Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Thanked 45 Times in 45 Posts
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California dinghy registration madness
I still can't quite believe this happened today.
I have an old Achilles dinghy, with a Yamaha 2 stroke. The engine is great but the dinghy's getting a bit long in the tooth, so I bought a new Zodiac Compact RIB from Defender. It arrived yesterday, all is good - or so I thought. Enter the California DMV.
I went to the DMV office today to register the boat, but here is what transpired :
If you are registering a new boat, and you tick "motorised", the system INSISTS on an EPA 3 star emissions tag. The one attached to a new outboard, but not to a 25 year-old Yamaha.
The only solution I could come up with, was to register the dinghy as "powered by oars".
The staff even implied that I would be breaking the law now to use any outboard with the boat, as the reg says powered by oars.
They also made me go away, fill out a completely new form but with "powered by oars" and not "motorised" ticked, take a new number, and start again.
Can it be true that you can't register a new dinghy without a new engine with it?
Can it also be true that you can't put an outboard on a dinghy that has, up to now, been powered by oars?
Or could it be that the people I encountered were just plain wrong. They were certainly unhelpful, inflexible, and borderline rude.
I feel like I've just spent the morning in a George Orwell novel, or maybe Terry Gilliam's Brazil.
1984 Bristol 31.1
Alameda, California, USA