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Bombay Explorer 44
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3,619 Posts
The stamp is an unofficial thing. It has no legal standing but in some unsophisticated countries having a stamp that includes your boat name and a number that cross references to another document such as your boat paper helps.

I sometimes have someone flying in on a one way ticket to join me. I send them a letter with the stamp over my signature and a photocopies of my ships papers and the cruising permit. Many times they are not interested but it only needs an official with a touch of 'epaulitis' to make the whole process 'interesting'. It is not unknown for the authorities to demand a massive bond to allow entry.
 

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Junior Member
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3,506 Posts
My stamp includes my name, home port and O/N number. Seems the Asian countries love the "chop". I'll also use it to put a mark in paperback books we trade, to "frank" the back of envelopes sent by snail mail and sometimes other documents requiring an "official" look.
 

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Administrator
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7,167 Posts
Mine is quite simple.
Round stamp, Sea Life written in the middle in large letters "Sea Life"
small letters "Sydney * Australia" above and our Official Number on the bottom.

As others have said they are quite important in many countries.
Remember: The tighter the officials wear their trousers the more despotic their country is. If they wear tight trousers a Stamp is wonderful to have and the LOUDER you BANG it down the better! (A three step run up from across the office will win you an extra months entry visa).

All, though, was eclipsed in some run down junk pile of a country when a fellow cruiser stamped his page and then whipped out a small shiny holograpich sticker and stuck it next to the stamp. Everyone looked at that with a wonderment of sweaty desire. He told me later that his primary school daughter has sheets of them and he stole some! :)


Mark
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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13,645 Posts
Even here in the US, some bureaucracies want things "signed and sealed" or stamped, you know those gold foil corporate embossing stamps and the like? And often old pettycrats will insist on a "seal" when the law only calls for a signature or "mark".

So...One of the old school cruising authors wrote about cutting a potato up and making a "stamp" out of that. If you've got more lead time, there are plenty of places that will make a custom rubber stamp for you online, quite reasonably. How you choose to spice things up with it, your choice. We've used Custom Rubber Stamps | Personalize Custom Stamps Online from $4.95 (for something else, not a boat stamp) and the results were fast, inexpensive, totally professional. You can basically send them any image and just pay by the dimensional inches.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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4,526 Posts
All, though, was eclipsed in some run down junk pile of a country when a fellow cruiser stamped his page and then whipped out a small shiny holograpich sticker and stuck it next to the stamp. Everyone looked at that with a wonderment of sweaty desire. He told me later that his primary school daughter has sheets of them and he stole some! :)


Mark
Mark, when we entered Indonesia with the rally one boat had a rubber stamp and one of those embosser stamps that lawyers use. Needless to say the many officials were mightily impressed. We left home with a stamp and never used it in the Caribbean. Got some use in Latin American countries and a necessity in the Indian Ocean, even in fairly advanced countries like Mauritius.
 
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All, though, was eclipsed in some run down junk pile of a country when a fellow cruiser stamped his page and then whipped out a small shiny holograpich sticker and stuck it next to the stamp. Everyone looked at that with a wonderment of sweaty desire. He told me later that his primary school daughter has sheets of them and he stole some!
Oh great! Now we all gotta start carrying sheets of hologram paper with us, too? Otherwise, I can see it going something like this-
"You stamp. Dis no good. Where foil?"
 

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Noah's Bosun
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236 Posts
The Spaniards invented bureaucracry... In my experience, anywhere in Central America the more "important' the bureaucrat the more stamps hanging from the little rack on his desk. Embossing stamps are good but can rust in high humidity. In my opinion you can't beat the good old round rubber stamp. Work on your rhythm while you stamp those 8 copies of the crew list ahd your last zarpe. Lots of these characters can get a rhythm going that will put a rock drummer to shame. (Panamanian bank tellers are simply amazing).

Another (serious) tip. When you go to port in, (especially in Central America) wear your best clothes. Long pants, hard shoes (at least not flops) conservative shirt. It shows respect for the officials who take their job seriously, and probably spend the day in a non air conditioned office wearing a suit or uniform. Remember these guys don;t have to let you in, and can make your life miserable if you get on the wrong side. Do not expect them to speak english. They very well might, but at least you can attempt to speak to them in their own language. After they stop laughing because you requesting the Mayor's underware rather than what ever you thought you were saying, they will probably try to help you out.

P.S. Love the foil
 
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