If it wasn’t for my sheer love of sailing and being out at sea, I truly believe the red tape associated with the maritime life would keep me far away from the open waters of the ocean. There truly is a colossal amount of red tape to get through, even just to dock your boat at the port which you call home for it.
Just like me though, anyone reading this who has a deep-running passion for the maritime won’t be deterred by all the admin and red tape. If anything it sort of makes you enjoy the actual journey more in that you know you had to go through a lot just to make it happen. The various challenges you subsequently face at sea sort of make all the red tape look like a bit of child’s play, but that doesn’t make it any less of a daunting task.
So here’s what you can expect by way of some taxing due diligence, red tape, admin and formalities if you’re to find yourself sailing the seven seas:
Seaworthiness test procedures and assessments
Considering just how much money one spends on the boat itself, it can be rather disheartening to find that boats are floating liabilities. You’ll be constantly plugging seaworthiness holes just to have your vessel consistent with the seaworthiness standards, all of which comes with bucket loads of paperwork and admin.
Proving your personal physical fitness to sail
Let’s put it this way – if you have a designated family doctor, he or she will be able to write a case study book about your medical history and health, such is the extent to which you’ll need to visit them for clearance to be passed fit to sail. It’s pretty much a matter of the sea rescue personnel not wanting to risk having to come out and rescue you as a matter of inevitability, so in addition to getting in good shape, you’ll spend a good chunk of your time proving your good health.
Becoming a bit of a legal seagull
Yep, it’s true that you’ll have to put on yet another thinking cap, this time in the form of your legal noesis. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, but only really a matter of knowing what’s right and what’s wrong and despite all the challenges you face making sure to make the right decision. A lot of the legal matters you’ll have to deal with are those which have a lot to do with immigration issues, so in order to get the full low-down I would personally encourage sailors to get a good grounding on immigration law from the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C. and perhaps their professional equivalents at whichever destination whose country’s waters you’ll be entering.
Having to do the same in the event that you’ll be docking is perhaps something I don’t need to mention, but doing so perhaps demonstrates just how important it is to pay attention to the little details. A missing signature here or there could land you in a whole lot of trouble, regardless of the fact that it’s probably nothing but an oversight on your part.