Little Compass RoseCaribbean Compass

Dear Compass Readers,
We want to hear from YOU!
Please include your name, boat name or address, 
and a way we can contact you if clarification is required. 
We do not publish individual consumer complaints or individual regatta results complaints. 
(Kudos are okay!) We do not publish anonymous letters; 
however, your name may be withheld in print at your request. 

Letters may be edited for length, clarity and fair play.
Send your letters to:
or fax (784) 457-3410
Compass Publishing Ltd.
Readers' Forum
Box 175BQ, Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Doyle Caribbean

Dear Compass,
After reading Don Street’s article “Get Pumped Up So You Don’t Go Down” in the December 2016 issue of Compass, I revised my two manual bilge pumps. Both had not been working at all.

When I launched Angelos three days later I needed at least one pump urgently. I got a new stuffing box, and as soon as the boat was in the water but still in the slings, as usual I checked the through-hulls. But going down into the engine room I already heard water rushing. The new stuffing box was leaking!

Immediately I asked the travel lift operator to lift Angelos up again. But the engine of the travel lift stopped; it would not start again. Angelos was still in the slings, but in the water as well, with no possibility to lift her up again. I suddenly really needed the bilge pump — and it pumped well, keeping the boat afloat till after a while the lift was working again!
Therefore folks, keep an eye on your bilge pumps. You never know when you will need them!
Best regards,
Angelika Grüner
S/Y Angelos

Dear Compass,
In the article in the December 2016 issue of Compass outlining some recent changes in yachting regulations in the Caribbean (see page 8 at, Cuthbert Didier, Maritime Consultant in St. Lucia’s Ministry of Tourism, reported that St. Lucia is currently in the process of creating a comprehensive yachting policy.

I hope that the government of St Lucia, in its ongoing effort to encourage the yachting industry, will do three things:
• Kill the “permit to moor” once and for all. Yachts wishing to moor at a location within St. Lucian waters other than their Port of Entry after obtaining a clearance must obtain a Permit to Moor from Customs, at a cost of EC$25.
• Remove the extra Immigration form-filling. St Lucia and Trinidad are the only places I know of that require this. It is unnecessary. All the information they ask for on the paper form (barring an e-mail address) is already entered in SailClear.
• Remove the requirement for everyone to return to get their passports stamped out by Immigration, if clearing in and out at the same time when staying less than three days. The three-day in-and-out clearance worked wonderfully well when everything could be done at inward clearance, with no need to return prior to leaving.
Chris Doyle
Ti Kanot

Dear Compass,
Thanks for last month’s report on the transatlantic ARC 2016 (see page 22 of the January 2017 issue of Compass).

Although not mentioned in the article, at the prizegiving of the ARC+ there was some unhappiness expressed about the amount of engine time declared by the winner.
It made me wonder: How about having divisions in which there is no motoring allowed at all? Why not have two “green” divisions in the ARC: one for multihulls and one for monohulls?

Engines are not needed to produce electricity at sea. Between 1975 and 1995, the 46-foot engineless yawl Iolaire, built in 1905, did seven transatlantics. On the first two, electricity was produced by the late Hugh Merewether’s experimental wind generator, which later became the well-known Ampair. On the next five trips, Iolaire’s electricity was produced by Ampair wind- and taffrail-generators. These produced enough amperage to give us cold beer all the time.

The seven transatlantics sans engine were the easy voyages. In the 33 years we sailed Iolaire with no engine, we also sailed up the Thames River to the center of London and back down eight times, raced three Fastnets, and cruised the Mediterranean, the west coast of Scotland, and the Baltic.
I have been actively pushing the idea of shaft-driven generators for 52 years. (For details, see my article “Be a Carbon-Footprint-Free Passagemaker” in the September 2016 issue of Compass on page 33 at And there are now highly efficient wind chargers and solar panels whose output seems to be improving dramatically as each year goes by.

The time has come for the ARC to start divisions for boats that complete the ARC without using either their engines or generators to provide electricity. Various companies that provide green energy to yachts could be approached to put up prizes for the winners of each division. Doing so would really increase interest in passagemaking with zero carbon emissions — and also eliminate any arguments about declared engine time!
Don Street
Formerly of Iolaire and Li’l Iolaire
— both green boats!

Dear Compass Readers,
Last month, Roger Lewis wrote a letter to this Forum pleading for recycling facilities to be made available at Caribbean marinas.
We are pleased to note that IGY Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia does.
In conjunction with a local contractor, Rodney Bay Marina operates a Waste Management program to enable the segregation of waste products for recycling. Since the start of the program in 2015, more than 10,500 kilos of waste — HDPE plastic, e-waste, cardboard, aluminum and tin cans — have been diverted for recycling. When discarding recyclables, follow instructions posted in the Recycling and Garbage Disposal area. A tank is provided for disposal of used motor oil.

If you have an excessive amount of waste that needs to be disposed of, please contact the marina office for details.
Additionally, Rodney Bay Marina has the capability to siphon out black and gray water tanks upon request and offers desalination services to refill potable water tanks. The pump-out system is located on-site near the boatyard. Be sure to contact the marina office for instructions and information.

Dear Caribbean Compass,
I have a question about anchoring near an unoccupied mooring ball and who has the “right of way”.
In a lot of anchorages (especially in Grenada) people have put in private mooring balls or businesses have set up mooring fields. These mooring balls often take up prime anchoring spots in very busy bays.
I avoid all mooring balls when anchoring, to maintain a safe distance, but a lot of bays are extremely busy and when the mooring ball is not being used it is frustrating to see a great spot not being used, with just a plastic jug or ball floating there.

In short, if a person anchors their boat next to an unoccupied mooring ball then another boat comes in later and ties up to the mooring, creating an unsafe condition, who has the right to stay and who must leave?
I know it is best practise to avoid any unnecessary risk, but in the letter of nautical law and insurance, who is in the right?
Thank you,
Alan Phillips
S/V Haven

Dear Alan,
Good question, and a difficult one to answer definitively.
We haven’t found anything in international nautical law that discusses this; it seems to be up to local jurisdictions.

In some places, the individual moorings and the mooring fields are authorized by a government entity that regulates the seabed, and this presumably gives the mooring owner/operator some legal rights to that portion of the seabed. In other places, people just put down moorings without government permission (someone once likened it to painting a “reserved parking” sign on a public street), making the situation of who has rights to use that particular spot a lot murkier.

It certainly is frustrating for those who prefer to anchor to find the best places in a bay taken up with moorings, especially if those moorings are unoccupied when you are looking for a good anchoring spot. On the other hand, it’s equally frustrating for, say, the captain of a day-charter boat to come in at sunset with a load of guests, expecting to tie up to his or her mooring, and find another boat anchored perilously close to it. Or for an islander who relies on renting a mooring for his or her livelihood to be denied a night’s rental (or more) because the mooring is rendered unusable by an anchored yacht.

It would seem that you are wise in avoiding mooring balls whenever possible. Arguing a “legal right” to anchor very close to a mooring, should another boat come in later and use it, would probably be a painful exercise.
Meanwhile, the ongoing alienation of anchorage room is a very real issue. If there is an active marine trades association in places you find this to be a problem (in Grenada for example, MAYAG can be helpful), we urge you to urge them in turn to alert their government to the need to act soon to zone good anchorage areas in busy bays, before the uncontrolled proliferation of moorings drives anchor-users away.

Dear Compass Readers,
We want to hear from YOU!

Be sure to include your name, boat name or shoreside address,
and a way we can contact you (preferably by e-mail) if clarification is required.

We do not publish individual consumer complaints
or individual regatta results complaints. (Kudos are okay!)
We do not publish anonymous letters; however,
your name may be withheld from print at your request.
Please keep letters shorter than 600 words.
Letters may be edited for length, clarity and fair play.

Send your letters to:
or fax (784) 457-3410
Compass Publishing Ltd.
Readers' Forum
Box 175BQ, Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Copyright© 2017 Compass Publishing