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post #11 of 24 Old 11-10-2011
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Ok, I can't answer, only question... I registered my boat in my state. Is there documentation I need other than, title, and registration from my state, if I sail open waters?
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-10-2011
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That depends. If you are going to Canada, the Bahamas, Mexico, they will accept your state registration. if you are going farther afield they want US Documentation, but the question arises, how big is the boat? In order for a boat to be documented with the USCG it must measure (using the Coast Guards rule) 5 net tons. Most sailboats under 30 feet can't make it unless they are heavy displacement and broad abeam.

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post #13 of 24 Old 11-10-2011 Thread Starter
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That depends. If you are going to Canada, the Bahamas, Mexico, they will accept your state registration. if you are going farther afield they want US Documentation, but the question arises, how big is the boat? In order for a boat to be documented with the USCG it must measure (using the Coast Guards rule) 5 net tons. Most sailboats under 30 feet can't make it unless they are heavy displacement and broad abeam.
We plan to go all over, hopefully farther than to Canada, the Bahamas, Mexico.

We don't have the boat yet but we are sure it will be at least 36 ft. I was looking around the web yesterday and saw some companies offering to help get a boat documented. Is a company required or can you do it yourself?
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-10-2011
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You can do it yourself. See USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page It can be a bit daunting and time consuming. The documentation services can help smooth the experience but they, of course, charge a fee over and above what the Coast Guard charges. I have worked with some of them and most are very helpful. It just depends on whether you have the time and patience or would rather have someone else deal with it.

If you are buying a used boat that is already documented it gets easier. If you buy a used boat that has never been documented, insist that the seller have all the paperwork in order, and know who the previous owners are because you are going to have document the history of ownership, all the way back to the builder. Specifically ask for a (this form has several names) a Builder's certificate, or Certificate of Origin, Or Manufacturers Statement of Origin. If the boat was document previously the seller should have Form CG 1261 Builders Certificate. http://uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/forms/cg1261.pdf Plus you will need a Bill Of Sale (there's a CG form for that too) and a completed Simplified Measurement Application (CG-5397)

Anyway, discuss this with the seller of any boat you may be interested in. If they have documented their boat they will know what it's like. If they haven't a clue then maybe you should think it over.

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post #15 of 24 Old 11-10-2011 Thread Starter
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You can do it yourself. See USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page It can be a bit daunting and time consuming. The documentation services can help smooth the experience but they, of course, charge a fee over and above what the Coast Guard charges. I have worked with some of them and most are very helpful. It just depends on whether you have the time and patience or would rather have someone else deal with it.

If you are buying a used boat that is already documented it gets easier. If you buy a used boat that has never been documented, insist that the seller have all the paperwork in order, and know who the previous owners are because you are going to have document the history of ownership, all the way back to the builder. Specifically ask for a (this form has several names) a Builder's certificate, or Certificate of Origin, Or Manufacturers Statement of Origin. If the boat was document previously the seller should have Form CG 1261 Builders Certificate. http://uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/forms/cg1261.pdf Plus you will need a Bill Of Sale (there's a CG form for that too) and a completed Simplified Measurement Application (CG-5397)

Anyway, discuss this with the seller of any boat you may be interested in. If they have documented their boat they will know what it's like. If they haven't a clue then maybe you should think it over.
Wow thanks for the info, we had no idea that this could possible a deal breaker. We'll be sure to ask once we find a boat we like.
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post #16 of 24 Old 11-10-2011
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it isnt quite right that a documented boat needs to do a state registration also. what you need is to pay the state tax which isnt the same thing as a state registration. For ex. my boat is documented and lives in MD. I paid the MD sales tax and pay the nominal fee for a sticker every 2 years but it doesnt have a MD registration.
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post #17 of 24 Old 11-10-2011
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Sck is right. If you Document the boat you don't need state registration, but you still have to pay your taxes and get a sticker.

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post #18 of 24 Old 11-10-2011
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the sticker is the registration fee , you just dont have to put the registration numbers on the vessel for a coast guard documented vessel
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the sticker is the registration fee , you just dont have to put the registration numbers on the vessel for a coast guard documented vessel
the same way it's done-here in NY. I just looked at the card that comes with the stickers it does have a registration number on it. that I don;t have to display on my boat


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post #20 of 24 Old 11-10-2011
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All states are different - California is expensive

California is the worst on taxes, I am now having to pay 9.25% on the purchase price of the boat i bought last year. Sales tax becomes due the end of the 13th month after you purchase the boat, and they find out about the sale thru the coast guard documentation office or the state department of motor vehicles depending on how its registered (US or State).
The boat US table in the earlier post is not correct with respect to California tax, I think it doesn't count local county and city sales tax, based on where you keep the boat.

Sales tax is one time, but also the county where your boat is berthed applies a yearly property tax based on the price you paid plus the tax (yes, the greating state of CA taxes the tax!) then to top it off, they appear to add "value" to your property that seems to include the boat slip you rent and then tax you for that too!... although this yearly tax is not as painful as the sales tax, the property tax is around 1.5% of the price of the boat. This property tax and sales tax is independent of the sate registration. If your boat is documented by the US Coast Guard, as mine is, in California, you do not need to register the boat per Ca law. I believe this to be a state specific issue, as I recall my coast guard paperwork indicated that a state still has the right to require registration if they chose. So, at least in California at this time you don't register with the Department of Motor Vehicles if you have a US documented boat, and you don't get a sticker or number to put on your boat.
As a side note, I have also read horror stories about people who have moved their boats but the counties still put property tax claims on them even after they move out of their jurisdiction....
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