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S/V Sabbatical
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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?
 

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Mud Hen #69, Mad Hatter
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Insurance companies like it. There may be some advantage should the boat ever be stolen.

You don't have to buy two sets of Vinyl letters/numbers for the bow.
 

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Telstar 28
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Yes, especially if travelling to foreign countries, as states are not sovereign nations and as such the state registration of a boat isn't recognized by some many foreign countries, especially as you get further from the USA.

Also, in the long run, USCG documentation is usually cheaper... it is a one-time cost, with free renewals, where state registration is payable annually.

It also has some legal rights and protections when sailing in foreign waters that a state-registered boat won't have.
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?
 

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Registered
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Even if you only planned to sail in the states, CG documentation would be arguably worthwhile. With your planned itinerary, you definitely want CG documentation. Think of it as akin to a passport, vice a driver's license.
 

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STARBOARD!!
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It's fairly simple to get CG Documentation; since the boat was previously documented. Just file a change of ownership with USCG; pay the $100 processing fee and pick a new name. You must be a US Citizen to own a USCG documented vessel. There is no annual fee for documentation; but you probably will get a Property Tax bill from your county instead of the similar DMV fee on your Registration.

Forms are here:

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Forms Page
 

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Telstar 28
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Actually, boat ownership must be majority owned by a US citizen, but a co-owner can be a non-US citizen provided they own only 49% or less of the boat. :) So, if a married couple buys a boat and one is not a US citizen, they can jointly own the boat, but the US citizen would need to own 51% or more of it.

It's fairly simple to get CG Documentation; since the boat was previously documented. Just file a change of ownership with USCG; pay the $100 processing fee and pick a new name. You must be a US Citizen to own a USCG documented vessel. There is no annual fee for documentation; but you probably will get a Property Tax bill from your county instead of the similar DMV fee on your Registration.

Forms are here:

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Forms Page
 

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Registered
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Also, in the long run, USCG documentation is usually cheaper... it is a one-time cost, with free renewals, where state registration is payable annually.

I believe in New Jersey, you still must pay the annual registraton fee and display the sticker...even though the vessel is documented. I am not familiar with a one time documentation fee and NEVER any annual state regiatration fees...
 

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Telstar 28
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This depends on the individual state laws. IIRC, in Massachusetts, a USCG documented boat does not have to pay state registration fees or get the state sticker or numbers. :)
I believe in New Jersey, you still must pay the annual registraton fee and display the sticker...even though the vessel is documented. I am not familiar with a one time documentation fee and NEVER any annual state regiatration fees...
 

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Aeolus II
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Also, in the long run, USCG documentation is usually cheaper... it is a one-time cost, with free renewals, where state registration is payable annually.
Here in Maryland you must still pay the tax on the boat and have a registration sticker.
 

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Telstar 28
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Sucks to be in Maryland... :)
Here in Maryland you must still pay the tax on the boat and have a registration sticker.
 

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Registered
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The fee for the sticker is $10 in Maryland.

You have to pay sales tax when you buy the boat. There's no other tax I know of.
 

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Mud Hen #69, Mad Hatter
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Also, in the long run, USCG documentation is usually cheaper... it is a one-time cost, with free renewals, where state registration is payable annually.
He's a New Jorker, like myself, so he'll still have to pay the annual state pound of flesh whether it is documented or not.

Sucks, don't it?
 

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Telstar 28
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Yup...that it does... :) Glad I'm not in NY.
He's a New Jorker, like myself, so he'll still have to pay the annual state pound of flesh whether it is documented or not.

Sucks, don't it?
 

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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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Telstar 28
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See Post #6.
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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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.
 

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Mud Hen #69, Mad Hatter
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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) http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/forms/cg1258.pdf

If a mortgage IS involved you need the lender's sign-off (CG-4593)
http://www.uscg.mil/forms/cg/CG_4593.pdf

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.
 
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