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Old 05-01-2013, 05:59 AM   #1
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Default Boat Papers

I just renewed our passports as we intend to start traveling outside Australian coastal waters for the first time fairly soon heading out to the Louisiades, and it struck me that I don't know what papers a ship should have on board to travel between countries.

The boat is on the Australian Shipping Register, so I have the registration certificate and the NSW state registration, and I have the ships radio apparatus licence and call sign, but that's it in the way of official papers. What else should I have?
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:32 AM   #2
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Hopefully one of your fellow countrymen will come here soon. In the USA, the boat's USCG Documentation certificate and the ship's radio license come with you. Going into some countries, having a list of all equipment is good (incl. serial no) and, returning to the home country, having that list showing that the equipment was purchased in the home country is helpful otherwise you might pay taxes on re-entry.

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:00 AM   #3
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I have to admit I'm not entirely sure myself. I'm guessing that the above list would be pretty comprehensive. Some places seem to want you to have a crew register in addition, where you have the physical signatures of the crew on board at any time with sign on and sign off dates.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:05 AM   #4
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Check the page for the Louisiades Rally, they have all the requisite information.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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In addition to crew papers, rego and radio papers, it will become apparent fairly soon that it is a real time saver to carry reasonable quality, colour photocopies (or easily on board printable) copies of everything including passports, rego papers, visas and such. A big ziploc bag with a sachet of silica gel will keep them in good nick. Also, get along to your local Auto Club (NRMA?) and get your International Driving permit (About $45 per annum). It keeps you legal overseas and allows you to be insured if you need to hire a vehicle.

Go to your local printer and get a good rubber stamp made with the details of your boat (name, official number, length, make, port of registry, radio call sign if you have one, and email), an official looking stamp is very important especially in developing countries. Also have some business cards made up with a few basic details including email address, your names and the name of the boat and sat-phone number if you have one (Don't use a mobile number unless you intend to spend a fortune on roaming charges).

Also, if you intend to use casual crew, carry copies of Ship's Articles (the Rules of the bowt). These can also be used as a handy insight when given to officials as part of the copies of passports and schtuff.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:19 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=marramarra;38369]I just renewed our passports as we intend to start traveling outside Australian coastal waters for the first time fairly soon heading out to the Louisiades, and it struck me that I don't know what papers a ship should have on board to travel between countries.

Sounds like you're doing the Louisiades Rally? We did it two years ago and it was fantastic. Contact Guy who organises and he'll be able to give you all the info.

Take heaps of clothes and books and pencils to give to the locals as they have nothing up there. Fishing gear and masks and snorkels are also very appreciated.

Fair winds,


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Old 05-02-2013, 04:13 AM   #7
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Thanks all for the advice.

Yes, we are intending to do the rally, and will stock up on clothes, books textas etc. etc. raiding grandchildrens' grown out of wardrobes as well.

We've actually bought ourselves a new (old) boat to do it in, which we collect on Sunday, and take to our mooring, so will start to get to know her. Of course it now means I have a boat to sell as well, which is less fun than buying one!
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