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Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

Our state (Connecticut) requires that ANY vessel that stays in state waters more than X days (I think it is 30?) pay the state registration fee, even if it is Documented. Our 36' boat costs $180. Federal documentation provides a lien history that state registration can not, so Documentation can simplify the sale of a vessel, because the buyer only has to check with the Feds to make sure there are no liens on the boat, instead of any of 50 states that the boat may have traveled through and incurred bills in. I have had no issues with sending in the renewal (by fax, most recently) and getting the Documentation Certificate quickly back from West Virginia, where the Documentation Offices are located. Since the documentation number doesn't change, all you have to do is keep a copy of your application for renewal along with your old certificate until you get the renewed certificate. It really isn't a big deal, even if you are "over there" somewhere.

I would certainly prefer to continue getting renewals at no cost, but can understand that with the Coast Guard being hit with major budget cuts due to the sequester, (thank you GOP) they are looking to recoup costs wherever they can. While we pleasure craft owners may question it, annual renewals may be useful in the case of commercial vessels that might change hands frequently. It enables the Coast Guard to actually keep closer track of who is responsible for the towboat that runs into the Mississippi mile 48 Bridge, or the freighter that runs down a sailboat on a foggy night. Of course, if Documenting your boat isn't worth it to you.... don't!

Last edited by paulk; 04-20-2013 at 10:06 PM.
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