Join Date: Feb 2014
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Canada to USCG Documentation...What's the process???
Hello! I'm a newbie here, I've been reading these forums for a few years now but this is my first post. I've been looking through the forums here and have seen a few posts that touch on this subject, but don't really answer the questions that I have. So here goes...
I'm currently in the process of trying to buy a boat that I absolutely love. It has no more and no less than everything I feel I need in a small cruising/live-aboard boat and it just seems perfect for me (and I have very picky taste). I've been in communication with the owner and we both want to go ahead with the sale, but we've run into a bit of a dispute concerning paperwork. The boat is Canadian registered and I am American, so I would want to register it with the coast guard. The coast guard website says that the documents I need to send in with the documentation application are the bill of sale(notarized by a US certified notary), a copy of the Canadian registry, and proof of removal from the Canadian registry. I called in and spoke with a coast guard representative and they confirmed all of this. However, the owner says that he has done multiple sales to US citizens and that all he's ever needed to produce is a Bill of Sale. He says he's been asking around to all of the local brokers and anyone else he can find who has made a similar sale in the past couple of years, and he says that everyone he's talked to except for one person has only needed the Bill of Sale and they didn't need it notarized.
I'm just wondering if there is anyone out there with personal experience with a similar situation. I'm going to go talk to some of the brokers and other people he mentioned to hear about their version of the process, but I would really appreciate some 3rd party insight as well.
I have talked with the owner through email, over the phone, and a few times in person, and he seems like a nice honest guy. If he wanted to, he could put the boat back on the market and easily make twice as much as the price we've agreed upon. I really, really want this boat, but I feel like I'm the only one with a large amount of risk in this situation and I don't want to end up with a boat in my name that I can't register. I plan on having the boat in Mexico right away, so documentation is pretty essential.
I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you.