Some developments in France :

Sybarite

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Customs :

The amendment of Art 62 of the Code des Douanes (via the loi N° 2014-742) adds some constraints on what Custom agents may do.

Previously they could almost do anything they wanted:
• Reroute vessels
• Search it everywhere without a warrant whether at sea or in a port.

They still have extensive powers but the amendment formulates the way in which they may exercise their powers because certain previous practices were in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Now searching of the private areas: saloon and cabins, may only be performed in the presence of the owner or of his representative. The search must lead to an immediate written report, a copy of which is given to the owner at the time. The agent must inform the owner of his right to appeal to the courts within a 15 day period.

Failure to do any of this will result in the abandonment of the procedure, the reimbursement of any fines imposed and possibly the right to reclaim indemnities.

Customs agents will only be allowed to reroute a vessel if the weather conditions make boarding unsafe, or if the planned check is sufficiently detailed to require it.

With respect to checks in a port, the aspect of the right to privacy has been established. The skipper may refuse to allow checks on the private parts of the vessel if he has been on the mooring (port, buoy or anchor) for more than 72 hours. Beyond this fixed period, the living quarters may only be checked if there is a warrant signed by the “Juge des libertés et de la détention”.

In other words the vessel is considered an extension of the home even if it’s not occupied.

Liferafts

Previously the French authorities would only accept rafts homologated by the Bureau Veritas. The market will be opened in the near future to rafts certified by other recognized organizations which will increase competition. This said, Plastimo rafts came out on top on a recent comparative test.

The differences between an unlimited category raft (H) and a coastal raft (C) are :

Distances from shelter : H : unlimited C : 60 nm.
Norm ISO : H : 9650 – 1 C : 9560 – 2
Inflation temperature : H : -15° +65° C : 0° +65°
Insulated floor : H : Yes C : No
Freeboard : H : 250mm for 4 persons, 300mm for > 4 C : 200mm for 4 persons, 250mm for >4
Interior floorspace per person : H : 0.372m² C : 0.250m²
Buoyancy per person : H : 96 l C : 82 l
Automatic deployment of the tent H : Yes C : No
Luminosity of the external lamp : H : 4.3cd C : 0.75cd

In practice there is not a great difference in price between the two (25%) so most of the rafts being manufactured are the H category.

New sailing category

With respect to Division 240 which stipulates the necessary equipment to have on board, as from May 1, a new “semi-high seas category has been created relating to sailing up to 60 miles from a shelter (ie the old category 3) – a shelter being defined as that part of the coast where the crew can moor, land and be able to leave without assistance, such conditions being related to the type of craft concerned.

The previous categories were 2 nm, 6 nm and unlimited.

In this new category, a fixed VHF becomes obligatory (as from Jan 1, 2017). Until then it’s optional provided you have at least three rocket flares and two smoke flares on board.

For French waters a portable VHF is also required.

http://aubbri.fr/VHF/VHF.htm

For the unlimited category, an EPIRB – SARSAT with an MMSI is now obligatory and the coastal liferaft (up to 6 miles) is no longer sufficient.

A satellite phone is recommended.
 
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Topcat47

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Interesting! I"ve never had any involvement with the French authorities in over 30 years channel hopping. My craft has no life raft at all or EPIRB, come to that and certainly no sat phone. I've never carried rocket flares. As a British registered yacht, what possible control can the French have over my level of equipment? I'm also ignorant about what "Division 240" means,
 

Boreades

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Well, like Topcat47, I've never had any bother before, but then I'm ignorant of these rules as well.

Which should be an alarm bell for all sensible folk, because ignorance of the law has never been a defence in British courts. And probably even less of a defence in French courts which in folk lore at least tend to the "guilty until proven innocent".

Do we need a refresher course on what to carry cross-channel?

As for "sailing up to 60 miles from a shelter", err well, that probably means everyone crossing from anywhere like Falmouth/Plymouth to Brittany falls foul of that reg, whatever it means?
 

Sybarite

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Well, like Topcat47, I've never had any bother before, but then I'm ignorant of these rules as well.

Which should be an alarm bell for all sensible folk, because ignorance of the law has never been a defence in British courts. And probably even less of a defence in French courts which in folk lore at least tend to the "guilty until proven innocent".

Do we need a refresher course on what to carry cross-channel?

As for "sailing up to 60 miles from a shelter", err well, that probably means everyone crossing from anywhere like Falmouth/Plymouth to Brittany falls foul of that reg, whatever it means?

60 miles from a shelter could apply to a crossing of 120 miles.

The rules (except those relating to customs checks) only apply to French based yachts. However most of the rules are sensible and should be considered by any boat envisaging long passages.
 

Sybarite

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Interesting! I"ve never had any involvement with the French authorities in over 30 years channel hopping. My craft has no life raft at all or EPIRB, come to that and certainly no sat phone. I've never carried rocket flares. As a British registered yacht, what possible control can the French have over my level of equipment? I'm also ignorant about what "Division 240" means,

Division 240 is that which stipulates what safety equipment a boat needs to carry.

http://www.developpement-durable.go...e_consolide-12_decembre_2014_avec_SIGNETS.pdf
 

Sandy Bottom

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The French navy have never won the right to impose anything on the British. They can be safely ignored. They even bottled out of the '79 Fastnet and had to be rescued by a Brit skipper.

Disagree? Post a list of French naval victories and state which French crews rescued which Brit crews in the Fastnet to give credibility to your argument.
 

Sybarite

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The French navy have never won the right to impose anything on the British. They can be safely ignored. They even bottled out of the '79 Fastnet and had to be rescued by a Brit skipper.

Disagree? Post a list of French naval victories and state which French crews rescued which Brit crews in the Fastnet to give credibility to your argument.

It's a bit late for the bottle don't you think?
 

prv

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The French navy have never won the right to impose anything on the British. They can be safely ignored. They even bottled out of the '79 Fastnet and had to be rescued by a Brit skipper.

Disagree? Post a list of French naval victories and state which French crews rescued which Brit crews in the Fastnet to give credibility to your argument.

Does that mean you can also send a landing party ashore to raid their commerce, and then fire muskets at the Gendarmes when they come to arrest you for shoplifting?

Pete
 
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Topcat47

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Way to hijack a thread. (God it's embarrassing when you use an expression picked up from your kids, then realise you're not sure if it means what you think.)

As for France "never winning anything", there's the Battle of Hastings and they didn't do too bad under Napoleon. Granted they never achieved much against British Fleets, they won more than a few individual skirmishes. It's not as if we won the battle of Waterloo on our own, is it. Don't forget the Channel Islands were occupied" by the Germans in WW2 and not everyone failed to collaborate with them.

As for the Fastnet, it's not exactly a race that takes place in French waters much, is it?

To get back to the original thread; This means that it doesn't apply to Yachts registered outside France then?
 

Sandy Bottom

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Way to hijack a thread. (God it's embarrassing when you use an expression picked up from your kids, then realise you're not sure if it means what you think.)

As for France "never winning anything", there's the Battle of Hastings and they didn't do too bad under Napoleon. Granted they never achieved much against British Fleets, they won more than a few individual skirmishes. It's not as if we won the battle of Waterloo on our own, is it. Don't forget the Channel Islands were occupied" by the Germans in WW2 and not everyone failed to collaborate with them.

As for the Fastnet, it's not exactly a race that takes place in French waters much, is it?

To get back to the original thread; This means that it doesn't apply to Yachts registered outside France then?

The morning after the gale we were in clear sight of Ushant :encouragement:
 

Sybarite

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It's for the purposes of French boats in categories that are required by law to carry them. Not us.

Pete

Perhaps but who in their right mind would go offshore sailing without one?

Look at the case of Daniel Fournier ( YM : May 2015) whose boat took fire and exploded. Even though his raft did not inflate completely, it still saved his life.
 

bitbaltic

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state which French crews rescued which Brit crews in the Fastnet to give credibility to your argument.

All seven crew of the British yacht Griffin, which was owned by the RORC and crewed by sailors from the National Sailing Centre in Cowes, were rescued by the crew of the French yacht Lorelei, during the 79 Fastnet.

Lorelei's owner and skipper Alan Catherineau was awarded the Yachtsman of the Year award by the British Yach Journalists Association.

I for one am grateful to Catherineau for this as I have just finished reading Stuart Quarrie's excellent offshore race crew manual. Something I would not have been able to do if the French had not pulled Quarrie and his crewmates out of the drink that night.

You might care to read pages 197-200 of John Rousmaniere's 'Fastnet, Force 10' for an account of the rescue.

Just saying.
 

Koeketiene

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The french authorities have no control over safety equipment carried aboard foreign flagged vessels. This is why many french boat owners register their boats in Belgium. https://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&rct=...SEiAe5qzAo2n_ladA&sig2=dkj-kft1XcRlHl1ige9O0w

Nice little earner for someone.
When I registered Guapa in Belgium, I paid €55 - all in.

Not sure if this website is still operational (or legal) as the rules to register in Belgium have changed somewhat recently (2012 or 2013).
Whereas previously, anyone anywhere could register their boat in Belgium the owner has to have 'ties with Belgium'.
These ties are defined as follows:
- If the owner(s) is/are a private individual, at least 50% of the boat shares need to belong to a Belgian or someone living in Belgium.
- If the owner is a corporate entity, the company must be Belgian registered.
 

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