Crew, I have assembled all ship's documentation in a nice binder entitled "Thunderbird 1".

As for clearing customs and immigration, the "bible" is Latitude 38's, click here.

I am looking into the FCC VHF license and Mexico insurance now.

Captain Ray

ATTACHED: Latitude 38's First Time Cruiser's Guide to Mexico

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I read the Lattitude 38 advices and I think that all we need as paperwork is:

- Radio Licence

- Blue book of the boat (kinda name certificate)

- Copies of crew passeports

By the way, the CF number on the boat is erased and need to be put on again

Someone with a steady hand can paint the numbers back. They don't need to be perfect, just readable.

I will apply for the FCC license ASAP.

I have the Title and Certificate of Number all set and in the name of International Rescue Group.

I need to write a letter assigning the captain to the boat.

For crew who simply fly in to join the boat in Mexico, make sure to have a valid passport!

That reminds me - a US passport or ID card IS NOT ENOUGH! For entering and departing by sea, you must have a full passport.

The Captain.

FYI, I had a little difficulty with TSA regarding my CO2 cartridges for PFD. They are allowed, even though they didn't know it. When I travelled in Nov, 2012. It was carry-on only. Now there web site says Carry-on or checked is ok. Two in vest and two spares. I suggest checking there website just before travel. Not so easy to find. https://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items scroll way down page and look for "small compressed air cartridges." Maybe you could print and carry or bookmark page on smartphone. In my case, I was told they were not allowed. But, the supervisor let me through when I told him exactly what the website said and offered to show him. -- good luck. Have fun.

On Alaska airline, according to their website, two CO2 cartridge were OK in checked luggage IF with the PFD and two spared were allowed. But I did not declare them and nobody asked.

Yes, you can only have the CO2 cartridges WITH a PFD. And, Yeah, currently they are allowed in checked as well as carry-on. I'm always afraid to check items that some authority may think is not allowed. You get to your destination and your items are missing, maybe find a note that the item was removed. -- I think that I read that when you check CO2 cartridges you must tell the airline. -- I was a bit concerned about accidental inflation of the pfd, so I disconnected the cartridge from vest. In checked baggage, I would be even more concerned about that. Airline or TSA might dig through bag if they see the cartridges in the scanner. -- I have seen too many things go wrong with checked baggage. -- advantages and disadvantages either way.

If you tell the airline, then you get into a whole bag of pain when it's an assistant who is unsure or doesn't know the rules, which is most of them, so they would take the protect-your-arse action. You'd be almost certainly told to ditch it before travelling.  I would simply do what you did - pull the CO2 cartridge out of its socket BUT KEEP IT IN THE PFD to make clear what it's for, don't tell the airline and check it in my baggage. My personal risk estimate tells me that it would be more likely to join me at my destination that way.

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