I find it very worrying that someone with a "Esq" in their userhandle would be using an internet sailing forum to find out what is legally required for a boat sale in RI. The state's department of motor vehicles, or which ever bureau handles boat registration can tell you all that and it would be from the "horse's mouth" so to speak.
Also, you don't say whether the boat is currently USCG documented or only state-registered. The way it is currently registered makes a big difference in what you need.
I am sorry you find this worrisome. That being said, I called the RI DMV and they said that it needs to be registered and directed me to their website. They then hung up. No chance for more questions. Considering I was on hold for over 20 minutes, I figured I would surf the net and find a ssailing forum and ask. I did and see your response.
The boat is not documented as far as I know as the seller told my friend that he needs to document it immediately. My friend last night then asked me to look into that yesterday. I would have asked DMV in RI but I got a not so detailed response to even one question and had no chance to ask a second.
Just because I have a law degree and license to practice law doesn't make me an expert in anything. It means I went to school for 3 years, paid a ton of money, graduated and took a bar exam in some state. Most lawyers have ZERO common sense. At least I had the sense to try and ask some experts here and I thank those who gave me some great advice.