Jones act and airlines


The number of people that think a certain way doesn’t change the truth of the matter, they’re still wrong.


My Toyota was built in Kentucky with an engine and tranny shipped in from Japan. Is it an American car or a Japanese car? Buying it kept some American and some Japanese workers employed.


The Jones act has little impact on yachts. My boat was built in Canada and I am prohibited from fishing (commercially) or coastwise trade. No one buys a 10 ton sailboat for either one of those jobs, so the impact is 0. No one that would ever buy these boats would care.
I think the ONE THING the Jones Act has really done is saved USA flagged tugboats and barges from some 3rd world discount barge operation. That is good.
For ocean going ships and their crews, as far as I can see the Jones Act has failed in keeping that industry alive beyond the “in the hospital on life support” level. Absent a huge influx of government cash, SOMETHING has to give and finishing foreign built hulls might be the least damaging of those somethings.


The Chinese have set up factories in Mexico polishing and repackage components Made in China as “Made in Mexico” which then enter the US duty free under NAFTA.

No country that outsources its labor and production of its essential commodities can survive long term. Ask the Romans how it worked out for them.

(I really hate autocorrect)


Is this a vessel ready for christening? Is it even a vessel?

Or this
Or this?


The Jones Act allows foreign built yachts of any size into the US. There are lot of Canadian built yachts and small fishing vessels in America. I’ve owned several. Lots of Taiwan built sailboats in America too. Also, lots of European built yachts in America.

America still has a strong yacht design and construction culture and capacity. A small niche market for cost is no object American built wooden and composite yachts remains. American built steel and aluminum yachts are becoming rare (other than backyard do-it-yourself builders of Bruce Roberts and similar hard chine designs). American excels at building relatively cheap fiberglass production boats. The yacht market is not large enough to have attracted Chinese and other super low labor cost country mass production yet.

The US yacht market is shrinking along with the shrinking middleclass, especially for sailboats. Eventually, America will lose its culture of yacht design and construction. As the middleclass grows in China and other poor countries, a yachting culture will develop, followed by mass production of very cheap boats that will flood the US market.

If it were not for the Jones Act, and a still healthy small vessel commercial maritime sector, the American culture of yacht design and construction, would have diminished to insignificance long ago. In any major American yachting town, the docks are already awash in foreign accents that work a lot cheaper than we can. Without the Jones Act, and recent homeland security concerns, most crewed yachts would be foreign built, and foreign manned.


Yes I agree; the small number of people that think like you on this matter are definitively WRONG.
Luckily only a minuscule number of Americans care one bit about this, or anything maritime, so it makes no difference to anybody. (The same may be said about most of the rest of the world as well)


The Jones Act is a hundred year old legislation that need to be revised to be relevant in today’s world. You can still have a Cabotage Law that require US seafarers on ships and boats in domestic trade.
Most other countries have such laws, but it does not mix that with protecting innocent (or ignorant?) seafarers from exploitation by employers, or shipyards from unfair competition (or from the need to modernise to stay competitive). There are other laws and means to do that.

None of that has anything to do with the US fleet that operate outside domestic trade. They are hampered by outer outdated laws, rules and regulations that is inherently American and by having the military establishment running the Maritime Authorities.

It does not help being “exceptional” when it drags you in the wrong direction. Stop comparing yourself with the proverbial “3rd world villagers” and see how other OECD countries does it.
Have a look at the list of major ship owning countries. Do you see any of the “sh*thole” countries among the first 10, or even 20?
BTW; USA is on the list as No. 5, but not with national fleet.


They are now and have been for many years.

There is no such thing as an American “commercial yacht” * and the little toy boats you describe simply don’t count. They are just private recreational vessels that are virtually unregulated. The world’s market and production of large commercial yachts is very large and very lucrative. The intitution of a “luxury tax” decades ago just about destroyed the American large yacht building capacity. It has had minor revivals over the years but is still just a shadow of the foreign based industry that supplies that market.

  • That is changing though, the Cheeto apparently signed a memo allowing the existence of American flag yachts larger than 300 tons. It remains to be seen how this will impact commercia use other than bare boat chartering which is legal now for foreign flagged and crewed yachts that may or may not be built in the USA.



Keep that delusion if you want and I’ll keep calling you on it.


No, but that’s proof that those vessels aren’t built in Norway. Thanks for the pictures.


FYI - Being American is poison to being hired as crew on a large yacht. We are unique in expecting employers to pay for our health insurance for one thing and apparently we are very prone to sue when shit happens.


We certainly are unique as the only industriallized country without national healthcare. The quick to sue myth is certainly very widely believed. But it’s far overblown.

What most foreign flag owners may not understand, but their insurance companies do, is that if their foreign crew are injured in the US, or the ship calls in the US and sends the foreign crewman for medical treatment, he can sue in the US. Same for all the entertainers, catering staff, yard workers, vendors, guests, linehandlers, etc.

There are plenty of Americans working on US or foreign flag crewed yachts. Just hang out for awhile in Fort Lauderdale, Annapolis, Newport, or even Antigua, and see for yourself. It’s a growing field now for larger yachts. Partly, due to US regulatory changes, and I hear that MLC and Homeland Security has also made foreign flag and foreign crew less attractive in the US. Jobs for American crew for large yachts have recently picked up.

US and foreign flag yachts have both been getting away with blatantly “bareboat chartering” in the US for as long as I can remember. I don’t see that changing. No more than I expect to see 20 million illegal aliens being deported.


Fit and finish was good, it handled well.
It had 4 main gen sets and, thats it…
When alongside you run a 2.5mw gen set for house power.
The mast was built to look pretty but caused huge shadowing of the DGPS antennas
The aft bridge DP station was designed by a plumber or somebody that had no clue about DP.
The alarm printer was in a cupboard beside the chair
The sensors screens were on the overhead and thats about 4m from the operator, the crew used binoculars to view it.
One DP console was on one station and the other on the other side, if you had a failover you had to move the seat back on the rail to get out and walk around to the other chair.
There was no computer room so the dp hardware was spread around various decks in crawl spaces due to the split level deck design.
For the 5 days when I was on board they still couldnt find one VRS


That is an inaccurate article. It’s about 50% BS.


So we can now establish that a bundle of hull sections on a barge, or an empty hull being towed are eqv. to an American ship??

At the same time the way the DP console is installed = design of the entire vessel?
Interesting observation.

BTW; It is up to each Owner if they want a small harbour generator installed or not. When a PSV is working and in port it require power for more than just lighting.

PS> The newer PSVs have battery banks to store power when engines are running for use when idle. Many older PSV are getting them installed to meet charterer’s requirements.


What is the BS part?


The US has never banned “private yachts” over 300 GRT.

It has alway been possible to have foreign built or US built, US flag private yachts over 300 GRT, (which is about 1000 GT). The 300 GRT threshold merely triggers a requirement for licensed officers. There has never been any requirement that a private yacht be inspected “as a cargo ship.”

SEA CLOUD is a good example of a foreign built, the largest sailing yacht ever built at 360’, (formerly US flag) private yacht. She was designed by Gibbs & Cox in New York (same naval architecture firm that designed the UNITED STATES) and built at the Krupp shipyard in Kiel, Germany for Wall Street financier E. F. Hutton as a wedding gift for his wife Margorie Merryweather Post in 1931. She sailed under the American flag for many years, and did double duty as a US diplomatic post in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) while Ms. Post’s next husband served as the US Ambassador to Russia. SEA CLOUD set the speed record for an Atlantic crossing under sail which held until fairly recently. She was eventually sold foreign and is currently a “commercial yacht” carrying passengers on cruises under Malta registry.


“Cargo ship” is simply an easy way to say “commercial vessel” because 99 percent of people outside the marine industry don’t even know what a commercial vessel is.
Your comment that there "has never been a requirement that a private yacht be inspected as a cargo ship.”
is circular logic. Of course none has because under 300 tons they could be a yacht, over 300 tons they were no longer a yacht in the eyes of the CG so they had to be inspected as a commercial vessel - a cargo ship - regardless of their function or purpose. The owner may call it a yacht but the law calls it a commercial vessel - a cargo ship.


Very interesting, and I stand corrected. Thanks.

However, there have been large yachts in the past that have side stepped this inspection requirement, such as apparently SEA CLOUD.

I also seem to recall that large “expedition yachts” have been registered as “research vessels”. Research vessels up to some particular size, and fishing vessels up to 5000 GRT are uninspected vessels under US law. I cannot recall the name, but there once was an old navy YO in use as a yacht that was registered as a fishing vessel. It had a crow’s nest, bow pulpit, and a harpoon. Fishing vessels over 200 GRT do require licensed officers.

I was contacted a couple years ago by a guy who had a 199 GRT uninspected tugboat that he was using as a “commercial yacht” carrying 6 passengers. The USCG had shown up and demanded that the captain must hold a Master of Towing. I suggested that he try reregistering the boat as a fishing vessel, as that would not require a licensed captain. Technically, the uninspected “6-pack” provision only applies to “motorboats” which are defined as being under 65 feet, but enforcement of that length limit seems to be rare. I don’t know what the guy did.

I can see many reasons related to building and operating (repair costs, crew costs, legal liability, annonimity, anti-American sentiments, taxes, and the ability to sail in Cuba, as well as financing, insurance, and legal considerations that favor a foreign flag registration regime designed to accommodate large yachts.

Its obvious that the US needs to harmonize it’s maritime regulatory regime with other quality flag states to the extent possible.