04 August 2010

Of Cabotage and Kings...

We sent in the paperwork to make Caratello an official Jones Act vessel (Merchant Marine Act of 1920) and a vessel meeting the requirements of the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886.  Caratello was built at a US shipyard with US labor of US materials.  So, if we wanted to, we could engage in cabotage.  Well, there are other hoops to jump through, it is the Government after all!  And I don't think that Barbara wants to be a 21st century Thea Foss.

Why my interest in this?  Why so many links to Wikipedia?  Who am I and why am I here?

The number of links in this post is because I just discovered the "Link" button on the blog.  I should have found it before but it is cryptically labled "Link", who would have thought?

The interest in what Caratello is is  because of a recent drive by the City of Seattle to ban additional floating homes within the city limits.  It appears that this is limiting the permanently moored homes that are unpowered and are not capable of navigation.  They also are permanently tied to city services such as power, water, and sewer.  The Seattle Times stated that the ban was to be on houseboats, an error in terminology I believe.

Caratello has a lot of things going for her that the floating homes don't have:

1)  Designed by a marine engineer as a vessel.
2)  Capable of navigation:  she has an outboard motor for propulsion and steering, a skeg for stability, navigational lights, a marine VHF FM radio, personal flotation devices, and other gear necessary for navigation and marine safety.
3)  She is Documented with the US Coast Guard as a vessel.  Her official number is 1225055.  Caratello's MMSI radio number is 338098881 .
4)  She carries required vessel insurance, local charts, and a copy of the Navigation Rules (ComdtInst M16672.2D).
5)  Caratello will not be permanently moored.  Power and water are supplied by temporary shore ties. 
6)  She has an independent 12 volt electrical system for lighting, navigational lights and equipment, and utilities.
7)  Tankage includes 150 gallons of potable water, 150 gallons gray water, and 150 gallons for black water.  Waste water must be pumped out whether Caratello is underway or at her moorage.  We have a couple of options:  Go to one of the pump out stations on the lake or, thanks to the guys at the mobile pump out services, we can have them come to us.
8)  We have every intention of taking Caratello out and about when the weather is fair and we have the time.  No blue water, no green water over the bow, and no taste of salt spray in our faces that is why we have Sea Vert!  Why have a boat if you don't get her underway?

Short story:  Caratello is a vessel, a boat, a water craft.  And the Supreme Court seems to have held that the term “vessel" is defined at 1 USC §3 and includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.  Additionally they state that Section 3 requires only that a watercraft be "used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water," not that it be used primarily for that purpose.  And if the US Coast Guard, with 220 years of experience, documents it as a vessel then damn it, she is a vessel.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your post. Very informative ...and entertaining. :-) Can't wait to see her when she is done!