Registration…Check, Licenses…Check…

Whew! What a big job! Recently I had a hand in helping Theresa prepare our boats’ paperwork for the 2011 fishing season. It involved updating three-ring binders filled with documents that are required by law to be kept on each boat at all times for charter fishing trips.

Vessel Logbook boxes and notebooks

Vessel Logbook boxes and notebooks

To an amateur, it looked like someone had thrown different pages in each binder because I was not familiar with the material. It seemed like this was going to be a never-ending task. The only consolation was that they needed to be done before the boats would go out on the water.

The list of required documents and licenses that are in the binder is quite extensive! This included the following:

  • Emergency check-off list
  • Emergency radio call procedure
  • United States Coast Guard (U.S.C.G.) Courtesy Vessel Exam Form
  • U.S.C.G. Merchant Mariner Captains License
  • State of Alaska Business License
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game (A.D.F.G.) Guide License
  • A.D.F.G. Sportfishing Business License
  • A.D.F.G. 2011 Logbook – to log in each day’s clients, catch, and the location of catch
  • State of Alaska Vessel Registration
  • CHP – Federal Limited Entry Charter Halibut Permit
  • International Pacific Halibut Commission (I.P.H.C.) Pacific Halibut Fishery 2011
  • Regulations Booklet
  • I.P.H.C. new rules for size and filleting of halibut at sea
  • Confirmation of enrollment in a random drug testing program: Certificate of
  • Compliance
  • Each crewmember’s current random drug testing card
  • Certificate of Liability Insurance for each vessel
  • Captain and crew limitation endorsement on same vessel
  • CPR/First Aid Cards for each crewmember
  • D.E.C. State of Alaska Food Worker’s Card
  • A.D.F.G. 2011 Sportfish Regulations Book
  • A.D.F.G. – SE AK Division of Sportfish Vicinity Logbook Areas Map
  • A.D.F.G. Special use area maps
  • A.D.F.G. Checklist for legal shellfish pot
  • Misc. A.D.F.G. News Release pages for 2011 sport fishing regulations
  • Tidal corrections chart
  • Department of public safety informational sheet
  • Vessel Safety Program Information
  • Halibut and king salmon length-weight relationship charts

The process of updating each vessel’s notebook means multiple photocopying of different items. The list mentions boat captain licenses. Since we have six boats, we need six copies of each captain’s license; one copy for each binder. There was a lot of running to and from the copy machine to make duplicates of all the different updated documents.

From year to year, license, regulation, and registration documents need to be updated or replaced. We prepared a checklist to make sure that when we have to update the books next year, it goes smoothly. We sorted many pages to make sure all the binders contained all the right documents, and that they were in the correct order.

Evening time after dinner was the best time of day for this project. There were no phones ringing, no staff to sidetrack us, and all of our clients were catered to. We could take up the whole dining room table with all the boxes, binders and papers.

Finished Logbook boxes ready for the boats

Finished Logbook boxes ready for the boats

After two evenings of working far later than the rest of the staff (they were sound asleep in their beds), we finally accomplished what we set out to do. We had six boxes and binders (one set for each vessel) all containing the right information. I thought we would never get to the end of those binders!

Overall, this was a long and time-consuming process. I learned a lot pertaining to what it takes for us to operate our boats legally and responsibly each day. It is a lot of work just to take people out for a fun day of fishing!

So now they are all set until next year, when we have to replace the old licenses, documents, and registrations with any new materials. We are good until next year! 🙂


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