Saturday, January 29, 2022

A couple of thoughts on flags and hailing ports...

Some rather impressive timing, tallying up the damage, and in the "Our kids deserve better" department...

Back when it came time to register/document our first Loose Moose we had the choice of flying a French flag or the US flag. We chose going with the US flag for a variety of reasons.

The main reason was at that time France had a category system which required jumping through a bunch of hoops and required the plans to approved which we'd been told was bureaucratic marathon. Registering the boat in the US of A was dead simple. At the time, did have some long waits in some USCG districts so we asked the USCG which district currently had the shortest wait time and were told that the Portland Oregon office had the least wait time. So we filled out our USCG form and a couple of weeks later we were a documented vessel with the hailing port of Portland Oregon.

When it came time to document Loose Moose 2 we just naturally continued with Portland Oregon and our documentation was both quick and simple.

After losing LM2 we bought the CAL 34 which was to become "So It Goes" and had to make the decision whether to document or not as the boat had USVI registration but as some countries don't recognize state or territory registry we documented with a hailing port of St Thomas USVI.

Some years back when we were living on St Martin I decided that changing home ports would be a good thing and, as I'd cut away a big section of the transom, it seemed like Hilo Hi would make sense.That said, given my druthers I'd actually prefer to fly the USVI flag and have STX USVI as the hailing port on the next boat.


Well, maybe not.

I mention all this simply because there's some thinking that the USVI should become an international open vessel registry to expand the US maritime fleet not unlike the way it works for commercial shipping flagged in Panama. 

It's an interesting thought and would certainly create a considerable income stream for the USVI which would be no bad thing. On the other hand, the whole idea of flags of convenience tends to have something of a well deserved negative reputation so I wonder just how it might work out in the long run.

Listening to a plethora of Smiths coverage

So it goes...