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post #7 of Old 02-24-2019
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Re: Cruising from US to Bahamas and south Boat Documents needed?

Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We fill out all forms with our names as owners of the boat. Strange because our names are not on the documentation, but that's the way it has been going so far. Mark
I was in line @ customs in Bequia when the customs officer saw this discrepancy between the forms and the document on the forms of the guy in front of me. He had entered his name as owner, but the document said it was someone else as owner (his son). It cost him a huge fine (lying on the form) and he had to redo the paperwork.
On the other hand, I once checked out of Bequia, which means dealing with both a customs [B]and[B] immigration officer, then checked into St. Lucia, again a customs and immigration officer, plus a port authority official, and I had accidentally put the wrong month on the form. None noticed and neither did I until I got back to the boat!
As they say, 'you pays your money and takes your chances'.
I always wear a collared, buttoned shirt, real shorts (except Trinidad where shorts are not allowed in customs or immigration, for men or women), and real shoes when clearing in or out, as I believe it shows a level of respect that a T-shirt, swim trunks/board shorts and flip flops do not. I have made a few mistakes, like forgetting an outbound clearance (I left it on the port authority officer's desk in St Lucia) and they cleared me into Bequia w/o any problems, and I believe that perhaps the lack of hassles was because of how I always dressed up for them. I think they notice.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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