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-   -   Document or register my vessel? (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/102254-document-register-my-vessel.html)

gregoryulrich 08-07-2013 03:47 PM

Document or register my vessel?
 
Hello all, I am a new member to this forum but have been lurking for a few years. I plan on introducing myself in the new members area but I have a quick question first.

I just purchased a 1975 Catalina 30 Mark I at auction. Should I have the Coast Guard document the vessel or go through the registration process with the California DMV? It's currently registered with the DMV. I'm really not sure what documentation entails so if someone could explain the process, potential fees, positives and negatives I would really appreciate it.

Thank!

DRFerron 08-07-2013 03:54 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
Welcome to SailNet and to Catalina!

If you don't plan to take your boat outside of the U.S., I wouldn't worry about documenting it.

If you do, the USCG documentation site should have all of your answers:

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page

hellosailor 08-07-2013 04:36 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
The folks at the Vessel Documentation Center are aces at phone calls and email.

Other than that, you can look up the perqs of vessel documentation (which are less and less every year) in the USC and/or CFR. It will cost you about $125? if you DIY with their assistance, which is easy enough. Or more like $500 if you pay a documentation service to do the same thing.

Probably the single biggest benefit is that federal documentation provides a title and lien verification for the vessel, so that when it is time to sell, the buyer can be quickly sure that the vessel is yours, free and clear. Is that worth $100-odd bucks? Maybe.

chuck53 08-07-2013 04:46 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
Here in VA, documented boats don't have to be registered. Most states do require registration, so if CA is one of those states, I wouldn't bother with documentation as long as you don't plan to travel to Mex.

capttb 08-07-2013 04:52 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
If you register the DMV will collect "use tax" at same rate as sales tax, if you document you'll need to pay tax to California State Franchise Tax Board. The tax board will find you if you don't go to them and penalties may be involved by then.
Most marinas are going to require that you "hold title" either a pink slip or a copy of your application for documentation.
California is an "either registration or documentation, never both" state.
There seems to be a slow down in issuing documentation right now.
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/

Plumbean 08-07-2013 05:10 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chuck53 (Post 1070575)
Here in VA, documented boats don't have to be registered. Most states do require registration, so if CA is one of those states, I wouldn't bother with documentation as long as you don't plan to travel to Mex.

In NY, you have to register but don't have to put all those number stickers on the bow of the boat if it is documented.

travlineasy 08-07-2013 05:19 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
The biggest advantage of documentation that I can think of is you DO NOT have to allow some idiot from the state Depart of Game & Fish board your boat just because they need something to do that day, such as check your "Y" valve. If they wish to board, they must be accompanied by the USCG, at least that the way I read it in the CFR book.

Good luck,

Gary :cool:

smurphny 08-07-2013 05:24 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
Same in Florida where I just registered. If documented, just a sticker on your port side. The main advantage as I understand it, is if in a foreign port, you are a US vessel with international protections as such. This is not true if just state registered.

gamayun 08-07-2013 07:01 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
I'm in CA and just went through this research and chose to document. You'll need it if you plan to go to Mexico or the San Juans. The paperwork is easily accessible and easy to fill out, BUT, you must fill it out correctly. It'll cost you $500 for someone else to do it. It took about 5 months for me to get my documentation, but you'll have the paperwork to show in the interim. Also, if you plan to change the name on the boat, do this at the time of document transfer so you don't incur a fee. Either way, make sure the name and hailing port on the boat EXACTLY match what you write on the application.

capta 08-07-2013 08:09 PM

Re: Document or register my vessel?
 
From what I understand getting a non-previously documented vessel documented is not something for the faint of heart. You must get every previous owner to sign an affidavit that there are no liens against the vessel and they have no claim to it. If you bought it at auction, it would probably be nearly impossible to trace every owner down, let alone get them all off their collective asses and get a certificate notarized.
As mentioned above, if you are not heading overseas, the advantages of having a documented vessel are certainly not worth the trouble you will face attempting to do so.


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