USCG boat registration overseas - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-10-2006 Thread Starter
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USCG boat registration overseas

I'm a U.S. citizen purchasing a sailboat in Malaysia and will not be taking her to the U.S. I've been told that I can get a Coast Guard registration and won't have to register it with any state. How do I go about getting one of those? I can't find anything on the Coast Guard website.

Any and all input will be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-10-2006
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-11-2006
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Documentation Services

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Originally Posted by Edo Kazumichi
I'm a U.S. citizen purchasing a sailboat in Malaysia and will not be taking her to the U.S. I've been told that I can get a Coast Guard registration and won't have to register it with any state. How do I go about getting one of those? I can't find anything on the Coast Guard website.

Any and all input will be much appreciated.
Often the documentation process has wrinkles or questions and to save time and aggravation buyers us a professional documentation service. I've always done so. Here are two options: http://www.yachtdocumentation.com/about.html and http://www.coastaldocumentation.com/
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-12-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Very helpful.

How difficult can this be? Send in your bill of sale, a copy of your passport and a check and you're done, right?

Any idea what these documentation services charge?
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-12-2006
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$300 for switching ownership of a documented boat.

First time documentation takes more than a bill of sale, especially if it is a previously owned boat. If I were you, I'd call one or two agencies, explain what service you need, and let them tell you what they would do for you and the cost. You can then decide whether their assistance or expertise is worth paying for. I guarantee you the phone call is free.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-12-2006
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Edo, you should be clear on something:
The USCG does not offer "registration". Each of the States "registers" motor vehicles, usually including boats.

USCG "documentation" is very different. It will also require a US home port for the boat and IIRC a US mailing address for you, usually one and the same place.

"How difficult can this be?" Well, their web site explains just about all. They'll also give you fast explanations by phone or email. The thing is, vessel documentation is an unflexible process--it is your job to supply exactly what they ask, as they ask for it. In your case the hardest part may be establishing the title, in a clear line going back to the builder. If you don't have the builder's certificate, and there is no clear chain of title, it may be impossible. (I have no idea how or if Malaysia titles boats.) If that's a problem area and a documentation service claims they are familiar with it--that alone could be worth their fee. (Or not.)
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-12-2006
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Before contacting any "Documentation Services", call the USCG Documentation office. They are very helpful and can answer all your questions. You can document the vessel yourself at a much cheaper cost if you can follow all the requirements the USCG gives you. In my opinion, all the "documentation services" are a rip-off. Even Boats US and West Marine charge way too much. The USCG will even call you if something is wrong with your documentation. My total cost to document my US boat was $81.00 this year. Renewals are yearly and cost free.
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