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Safety Inspections for foreign flagged boats


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Yes excellent point IT. Many countries have some form of "rules" to adhere to. Not all are about safety, but they still have rules.

Personally I don't have a problem with Foreign Boats having to comply with our safety standards.

Besides, if they come into a Marina and want to plug into power, they need to meet standard there for a starter.

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The real issue is that sometimes the safety standards conflict. Requiring a boat to spend significant funds to comply with your regs when they already comply with their home country regs is counter-productive.

 

Nz was the only place that the marinas wanted electrical wofs before plugging in. Every other country we just changed the plug on our power lead to suit the supplied socket, and away you go. One socket was a 150 odd amp supply! Even in Ausy no-one asked.

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I was chatting to 2 offshore cruisers last evening and raised this subject. I think some may want to chat to a few more cruisers to get a better idea of how some actually do feel as these 2 didn't fit the mold suggested in the thread so far. Both boats said they wouldn't have the slightest issue with a gentle once over by a new set of eyes nor supplying a full list of safety gear. The one thing that did get them excited was the idea they would have to pay and then be held in port until everything was remedied. They didn't see that as fair. Both totally understand why countries are looking at this, NZ sure isn't the only one at the moment and some have already made small moves. They put it down to a few rouge cruisers being dicks and spoiling it for everyone, just the usual crap.

 

Both said NZ is regarded as a very pragmatic destination so if we raise an issue it's due to a real issue rather than just bureaucratic crap or dodgy ways of revenue gathering.

 

They are going to ask some others for me.

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Isn't this all because of Nina?

I believe Nina would have passed an equipment inspection, she had epirb, spot device , satellite phone and a raft. No doubt as experienced and responsible people they had much more of the sort of gear an offshore cruiser needs and cat 1 requires.

The people who have commented on her structural state in the media so far are basing their opinions on pretty shallow ,almost cursory looks ,and I'm by no means impressed by the anecdote and rumour. She was no med circuit showboat. "lead mine"? every keel boat with 40 or 50 % ballast in a keel is a lead mine. Plank lines? showing plank lines when you bring a northern hemisphere carvel constructed wooden boat to the south pacific does not necessarily mean the boat is unsound or showing signs of structural issues, it means the wood has dried.

And anyway, What sort of inspection short of a full survey would have shown up structural discrepancies? In her case , quite possibly none. She may have had problems but she also may well have been perfectly good and fit for purpose.Her owners certainly thought so.

Unfortunately and despite hoping for a different outcome, its looking like she has been lost due to a catastrophic failure in atrocious conditions on or around the 4th of june. Conditions which may well have broken or sunk pretty well any NZ registered cat 1 compliant boat. Pick up a boat in 70 knots and drop it 30 ft on its side, things break.

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Knot specifically about the Nina but it will be a similar type incident that does lead to law changes I'd expect John. One day I can see someone making enough noise the Pollies will start looking, it's happened in almost everything else so I can't see why this would be any different. Just look at the public grizzling about Aussie spending a 6 figure sum to save Tony Bullamore a few years ago. One Tony like SAR here and all hell would break loose I reckon.

 

While I never went anywhere near deep on the Nina I would have expected her to be no issue from what I saw. I also thought for a boat of her construction and age there was a distinct lack of planks showing. Some of the comments I've heard about her just don't line up with what I saw when I was aboard.

 

Conditions which may well have broken or sunk pretty well any NZ registered cat 1 compliant boat. Pick up a boat in 70 knots and drop it 30 ft on its side, things break.
Hell yes, last year we had 2 or 3 bust in less weather and those were supposedly fully 21st century engineered boats in full NZ Cat 1. All of those lasted only 10% (or less ??) of the lifespan of the old not engineered wooden Nina.
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The sea can break anything. If it decides to. Plan for the worst, hope for the best! Spend enough time at sea and it will find your weakness. Sometimes it is just bad luck, wrong place wrong time. Going to sea is a risk. So is crossing the road. It would be interesting to know if driving is more dangerous statistically. It probably is. Perhaps we should be charging for ambulances etc as well...

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Thats very interesting that you were aboard her Knots, the stuff that people are saying about her on other sites are just rife with speculation.

The issue I see with your very sensible idea of a check list and simple survey is the one that we all face in this day and age, If you see a problem and identify it... it becomes your problem. Someone will accuse you of not doing enough and find you liable in the event of a loss.

But the other big and far more real issue I see with NZ 'toughening up' and forcing our regs on cruisers is a repeat of what happened last time. Ie they won't come.

While there's a monetary loss there and all sorts of insidious damage done to our country's reputation etc, where do those pacific cruisers go in the cyclone season? I know there are alternatives but right now we're the primary location here.

So there could be an argument that what is sold as a safety issue , actually exposes people to significantly more risk by effectively making them stay with their boats in the cyclone belt. Risk it.

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The economics make no sense at all:

 

Nthn Advocate dec 2012

Northland Inc executive chairman Colin Mitten said Northland's marine services industry was about the best in the country and to hear of someone sabotaging that was extremely disappointing. The 300 yachts hosted in Northland generated millions of dollars for the region. The Whangarei Economic Development Group has put the annual earnings at $10million to $12million.

 

 

Take the lower figure of 10m, allow 30% directly to govt coffers, so $3 million. If a search costs $200k the break even point is 15 major searches per year. Unlikely.

Alternatively, if you introduce a rule that chases off 20 boats/year , or 6.6%, we are losing money.

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Yes I was and Rosemary was the person who chucked the lines off for us when we took big steel to Aussie. She also made a wicked Key (Quay??) Lime Pie which Otto pigged out on. I am struggling to see the same Nina that has been described in many places. If they had asked me to crew on her for the trip I would have willingly.

 

Knot sure your figures look that correct Ogre. At 10K* an hour just for an Orion that 200K is less time than they used for the Nina and that's before they drop any of their 60K one use only fancy packages or liferafts. Also none of the smaller aircraft they used.

 

Also 30% to the Govt???? No PAYE paid by cruisers, little GST paid by cruisers, no fuel tax paid by cruises yet they pay the countries top tax rate??

 

Besides what is Rangi Public going to see in any SAR? The recent MRP sale has very clearly shown they will never even consider any upside (money spent by cruisers) and will ONLY see any and all of the downsides (SAR costs). It's knot the cruisers nor us here who will dictate any law changes, it'll be Rangi Public and as we know Rangi is selfish, short sited, financially challenged, illogical and can scare the crap out of the pollies.

 

* - I have requested SAR costs but preliminary replies are suggesting that's a reasonable figure to use in the meantime.

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Hey Km, 10K is no longer current either. The Search for the Nina was $17K per hour - according to the head of the Auck Maritime Police, with whom I discussed this last weekend. He thinks some sort of inspection for foreign vessels is inevitable...

 

I think a basic declaration form would be no problem. Forcing them to complete a NZ category one is another story entirely!

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Finding an intelligent estimate of cost is almost impossible. Does that 17k include capital costs? Are we assuming that if there were no searches it would never take off?

I picked 200k as I had seen it in the press somewhere.

 

 

30% is probably a low estimate of what would find its way back to the govt. Buy a meal at $100 and the GST is $15, another $50 on rent, power , light, food supplies so another $7.50 on GST, wages to staff..... you get the picture. The only exemption is on boat stuff, and I have a really good idea on how to handle that too.

 

Whatever the real numbers you need to balance the incremental cost of the search, but only when it is for a foreign vessel leaving NZ, against the financial benefit of the international cruising fleet.

Why the hell are we chasing them away? Increase the temporary import permit to 10 yrs (and they pay GST) and allow some kind of temporary resident status for the same period and you'd double or triple the financial benefit to the country.

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I am going to find out more info on a RNZAF SAR costing. But one thing I have found out. A P3 Orion burns 1.6tonnes of fuel per hr and can stay in the air for 17 hrs. (By the way, Kiwi's hold the record for the longest time in the air at 21.5hrs). Anyway, that's 28tonnes of A1 fuel. I don't know what the RNZAF pay for their fuel,but that's a fair wack of money just there. Then you have crew onboard, and ground crew and then maintenance after so many hrs of flying and so on.

The way DF funding works is that the DF has X amount in the budget. If a SAR flight takes place, that cost comes out of the operating budget. So that means less money for patrolling the Ocean for illegal Fishing vessels etc.

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Whatever the real numbers you need to balance the incremental cost of the search, but only when it is for a foreign vessel leaving NZ, against the financial benefit of the international cruising fleet.
That's the crux of it as I see it, the public will just knot do that. There are masses of examples of them knot doing that, it's common as muck and on subjects less likely to wind them up than boat loads of people dieing or $100,000' in SAR bills.

 

Don't forget they are already getting ansy about sending a chopper into the Sth Alps to find wayward trampers. Why? Cost. What are they suggesting? Trampers pay or have rescue insurance. Could a boater pay for the cost of a search? What about paying for SAR Insurance?? The public will say Yes and boaters are perceived as rich pricks, unlike the trampers Rangi Public are already looking at.

 

Hence I say we, as cruiser friendlies, should be thinking about some sort of pre-emptive strike to negate the whinging. That can be done in a manner that financially hurts no one and can be argued is actually NZ bank account friendly. Sure it would mean the Govt may have to put a bit more coin into a Inspector than they do today but we are talking what? A 100K max for a full timer with car but probably a mother load less.

 

I propose something like this -

 

We take 15-20% of the passion out of Ogre (gawd knows how, maybe drugs or surgery :) ) on this subject as he'd be a great one to lead the tweak. He can speak with experience yet doesn't look officious, sort of cuddly if anything so to most tame and mellow looking for a solution rather than a rich prick on a mission to grab public coin. As Ogre correctly pointed out earlier in the thread there is a very good case that a big change just isn't needed so put that along with a suggested few small tweaks in to a package and go sell it to the powers that be. He could sell those 'it's knot really needed' facts and then the how about as a double check we get a simple boat check thing happening. In the same breath add in, if the checks save one search or even 1/2 of one, the NZ bank account is better off even after paying the Inspector.

 

To the cruisers we say come on down, sure we would like to pop on for a cuppa and get a list of safety gear off you (at the same time some evaluation of the crew could discreetly happen as it does already) in an identical manner as happens now with your other official paperwork, we'll even glance over you vessel with a fresh set of eyes to help you maybe spot something you didn't. But don't worry it's 100% free and we will knot tie you up in port no matter what we find. If we do find something you'd like to fix prior to leaving we will extend any paperwork/times to give you plenty of time to do it along with any other help we can provide. It would be hard for any sane cruiser to say that is a bad thing or put any off. Some may even come that weren't as we are such a friendly place we are willing to pay to make sure they are safe so can come back again.

 

End result -

Cruisers happy

Bureaucracy happy

Industry happy

Boats leave safer or at least with a better understanding of where they are at due to a 3rd party check.

NZ's SAR have a LOT more info to work on should a boat go missing. Actually have some info as they have exactly zero now.

Less SAR action leading to less costs.

 

And best of all the pimply faced Lawyer/Rangi Public has the main thrust of it's grizzles cut off at the knees before they can open the door to a TV crew and start bitching about deaths/cost due to everyone doing absolutely nothing what so ever in any form to prevent either................. as is the current situation.

 

So when you heading to Wellington Ogre :thumbup:

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Why not attach a Spot or one of the other brands to the yacht and they can post it back when they are out of our waters?

That would give a breadcrumb trail that must reduce the cost of searching for them.

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It seems to me that the real point is missed.

And I say again....(from the horses mouth)

The cost of recrealtional rescues has never been a problem for either NZ or OZ.

The "SYSTEM" has to be in place regardless...

As such ....it HAS to be ACTIVE.

It is complety stoooopod to keep going in this direction.

If you wish to you will create a situation where the powers will start to charge.

Not because it is finacialy any differant, more more due to YOUR pressure.

 

The aircraft will still go up...regardless.

I just dont get your motivation.

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The cost of recrealtional rescues has never been a problem for either NZ or OZ.

The "SYSTEM" has to be in place regardless...

I can't speak for Oz, but cost is a major issue for NZ. For the year 2011, Total Cost for NZ SAR was over $2mill for the DF and over $3mill for Police. We don't have a dedicated SAR team sitting there waiting for an event to take place. All our SAR teams are pulled together from normal day jobs for a SAR event. That comes at significant cost, because it is not just the Direct cost of the SAR itself, but the loss of productivity from people not being able to do there normal day job.

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Wheels - I assume those costs are everybody - trampers, climbers, Nuiean fishermen etc?

Foreign flagged recreational vehicles departing NZ would be a miniscule % of that. Can anybody actually remember the last one?

 

Been thinking about it and possible the best thing to do is nothing. It is the search that is expensive, not so much the rescue. As Epirbs and spots and satphones become widely used the number of searches must be shrinking?

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We could save a lot more money just by getting rid of the military. Nz ought to only have a good military reserve. I agree these services are normal and they need to be used to be useful. If they were not searching for people they would have to practice searching for people.

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