Inspections by the Portuguese Navy As at July 2013

We recently received a copy of an inspection form used by the Portuguese Navy from Harry Freeman of “Solent Lady”.  Since then Rob from www.rusailing.com and Martin Parker of “Reel Pleasure” have added their own experiences of recent inspections.

As a result, we have produced this checklist for Navigators.  This cannot be a definitive guide in any way, shape or form, but these are the points that have been checked by the Navy recently.

* Where you are from and departure time, and where you are going, plus estimated arrival time. (It is a legal requirement to have a passage plan).

* Boat registration documents.

* Current Insurance documents (and preferably a copy in Portuguese or at worst Spanish).

* Skippers licence (ICCC accepted).

* Radio license for the skipper (i.e. an international one with a photo ID).

* Radio license for the boat (and the radio should be turned on and maintaining a listening watch on Channel 16).

* Light dues paid for current year.

* Flares (each inspected for date).

* Life-raft (certificate in date).

* Life jackets (gas cylinders in date, correct buoyancy for personal weights i.e. child’s jackets where appropriate, adults min. 150N) and enough for all persons on board.

* Fire extinguishers (certificate in date).

* Life buoys (marked with boat name and port of registry).

* Flying courtesy pennant and correct ensign.

* Current Fishing Licenses, and wearing life-jackets, if fishing.

Through the help of the RYA, we now have agreement that genuine visitors – defined as yachts in Portugal for less than 180 days – do not have to comply with the letter of the Portuguese law.  If YOU are in this category, you can try pointing it out to any inspecting officer when you hand over your personal and boat documents.  HOWEVER, the head of the Maritime Police maintains he still has the duty to ensure that all vessels are “sea-worthy”.  Really serious discrepancies – e.g. NO lifejackets or flares at all! – could still lead to action being taken and/or penalties being imposed.

Please let us know of your experiences, and also if you know of anything else being checked. Just use “Contact Us” on this web site to give us the details.