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post #1 of 7 Old 08-04-2016 Thread Starter
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UK Registered Vessel --> USCG Documented Vessel

Hi All,

My wife and I are currently in the process of purchasing a new to us sailboat. It is our first "Big" sailboat, 28ft, and we are planning on financing the purchase.

We have already been approved for the amount we want to finance, but have now been told by the bank that they cannot complete the loan due to the fact that the boat is registered as Part III British registry. I have also checked with a few other lenders and they have all said the same thing, basically the boat needs to be registered in the US (Or eligible for US registration) before they will loan the money.

The boat itself was previously USCG documented and has never left the US (To my knowledge). The current owners are UK residents who fly here (Mass.) every summer to put her in the water and sail for a few weeks before flying back home. They have only owned the boat since 2013, before that it was a US documented vessel since it was built in 1983.

I will most likely be hiring a documentation specialist to help with this, but was just wondering if anyone has had any experience dealing with this type of situation, and what the process would be for re-documenting, and any other issues that may arise???

Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-04-2016
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Re: UK Registered Vessel --> USCG Documented Vessel

No experience in it myself.

You can go to the National Vessel Documentation Center website and find information on documenting the boat back to US.

I believe you can file a Return to Documentation. Some info here (pdf).

The forms and instructions on the Documentation site should be helpful. I believe I have read here or another forum of someone doing the same thing and not having too many issues since the boat is still in the US and only one owner since the last USCG Doc.

Daniel
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-04-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: UK Registered Vessel --> USCG Documented Vessel

Thanks for the links / info! Yes I have already taken a look at the USCG website, I am not too worried about the actual re-doc. I guess I am more worried about the bank still telling me they won't finance after the boat is removed from the register in the UK, since I wont be able to re-doc until I actually own the vessel.

Thanks for your help!
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-04-2016
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Re: UK Registered Vessel --> USCG Documented Vessel

This is not unlike buying a house. When you get to settlement there should be paperwork to remove the boat from UK Registration and your application for USCG Documentation. As soon as the paperwork is signed to remove the boat from UK Registration it will be eligible for US Documentation (or US state registration) and the financing check is released. The settlement person waves a magic wand over all the paperwork and everything (legally) happens at once. The broker(s) should have a settlement agent that has been through this before. Your financing bank, if boat financing is a regular part of their business, should be able to reassure you.

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-04-2016
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Re: UK Registered Vessel --> USCG Documented Vessel

In past bought a boat from an Englishman that was on the hard for several years. It was used for an OSTAR and left in Connecticut. Beyond issues of loans wanted to make sure I had clear title when I went to sell it in the future.
I used a documentation service. Although this was some decades ago even now it is not a major expense and allows you the security to sleep nights. My most recent boat was built for me in China and delivered to Norfolk VA. Even then (2013) cost was <$500 to document and register in RI. That was more complicated ( boats in a trust not personally owned) so expect you might pay less.
Would use a professional documentation service if I was you. If you get it wrong it's a big headache down the road. My 2 cents.

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post #6 of 7 Old 08-04-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: UK Registered Vessel --> USCG Documented Vessel

Thanks for the reply - all good advice! I actually just chatted with a documentation service company this morning and will be using them to navigate the process and like you said, make sure the boat is free and clear before I buy it. Because the British registration does not record leins / ownership, I want to make sure the paper trail is there to make sure I can A) re-document and B) sell free and clear down the line.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-04-2016
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Re: UK Registered Vessel --> USCG Documented Vessel

I would suggest that the simplest and fastest way to go about this would be to take her out of British registration and just state register her until the documentation process is complete, which may require some signatures from past owners, which can take some time.
I'd assume state reg would be sufficient for the loan.

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