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  #1  
Old 01-10-2009
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Documenting an older boat (never documented)

Hey I know there are lots of threads on USCG documentation, pros, cons, etc. They were very helpful, and I don't have any questions about that. My question is simply this: I'm buying a 25 year old boat that has never been documented (as far as we can tell), and has had at least two owners before me (possibly more). The current owner has kept good records, but I certainly do not have 25 years worth of ownership history records on this boat.

Is it realistic to document it, or is it going to become a paperwork/researching nightmare? I read what I could find in the archives and on the USCG site, but they don't say much about older boats that have never been documented and what's involved. Has anyone tried to do this?
Thanks,
J

Last edited by josrulz; 01-11-2009 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 01-10-2009
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Check Good Old Boat

The recent Good Old Boat magazine had a pretty extensive article on that subject. Hope that helps.
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Old 01-10-2009
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Originally Posted by Joesaila View Post
The recent Good Old Boat magazine had a pretty extensive article on that subject. Hope that helps.
Thanks, I have a subscription, but I must have missed that article. I'll go dig it up. Thanks again...
-J
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Old 01-10-2009
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I'd call up the number at the USCGVDS and ask them. Everyone I've talked with there has been eager to be helpful. USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page You'll have to wait until Monday, but you're likely to get a correct answer.
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Old 01-10-2009
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I'd call up the number at the USCGVDS and ask them. Everyone I've talked with there has been eager to be helpful. USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page You'll have to wait until Monday, but you're likely to get a correct answer.
Ha ha, thanks paulk--I was just coming to that conclusion after reading the Good Old Boat article that Joesaila referenced. I'll call them Monday morning and see what they say. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2009
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jo, in most states boat are titled as motor vehicles and that's been pretty much standard since 1973(?). So the odds are, if your boat has been registered by each owner, there is also a title issued for it, or the registration may serve as the title.

They'll be able to clear that up fast on the phone, but if you've got some kind of title papers--they'll have some solution for you.
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Old 01-10-2009
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Get your bill of sale and state title/registration. No need to dredge up history to get documented.
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Old 01-10-2009
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Get your bill of sale and state title/registration. No need to dredge up history to get documented.
Hi cam, are you saying that I should register/title it completely in Maryland first (without documenting), so then I'd have a title in my own name (as opposed to the seller's title and the bill of sale). Then after that's complete, I could document it more easily because it's in my name to start with?

Just making sure I understand.

Last edited by josrulz; 01-10-2009 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 01-11-2009
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I purchased a boat registered by the previous owner in Alabama. Using the bill of sale and his registration documents, I was able to get my USCG documents. It is really easy, and the people at the documentation office are very helpful. Download the information and forms from the website, and it will take no more than about an hour to do the whole job.
DD
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Old 01-11-2009
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Originally Posted by j34035 View Post
I purchased a boat registered by the previous owner in Alabama. Using the bill of sale and his registration documents, I was able to get my USCG documents. It is really easy, and the people at the documentation office are very helpful. Download the information and forms from the website, and it will take no more than about an hour to do the whole job.
DD
Thanks j34035, had your boat also never been documented previously?
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