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Old 07-01-2008
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Documents needed to buy a sailboat

My friend just (this past Saturday) bought a 31 foot Catalina and I am doing the research for him on what he needs so he can male sure it is 'his own'. He has a business in NY and bought it using the business name. He is arranging to rent a slip in CT. I believe the boat is located in RI so he will be buying it there. Pther than insurance, can someone let me know what items he needs to complete to make it officially his?

I assume he needs to register it in CT. He asked me to research documenting the boat with the Coast Guard but I am not sure exactly what he specifically needs to do to get that done. What else should we be working on to make sure this is all done properly?

Thanks for the Boat Buying 101 tutorial.
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Old 07-02-2008
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find a lawyer named "surfesq" here, he'll tell you exactly what you need.
(please, tell me you tried lexus/nexis? and aren't billing the guy?)
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Old 07-02-2008
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I find it very worrying that someone with a "Esq" in their userhandle would be using an internet sailing forum to find out what is legally required for a boat sale in RI. The state's department of motor vehicles, or which ever bureau handles boat registration can tell you all that and it would be from the "horse's mouth" so to speak.

Also, you don't say whether the boat is currently USCG documented or only state-registered. The way it is currently registered makes a big difference in what you need.
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Old 07-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davisesq212 View Post
My friend just (this past Saturday) bought a 31 foot Catalina and I am doing the research for him on what he needs so he can male sure it is 'his own'. He has a business in NY and bought it using the business name. He is arranging to rent a slip in CT. I believe the boat is located in RI so he will be buying it there. Pther than insurance, can someone let me know what items he needs to complete to make it officially his?

I assume he needs to register it in CT. He asked me to research documenting the boat with the Coast Guard but I am not sure exactly what he specifically needs to do to get that done. What else should we be working on to make sure this is all done properly?

Thanks for the Boat Buying 101 tutorial.
The boat is probably documented, you should pay a documentation service to handle the transfer paperwork to put the boat in the new buyer's name.

Here's one:
Marine Documentation Incorporated
40 Mary St.
Newport, RI. 02840
(401) 846-2671

You can do it yourself if you want to spend the hours or days figuring out the paperwork and completing forms. See USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Forms Page as a place to start. If by some chance the boat is not documented, then the paperwork just costs more.

The only form needed is the Bill of Sale from from the USCG site.

RI has no sales/use tax but Conneticut does and you will need to pay it, 6%. See DMV: Documents Required for Registration of a Boat for paperwork. I am not familar with the Connecticuty details, I guess you can figure it out here DMV: Frequently Asked Questions on Boat Registrations. In most (if not all) state Federal documentation supercedes state registration, your boat does not have a state regisrtation number, but you go through the part of the process that involves paying the use tax, that makes the state happy. So you can expect to complete the Connecticut tax form.
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Last edited by sailingfool; 07-02-2008 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 07-02-2008
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you don't need tp pay a firm to complete the documentation process if the boat is in fact documented. go to the link above ib Sailingfool's post and you can find out all you need to satisfy the Coast Guard. call the CG documentation office if you have questions. they are most helpful and can send your friend an abstract of title to see the ownership history, if there are any current liens on the boat, etc.. ditto for what CT needs to claim it's pieces of eight.

And since we all are helping you out with this, we all will send you bills for our services, OK? or better yet give us the email address of your "friend" and we can cut out the middleman.
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Old 07-02-2008
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One of the advantages of some of the Boat Documentation services is that they offer title insurance, similar to that of a house title company, where they will guarantee the boat has no liens against the documentation and pay off any liens that they missed.
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Old 07-02-2008
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You don't need to document the boat unless you have a loan on it and the bank requires it OR if you are planning to take it to foreign countries that don't accept state registration which is unlikely in this case.

Simply take the bill of sale down to the local CT DMV and register the boat. They will probably want to see the last registration or copy of documentation to prove a chain of ownership. They will also want their sales tax!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardiacpaul View Post
find a lawyer named "surfesq" here, he'll tell you exactly what you need.
(please, tell me you tried lexus/nexis? and aren't billing the guy?)
I am not sure what you mean by 'billing' the guy. This guy is my friend, to be exact, he is my physical therapist for several years (and has become my friend) and while he is working his business (all day may I add), I told him I would research for him all the forms and documents he needs to make the boat his. I am not charging him. I have no access to lexis or westlaw as I am not working now due to my disability. That is why I have the time to do this. In addition, I am a real estate lawyer and know not one thing about boats/ marine law.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I find it very worrying that someone with a "Esq" in their userhandle would be using an internet sailing forum to find out what is legally required for a boat sale in RI. The state's department of motor vehicles, or which ever bureau handles boat registration can tell you all that and it would be from the "horse's mouth" so to speak.

Also, you don't say whether the boat is currently USCG documented or only state-registered. The way it is currently registered makes a big difference in what you need.
I am sorry you find this worrisome. That being said, I called the RI DMV and they said that it needs to be registered and directed me to their website. They then hung up. No chance for more questions. Considering I was on hold for over 20 minutes, I figured I would surf the net and find a ssailing forum and ask. I did and see your response.

The boat is not documented as far as I know as the seller told my friend that he needs to document it immediately. My friend last night then asked me to look into that yesterday. I would have asked DMV in RI but I got a not so detailed response to even one question and had no chance to ask a second.

Just because I have a law degree and license to practice law doesn't make me an expert in anything. It means I went to school for 3 years, paid a ton of money, graduated and took a bar exam in some state. Most lawyers have ZERO common sense. At least I had the sense to try and ask some experts here and I thank those who gave me some great advice.
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Old 07-02-2008
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Sailing fool:
Thank you for the very thorough response without the lecture or any implications about my owning the boat. I really am just trying to help a friend. Thanks again.
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