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  #1  
Old 08-16-2010
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12 mile restriction?

I am US resident since 1982( green card) and Polish citizen. As truck driver, I never had any problems crossing borders to Canada and back. Countless check points at Mexican border (do not cross the border). I am planing to buy sailboat and sail around islands, but that dream of mine look like will be only a dream. I learned that I can buy a boat and register as motor vehicle, but I will not be allowed to cross international borders. Does that mean that I will be confine to 12 mile? Does any one have any more info?
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Old 08-16-2010
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Dupek--I think you have been given the wrong information. I suggest you contact US Imigration and Customs Enforcement directly to get the right information.

FWIW...
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Old 08-16-2010
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You can travel anywhere on a boat the way you can on a plane. It is a good idea to have a documented vessel but it is not a requirement to sail the islands. Since you're not a US citizen, you can't document the vessel with the Coast Guard. If you're married to a US citizen you can but you'll have to get your name off the title. Documentation makes entry in foreign ports easier since the boat's documentation is essentially its own passport identifying it as foreign soil officially. State registration is fine but you'll need to prove vessel ownership in that case so you'll need to travel with the title to the vessel with you. That would not be needed with a documented vessel.

You'll enter the islands on your native citizenship and declare your country of residence as the USA. However, I must point out that as a permanent resident you are limited in how long you can be out of the United States before putting your permanent residence status at risk. You'll likely be limited to just under 6 months of cruising at a time before you need to be back in the USA.

You are most certainly not confined to the 12 mile limit. You could turn offshore anytime you wanted and no one could stop you.

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Old 08-16-2010
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I learned that I can go out and enter back to US as many times as I want to as long as I return within 1 year of last voyage. The question remains of flag. I can have flag less vessel. I send question to border patrol web site and see what they will tell me.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Wink

You should not have any problems, as long as you have a passport, green card and CBP decal handy. However, since you are not a US citizen the USCG will not provide you with Documentation (BS, if you ask me..), so you can only register the boat with your state, which should not be a problem when clearing immigration in other countries. If worse comes to worst, you can always fly a polish flag (which will definetly impress your slip neighbors) and get a cruising permit.
Contact the immigration authorities in the countries you plan to visit.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Bjung—

Why is it BS for the USCG not to issue USCG Documentation to foreigners. USCG Documentation makes the boat US territory, and there is no reason that makes any sense to allow FOREIGNERS to own a boat that is considered US TERRITORY.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Bjung—

Why is it BS for the USCG not to issue USCG Documentation to foreigners. USCG Documentation makes the boat US territory, and there is no reason that makes any sense to allow FOREIGNERS to own a boat that is considered US TERRITORY.
I don't quite follow. It isn't illegal for a resident alien (or any immigrant, for that matter) to own a house in the US. In fact, individuals from other counties can and do own real estate in the US w/o actually living here at all.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Houses aren't boats... Boats can move and enter foreign countries...houses can't. USCG Documented boats are technically US territory...does it really make sense to allow foreigners to own a MOBILE PIECE OF THE US???

Sure, foreigners can buy houses here in the United States, but they're not likely to be ending up in the Bahamas, Canada or Mexico, barring some really spectacular natural disaster.

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Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
I don't quite follow. It isn't illegal for a resident alien (or any immigrant, for that matter) to own a house in the US. In fact, individuals from other counties can and do own real estate in the US w/o actually living here at all.
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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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Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Bjung—

Why is it BS for the USCG not to issue USCG Documentation to foreigners. USCG Documentation makes the boat US territory, and there is no reason that makes any sense to allow FOREIGNERS to own a boat that is considered US TERRITORY.
Sd,
OhOh, I guess we're getting into an off-topic/immigrant discussion here.
Well, to counter your objections, a foreigner (in the OP's case, a legal Resident Alien ) can own property in the US, which is obviously considered US TERRITORY. No problem there..
Also, at purchase the OP will have paid taxes on the boat in the state where she will be registered. That State is obviously in US TERRITORY.
Besides your objections, the USCG has a slightly differrent reasoning.
From the USCG website:
Vessel documentation is a national form of registration. It is one of the oldest functions of Government, dating back to the 11th Act of the First Congress. Documentation provides conclusive evidence of nationality for international purposes, provides for unhindered commerce between the states, and admits vessels to certain restricted trades, such as coastwise trade and the fisheries. Since 1920, vessel financing has been enhanced through the availability of preferred mortgages on documented vessels.
"Evidence of nationality", of what, the vessel or the owner?
I would assume you are documenting the vessel, and if this vessel is registered in Florida( for example), it would make very little sense to document it with the Polish Coast Guard (not sure there even is one).
I can see the reasoning on the coastwise trade and fisheries, but on recreational vessel??
See what you started dupek?
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Bjung—

USCG Documented vessels are never registered in a state... they can't be by definition... either a boat is state registered or it is USCG documented.
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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
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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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