Mexico – Risk of impoundment for older yachts

28 January 2014

Posted 28/01/2014:

I thought I would take this opportunity to bring a disturbing situation to everyone’s attention. I am in San Diego with Cygnet at the moment having abandoned a plan to visit Ensenada, Mexico, and the Baja. The Mexican authorities (federal tax department?) are impounding boats that cannot produce a “proper”  permit (value ~ 60 USD) for visiting Mexico. One of the problems appears to be associated with the Hull Identification Number which is seven digits branded into the stern of newer boats. When I applied for a permit using the hull ID information on the plaque on the wooden pencil holder on the rear bulkhead of the nav station my application was rejected. My understanding is that prior to 1974 boats did not have HIN on them anywhere. Quite a few (hundreds) boats have been impounded on both coasts of Mexico, and their fates are uncertain, but until that is decided they cannot leave.

Cheers, Herbert Moore / Cygnet