolute'' answer you get will be somewhat inaccurate as local practice varies immensely on the subject of courtesy flags.

Some locals have learned that they can approach a new yachtie, tell them they ''must'' fly a courtesy flag and maybe end up selling them one. The yachtie later notices in the anchorage that half the boats aren''t flying one. In other places (perhaps even the same country), officials can take it seriously and compliance is appropriate. At one port, you''ll be remote from the officials at all times and there''s not even anyone with whom you are complying.

I''d suggest you look at the question a little differently. You''re about to embark on a big adventure - what would add the most to it? Assume for the moment this is more ''custom'' than ''law'' - what''s going to provide fun and interest to the cruise? Some get a kick out of being crafty and doing the bare minimum re: govt. regs. Others find flags to be part of the ''experience''. What fits your boat?

My suggestion: Prepare in advance where possible, invent on the spot when you must, buy what the kitty will allow but make what you can when the money is better spent elsewhere. My wife (with a little help from me) makes most of our flags, but OTOH she chooses not to make some because they are so intricate. Her preference is that whatever flag we fly, it looks good, is reasonably representative, and will last a while - because that''s what we like, because it will be a momento of the cruise, and because we might want to reuse it (and we have, in some cases). But this is our set of preferences; your pleasure is that you begin to invent yours!

Oh, and don''t forget a good flag book (good ones reflect the several main types of flags used by a country, not just the national colors) and markers, scraps, glue, etc.

Jack
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Old 03-20-2003
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hayesemily is on a distinguished road
Courtesy Flags?

Thanks for all of your suggestions. WHOOSH- can you recommend a good flag book? And fourknots- do you know the title of that book put out by Sailrite? I''d like to look into both of those ideas. Thanks again.
Emily
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Old 03-20-2003
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Nereus32 is an unknown quantity at this point
Courtesy Flags?

Check out Boating Etiquette (Chapman''s Nautical Guides) by Queene Hooper Foster. I''ve seen it around at both Barnes & Nobles and Borders. Also available cheap on Amazon.
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Old 03-21-2003
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fourknots is on a distinguished road
Courtesy Flags?

Here''s the info, Emily

Make Your Own Courtesy and Signal Flags: Instructions, Patterns, and Flag
Facts for 28 Caribbean Courtesy Flags and 40 International Signal Flags by
Bonnie Ladell and Matthew M. Grant (Sailrite Enterprises, Inc.
1-800-348-2769; © 2001; 64 pages; $19.95)
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Old 03-21-2003
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Courtesy Flags?

Emily, we''ve been looking for quite a while now to find a replacement for our dated flag book, and so far have been disappointed. Sorry I can''t be more helpful.

You''ll find lots of alternatives (e.g. world almanacs, Reeds, flag books in the travel section of a good book store) and, for your cruising grounds, most of them will probably be fine (mainly because so few island nations in the Caribbean really care about flags altogether, let alone which of the several choices you are using).

Jack
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Old 03-21-2003
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Courtesy Flags?

http://www.photius.com/flags/alphabetic_list.html
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Old 08-08-2008
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I purchased an Australian produced flag book "Sew Many Flags" which I recommend, but beware, I think in some countries the courtesy flag is not necessarily the same as the nation flag (just to confuse matters).
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