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tankstew 11-11-2006 11:00 PM

Transferring Titles Documented Boats
I just bought a used Sailboat in Ohio. The boat is a Coast Guard Documented boat for recreational purposes. I live in Tennessee but will be having the boat shipped to and kept in Kentucky.

Can anyone help me with the process of getting the CG Documentation transferred and if you are in the same "boat", help me with who to contact to register the boat in Kentucky if that's even required with a documented boat.

Thanks for the help!!

SailorMitch 11-11-2006 11:57 PM

Here's a link to the Coast Guard documentation office. IF you have a question just call them. They are most helpful. This is easy to do.

Can't help you with the KY part of it, however. But I do suggest googling the KY equivalent of the Dept of Natural Resources as a start. Some states treat boats as boats, some states treat them as cars.

sailingdog 11-12-2006 05:14 AM


Many states don't require you to state-register the boat if it is documented. You should check with the state department responsible for boat registration if you are planning on keeping the boat USCG documented. BTW, USCG documentation isn't transferable. You have to apply for USCG documentation, as a new owner. USCG documentation has to be applied for except in cases where the only change is the address of the owner. Any other changed invalidates the USCG documentation. This also means that you have to re-mark the boat with the new USCG documentation number if you are going to be USCG documenting the boat.

camaraderie 11-12-2006 09:25 AM

No just have to re-document...they will not change the number which is permanent.'s the on-line registration form for Kentcky so you can pay your $30 and be legal!

tommyt 11-12-2006 10:42 AM

If you haver the boat documented you do not need to have registration numbers for the state of origin. However, having said that I pay the price to have the numbers. Especially in a state where you are land locked, every DNR, state and county mountie will be stopping you for lack of registration. You may be legal but they don't know it. The fee is worth it just so they don't take your time. And heaven forbid you have open intoxicants in your hand when they pull you over for registration and it is illegal in whatever state you are in. Then it is really worth the registration fee!

SailorMitch 11-12-2006 10:47 AM

Once again, Cam has it right. When I bought my current boat 3 years ago the previous owner had let the documentation lapse (yes, he was that lazy.) The documentation folks in WVA were quite helpful in sending me the forms I needed for renewing the documentation in my name, etc. The documentation number remained the same. Tankstew, you can even get an abstract of the title from them that will tell you the owner history of the boat all the way back, including any name changes for the boat.

tankstew 11-12-2006 01:58 PM

I agree with the hassle factor. I think it will be worth the small price to have the numbers on the boat to limit the number of stops by locals. We will probably do that. Does anyone have thier sailboat kept in Kentucky? I'm curious as to what kind of property taxes that they impose on you.

administrator 11-12-2006 02:11 PM

For documented boats in the state of Maryland, they are most concerned with you paying Sales Tax and then you get a sticker "that basically" proves you paid sales tax and that's necessary in lieu of registration...

In Maryland you either need registration numbers or a sticker for documented vessels showing sales tax has been paid.

The state folks routinely peruse my marina looking for boats with out of state registrations, because if Maryland is your primary state of use, then you owe tax to Maryland.

Our tax is 5% based on the value shown on a Notarized bill of sale.

tommyt 11-12-2006 02:22 PM


You will have to look at your local laws, however I would be very surpirsed to hear that Ky or Tn charge you a property tax on the item. Sales can count on that as a one time deal.

Your situation is a little more complicated as you are purchasing the boat in Ohio, you live in Tn, and you say the boat will be kept in Ky. It is possible that you can keep the boat in Ky and pay Ky taxes and documentation on it. You don't say how big this boat is, if it will be stored in KY or TN, etc.. I would contact your local, in this case both KY and TN, Secretary of States and see how they feel you should proceed. You don't want to get caught in a pissing contest between the two of them on which state you owe the tax to. You also don't want to play any games to save any difference in tax amounts unless you are certain that you are legal ly covered. Tax hassles are never worth it.


SailorMitch 11-12-2006 02:27 PM

Tankstew, as Admin says in MD, you have to put a little sticker somewhere on your boat to prove that you are "registered" with the state even though you don't necessarily have the state numbers if your boat is documented. Thus, there is no hassle factor as long as you display that MD sticker.

Rather than asking on here for what the rules are in KY, contact the state yourself and get the official word from them. The advice you get on the internet is worth what you pay for it. Be sure and check with the fine folks in KY.

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