The Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club crew list is available in PDF format.
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This newsletter includes:

Looking into the Past: Founding Members of the Ft. Lauderdale Mariners’ Club
• FLMC Monthly Luncheon on November 5, 2020 at Boatyard
• AIMU/FLMC Virtual Yacht Insurance Seminar on November 10, 2020• The Last Word
• FLMC Information 

Founding Members of Ft. Lauderdale Mariners’ Club

    Donna and Bruce Bowers

Harriet and Art Campbell

Libby Seeburger, Art Campbell, Donna Bowers


AIMU/FLMC Virtual Yacht Insurance Seminar

Tuesday 10 November 2020, 10:45am - 03:00pm


Please join the American Institute of Marine Underwriters and our 2020 co-host, the Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club, for our AIMU/FLMC Virtual Yacht Insurance Seminar. This on-line live program will include four 50 minute sessions to highlight recreational marine insurance topics including underwriting challenges, valuation, and other emerging marine insurance issues in a changing world. Speakers include industry leaders and experienced subject matter experts. Complete details are below.


SPONSORSHIPS: $100 per sponsor. Sponsors company names will be featured during seminar and in a digital program that is distributed to each attendee. Please support the industry, connect with colleagues, and promote your business by becoming a sponsor!

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog – NC Maritime Attorneys
Great American Insurance Group
Marine Safety Consultants, Inc
Markel Marine Insurance
Navtech USSurveyors Master Marine Surveyors
Scott Marine Surveyors
Sedgwick Global Marine - Yacht Practice
Wiggin and Dana LLP

CE CREDITS: Pending 4 CE approvals in NY, NJ, FL, MD 4 NAMS and SAMS credits

REFUNDS/CANCELLATIONS/SUBSTITUTIONS: Refund requests will be honored if received at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled start date. All refunds will be subject to a processing fee of 4%. Cancellations received after the refund deadline and "no shows" are subject to the full registration fees. Substitutions may be made by notifying AIMU via email or in person on the day of the event.
CONTACT: Elvira Rodin at 646-499-0313 or [email protected]

Rules of the Road: More to choosing flag than its color

By Captain Jake DesVergers

Registration of a yacht is an important function toward the overall safety and security of maritime transport. While seen as a paperwork process, it significantly contributes to the protection and preservation of the marine environment.

The general mechanism for establishing a yacht’s nationality is registration of the vessel in a particular Flag State. By linking a yacht to a Flag State, the system of yacht registration indicates that that Flag State has the right to protect that yacht under international law.

A core principle of international law is the freedom of the high seas. This principle is outlined in Article 87 of the U.N. Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). To balance this freedom with the need to avoid disorder and misuse, international law provides a framework for the regulation of shipping. While most yachts are not engaged in trade like merchant ships, they are included within this framework. It composes two core rules:

1. Each State shall fix the conditions for the grant of its nationality to ships, for the registration of ships in its territory, and for the right to fly its flag (Article 91 of UNCLOS); and
2. The State must effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over ships flying its flag (Article 94 of UNCLOS).

Article 91(1) of UNCLOS acknowledges the right of every State to “fix the conditions for the grant of nationality and for the right to fly its flag.” The same article provides that there “must exist a genuine link between the State and the ship.” The purpose of the “genuine link” requirement in UNCLOS is to secure more effective implementation of the duties of the Flag State. However, there is currently no binding international framework to regulate the registration process itself.

Each country sets its own laws and regulations on the registration of ships. Some countries, such as the United States and Australia, only register vessels with ties to the country through ownership or crewing. These countries are considered “national registries.” They can also be labelled as “closed registries.” Other countries allow foreign-owned or -controlled vessels to use their flag through an “open registry” system. In these systems, a yacht may be owned by someone who is not a national of that particular country. Examples of these flags most used in yachting are the Cayman Islands, Marshall Islands, Jamaica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Malta. Other countries just choose not to allow the use of their flag for international trade at all.
The reasons for choosing an open register are varied. It depends upon the owner’s needs and use of the yacht. These can include tax avoidance, the ability to avoid national labor restrictions, and the ability to hire crew from foreign countries. The use of open registries can provide lower registration and maintenance costs, which in turn reduce overall operating costs. While initial costs may be high, the accumulated advantages over time can be significant.

In an article published by the shipping group Clarksons in 2016, they provided an objective and factual explanation of the maritime industry’s embracement of international integration and the drain from the “nation state.” The article stated, “As globalization got started in the early 1950s, shipowners took a decisive step which, over the years, has played a crucial part in making it the international carrier of choice. In a nutshell, they traded in nationality for open registries. In 1959, these flags were legally recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and soon other states started offering a “flagging-out service.” It is important to note that in mid-2011, open registers reached a key landmark. Two-thirds of the world’s gross tonnage was flagged under an open registry.

Recalling the history and purpose of open registries, we can now address one of the largest misconceptions used to describe them and the reason for this month’s column. Commonly, open registries are referred to as “flags of convenience.” This significantly outdated term is usually used when describing an exceptional situation such as an accident or crew dispute. The term invokes images of dishonest captains getting away with criminal behavior by forcing crews to work like slaves without adequate pay or rest under appalling conditions. While this may sound like the typical 10-day charter routine, it is not realistic.

As we know, history repeats itself. It can teach us a lot about how to react to situations presented to us in the current day. For this particular subject, we have to remember that the world changes. Business and leisure — including yachting — change with it. Yes, in years past ships and yachts used to fly the flags of their nations. Everyone kept to his or her home flag. Very true; and Americans used to only drive cars made by Ford and Chevrolet.
For the most part, things do change for the better. Open registries emerged and developed largely because national registers were not doing their jobs properly, nor providing the service that owners needed. In many cases, they are still not doing their jobs. If they were, we would see a reversal in these roles. And please, to keep the broiling nationalism at bay, please note that the author is a solid supporter and decades-long member of the US merchant marine.

It is often claimed that negligence is ignored by open registries, where owners can slip away, unpunished and unaccountable. This is a horrible delusion. Conscientious open registries are just as attentive as their national registry counterparts in eliminating substandard yachts. In the same way, poor national registers are equally susceptible to accusations of turning a blind eye.
Any captain looking for a quality flag for the boss’ next boat has many choices. When reviewing the ever-expanding list of yacht registries, focus on those countries that offer great customer service in conjunction with excellent results on the world’s port state control websites. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s a place to start, and certainly better than simply choosing one by the color

Original article can be found by clicking this link:



• December 5, 2020- Holiday Party at Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort 


FLMC is seeking volunteers to become a member of the Seminar Committee. Please have all inquiries sent to Michelle Otero Valdés at [email protected].

If you have any events, news, or photos to include in the monthly newsletters,
please reach out to 
Raúl J. Chacón Jr., 2019 Yeoman at [email protected].

Officers for 2020
Skipper: Hector Ramirez
First Mate: Tom Nolan
Purser: Raúl J. Chacón Jr.
Yeoman: Jonathan Hernandez
Program Chair: Tyler Tanner
Bos’n: Evan Andronis
Seminar Chair: Michelle Otero-Valdes
Activities Chair: Janice D’Ovidio and Co-chair: Roy Scott
Historian: George Florez
Proudly Supports
Boys & Girls Club of Broward County
Marine Industries Association of South Florida
MIASF Plywood Regatta
Seafarer’s House Fort Lauderdale
Shake-A-Leg Miami
Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association
Young Professionals in Yachting – Spin-a-thon