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otaga05 01-27-2007 06:15 AM

Title and documentation

sailingdog 01-27-2007 09:10 AM


If the boat is documented, you should be able to check the liens via the USCG documentation site IIRC.

The long-term costs of maintaining a USCG documented boat are about the same as a state-registered boat. Some states do not require that you pay the state registration fees, so it can be less expensive, but others do not.

If you are planning on taking the boat into foreign waters, it would be a serious error IMHO to not document the boat. You should be able to document the boat with the two of you listed as co-owners, since she is a citizen.

Many foreign countries do not recognize state-registration, and state-registered boats often have to do more paperwork and pay more fees than USCG documented boats. Also, a USCG documented boat is a flag vessel of the United States and has some diplomatic reprecussions as well when sailing in foreign waters.

CDRA 01-27-2007 10:24 AM

You may have some difficult explaining to do with law enforcement as a non-resident alien, (I am assuming you are not a resident alien), on a US registered boat in coastal waters. Perhaps discuss your options with the USCG and the State that will be the boats home port.

SailorMitch 01-27-2007 11:19 AM

Call the CG Documentation Office for how to get an abstract of title for the boat. It used to cost $25. It will tell you the prior owners, names of the boat, liens, etc. While you're talking to them, get their advice on your other issue. They are most helpful folks on the phone. Contact info is here:

T34C 01-27-2007 11:36 AM

If I may, what country are you a citizen of? I would think your country of citizenship as well as your intended use of the boat will have to figure into this. If you are a Canadian citizen you may not have an issue taking the boat into Canada with only a state rego. Just things to consider, but the CG should be able to assist.

CDRA 01-27-2007 11:48 AM

As a resident alien (I was one and am now a citizen), you can hold title issued by State authorities to property including boats in the US. I don't know if this also applies to USCG documentation.

sailingdog 01-27-2007 12:34 PM


USCG Documentation requires that a majority of the ownership in any US documented vessel be by American citizens.

CDRA 01-27-2007 12:37 PM

I am a Brit too.
The VAT will be due if you title the boat in Britain. If the boats home port is not in Britain then the boat has not been imported, but if you maintain a home address in Britain you may be liable for VAT upon entering British water.

CDRA 01-27-2007 12:42 PM

Also the boat may not be in conformance with EU regulations, which are more stringent than the US.

T34C 01-27-2007 02:33 PM

I was hoping you were going to say Canada, but even so, they are still a British commonwealth country which may make a difference. I would try contacting Canadian CG for more info to back-up the USCG info.

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