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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-16-2008 11:52 PM

Documentation of a new boat is all there for you at closing, making application quick and easy. Years later when you get the wander lust, documentation means digging up documents that be lost, misfiled, or in need of updating. The fee will probably inflate over time too.

Most states require registration (even Montana of all places). I just mailed in my $24 for another two years in Maryland (they throw in the tender sticker for free, but you still need to renew it and display the sticker on it as well). In event of a move, the CG has your paper. I was told that documenting means not having to retitle in your new home state; just registration, thereby obviating battles over taxes. lists these as added benefits:

"A Documented Vessel is easier to buy, finance and sell because its entire history (from the Builders Certificate to present, showing all previous Owners and Mortgages) is Officially Recorded on it’s Abstract of Title. For this is the reason why “Documented” appears in used boat ads as one of the most important attributes of the vessel offered for sale."

"Documentation elevates your yacht to the status of a US Flagged Vessel, placing it under the purview of the United State Admiralty Law, which is why most lenders require Federal Documentation. More than simply a system of registry, it is a prestigious Maritime Tradition which comes down to us virtually unchanged since the day of the Republic."

Clearly, documentation makes sense if you cruise or plan to cruise.
12-15-2008 06:51 PM
Originally Posted by Snboard976 View Post
Is there any benefit to having a Coast Guard documented vessel?

I just bought a 36 foot sailboat and I am planning to head down to South America in one year.

The boat is registered in NY and was documented, but I don't know why I should pay extra for the Coast Guard documentation. Is there any benefit to keeping up the CG documentation over a simple NY state registration?
The Coast Guard or US documented is known world wide. They might not recognize a New York registration out side of the US. A documented boat can be checked by the authorities to confirm you and your boat are who you say you are. I use a guy in Biloxi, MS to do my documentation, that way I know it's right. The best $350.00 to $400.00 you will ever spend.
Capt Joe Taylor
12-15-2008 04:08 PM
SVAuspicious State registration for title is illegal for federally documented boats. That is of course independent of state registration for tax purposes. Together, that is why states do not require (and in fact may not require) the display of registration numbers on federally documented vessels.
12-15-2008 11:13 AM
bleahey In Texas one must also register with the state. However, one need only display the smallish sticker, not a series of letters and numbers required for a non CG documented vessel. Texas registration is good for two years. I just renewed my CG documentation, too. Painless, just fax a very short form to them.
12-15-2008 10:56 AM
CAPTAINDAVE22 I live in Syracuse and have been a sailor for many years. A motorized vessel operated in NY waters by a NYS resident - owner must always have a current/valid state registration. Federal documentation has no bearing on that for this state. Your trip sounds like something I should be doing. A 36 footer is the range I've been considering. Good Luck.
12-15-2008 10:38 AM
CapriGem Great Post Delirious!

I am preparing to re-document mine.
She was originally owned for her first decade by the Annapolis Naval Sailing Academy. The next owner stopped the documentation.
I have ALL paperwork you could imagine on the boat including EVERY bill of sail between owners over her 37 years of life including the request to cancel documentation by her second owner and multiple copies of all required forms and attached documents. So I imagine I should have everything I need no matter what.

Almost everyday I become more and more thankful for that binder of information. It's SO rare anymore to receive that level of through record keeping of a vessel.

Thanks again,

12-15-2008 09:41 AM
documentation vs. registration

Louisiana now requires all pleasure vessels must register with the state, documented or not. Times are tough for all the states and this is an additional source of income. I beleive you will see more states jump on board soon.
12-05-2008 10:45 AM
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Has anyone done this themselves recently that can go into details on the steps they took. I'm looking for a bit of direction on all the forms to fill out for a new boat I'm buying. Please PM me...thanks!
Doing it at the moment. Visit the U.S. Coast Guard website and donwload the instructions and forms.

United States Coast Guard - Home Page

There is a big difference between transferring documentation on a currently or previously documented boat (easy) vs. documenting a boat for the first time (less easy).

There are instructions on the end pages of these form pdfs.

Fill out form CG-1258A (This one is tough to find in their library unless you search for the name)

If a mortgage IS involved you need the lender's sign-off (CG-4593)

If a mortgage WAS involved a "Satisfaction of Mortgage" letter from the bank assures a clear title - the CG will return the original.

You need a bill of sale (CG-1340 or a similar form)

A clear title (state form - varies by state)

And you'll need to send a check or credit card info - cost will be $100 to $150 depending on the number of forms & pages you end up sending.

If the boat has never been documented search up a documented model similar boat and use the displacement figures for that vessel.

If you know someone who has a boat like yours (model & year) you can search here for the statistics bt vessel name or documentation number.

Office of Science and Technology

And in doing the above you save yourself $300 to $450 or so by not having to pay an agent to process your request.
12-05-2008 07:10 AM
xsboats Florida law allows only 60 days in their waters before you must decorate your bow with their artwork. Just the registration sticker, not numbers are needed on a documented vessel.
12-03-2008 03:52 PM
sailingdog See Post #6.
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Has anyone done this themselves recently that can go into details on the steps they took. I'm looking for a bit of direction on all the forms to fill out for a new boat I'm buying. Please PM me...thanks!
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