Courtesy Flags

12 Sep

When sailing into foreign waters, boats are expected to fly the courtesy flag of the country they are visiting as a sign of respect. This flag is raised after lowering the yellow quarantine flag, signalling that a captain has successfully filled out all the forms (there are many…especially when you have multiple people on board) and paid the fees (must not forget the bribes) for both customs and immigration.

These courtesy flags can be quite expensive…after all they are “marine” things…so add on a few extra $10s at least (West Marine charges anywhere from $15-$30 per flag). This seems to be true for so many marine pieces – the stainless steel section of the hardware store is a boater’s best friend.

We still aren’t sure exactly which island nations we’ll be visiting, but Robin wants to be prepared by having flags at the ready. For one, she hates being unprepared, and she doesn’t want to be a the mercy of some marina’s jacked up flag prices. Paying hundreds of dollars for a dozen flags seems like highway robbery, so we found a better option. We bought 12×18 inch stick flags (just $2 per flag) and then visited the craft store for a box of grommets (this is so we can attach them to spreader halyards and raise or lower them). A side benefit is that now the girls have lots of sticks with pointy little decorative tops, great for stabbing everyone.


Stick flag heaven!

Ha! Take that Mr. Marine Price!

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