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Old 02-10-2009
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Holding Tank Regulations - Alaska

Hi All,

We're considering taking a trip North to Alaska this summer. I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me what the situation is like regarding customs, holding tanks & pump out stations.

I've heard it rumored that if you have a macerator, you must close and seal the sea **** outlet if/when inspected by customs. Is that true? If so - are there adequate pump out stations up that way to keep a holding tank from overflowing?

Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2009
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The only thing I can recommend is to down load the Coast Pilot for Alaska and read it carefully. Been to many years since I was there the last time.
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Old 02-10-2009
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If you're staying within the Inner Passage, you should do alright for pumpouts. Going up to Prince William Sound, ports are fewer and farther between.
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Going the inland passage you will need Sailing Directions for B.C. Canada. and the Coast Pilot for Alaska. But there are a few Guide books for sailors that may be able to answer any questions you may have for that area.
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It is a federal law that your overboard valve be locked off (or otherwise permanently secured). If you go 3 miles offshore...then you can dump overboard...otherwise wait for the pumpout station.
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"It is a federal law that" A sewage discharge law? Or, just our obligation under MARPOL?
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We were in AK and BC in 2006. BR has a LectraSan and so we're legal inside 3 miles while in the US. I don't know what the BC regulations are. The only place you'll find pump out stations in AK or BC are in the big towns. North of Prince Rupert we didn't see that many boats in the anchorages we visited, and we saw no one anywhere checking the positions of head seacocks.

Town marinas generally have excellent facilities, so no doubt you can pump out there, but outside the towns?????... my guess is you're out of luck. No one's advocating anyone do anything contrary to the law, but AK is a VERY big place and many people we met up there migrated north to escape government's influence in their lives. My guess is there's 1000sX more whale s**t floating around than that of human origin, and no one's upset with the whales being there.

Re customs -- the Canadians will be much more concerned with how much booze you have than how you're head is plumbed. US customs in AK was pretty relaxed.

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Yes we should make those whales wear "Depends"
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