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grommet 01-24-2005 01:24 AM

Coast Guard Documentation?
Hi all. I am purchasing a Coast Guard Documented boat and was wondering what the difference between Documentation and State (CA) registration is. Are there any advantages to Documentation? Is it easier, faster, cheaper etc. to transfer documentation and title with the CG or register with the CA State DMV? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks,

TrueBlue 01-24-2005 02:54 AM

Coast Guard Documentation?
My lender required documentation for my boat as part of the loan process, so I did not have a choice to register with the State. The initial cost of documentation through the USCG was about the same as State registration, however, the one-time fee is good throughout my ownership. Annual USCG renewal is at no additional cost.

Go here for answers to ALL your questions:

List of all USCG documented boats are available here:

I also like the fact that no hull registration sticker is necessary.


grommet 01-24-2005 06:42 AM

Coast Guard Documentation?
Thanks for the response...great advice.

SailorMitch 01-24-2005 07:18 AM

Coast Guard Documentation?

You still need to check with your state to see if they require you to "register" the boat also, even if it''s documented. Some states require that you do nothing if the boat is documented. Other states (such as Maryland where I live) still require that you pay a yearly fee and then you have to display stickers on the boat as proof. Note this is NOT the full state registration with state numbers and all -- simply a sticker to show you''ve paid the yearly fee.

This topic has been covered inside and out previously, so be prepared.

capttb 01-24-2005 03:04 PM

Coast Guard Documentation?
No registration or numbers required of documented vessels in California, but don''t mention it out loud where a politico may hear.

paulk 01-24-2005 05:17 PM

Coast Guard Documentation?
Another advantage of documentation is that when you sell the boat, it allows the buyer to do a title search and lien check much more simply. Loan companies like this, so your buyer may be able to get a loan more easily or quicker than he would otherwise. A boat that is sold from OR to CA may have liens against it in OR. A second buyer in CA might find this out while on a cruise -- when he arrives at the marina in OR his boat owes money to, and which he is, by virtue of his ownership of the vessel, liable for. Federal documentation allows for liens and titles to all be traced by the Feds in one place. Much cleaner & neater system than having 50 different states to check when you buy a boat.

me262 01-26-2005 02:47 PM

Coast Guard Documentation?
Don''t you HAVE to have C.G. documentation if you go cruising into foreign waters????

paulk 01-27-2005 03:35 PM

Coast Guard Documentation?
CG documentation is not required to "go foreign". It might make it a bit easier dealing with customs officers, however, who may never have heard of Delaware, much less Wilmington, or any other single state. (Who''s the Governor of Delaware, now, anyway? Will he answer the phone if the Republic of Podunk throws you in jail for entering with too many bottles of rum and try to help get you out? Probably not. ) Does your state registration form look like an official document, or something you could have picked up at Kinko''s? Customs officials all over the world are very likely to be familiar with the United States of America
and the documents it issues to its vessels, however. While some things aren''t required, sometimes common sense is a good idea.

waltward 01-28-2005 07:57 PM

Coast Guard Documentation?

Go to the top of this page & click on "Search". Then type in the word, documentation, you will come up with a bunch of stuff on the subject, from this board. You will even find the government links in one or two of the postings.

Walt Ward

grommet 01-29-2005 09:17 PM

Coast Guard Documentation?
Thanks all for your great advice. Although I don''t plan to go "foreign" yet (need to improve sailing skills first), it is nice to know that CG Documentation will make traveling easier. The seller has strongly recommended hiring an expediter to facilitate the title transfer and documentation process. Yes perhaps an unnecessary expense but I have heard that dealing with the CG can be tricky.

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