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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do I have to register my boat if she doesn't have an engine? If I do register her is there any way I can get around having to put numbers on her bow? If I must put numbers up there is it possible to make it good looking? Any suggestions or examples would be much appreciated!
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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Depends on the laws within your state, or where the boat is kept. Without knowing that, it's hard to give you an answer.
 

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Also depends if you register with a State or with the Coast Guard as a US Flagged Vessel. My boat is registered with the Coast Guard as a US vessel and thus doesn't have State numbers on the bow. I believe there are size and weight minimums to register with the Coast Guard, but I am not 100% sure on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The boat's 28' and displaces 8,000 lbs. I'm going to keep her in Massachusetts for the summer, but I'm from North Carolina and would probably register her there.
 

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The boat probably has to be registered with the state or would probably meet the requirements to be documented (registered with the USCG). If documented, the state can only require you to display a little sticker indicating that taxes have been paid -- and many states don't even require that.
 

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Red...
I believe your boat is large enough to be documented. You can get complete details on the process from the US Coast Guard's website.
A documented boat registered in New York State does not have to display the "ugly numbers", but must have the registration gizmo properly affixed to the hull, both sides.
As always, check with your local...........
Have fun!!!
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys. It looks like I'm going to have to register or document her. So much for the no engine card.... It appears as though documenting with the USCG is the way to go because I don't need no stinkin' letters!
 

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I can't find a photo, but not all Registration Numbers are ugly (my opinion).
There are size and color requirements that you have to adhere to and they must be easily readable from a distance. You can have them made by a vinyl graphics dealer and they are not that expensive.
 

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Telstar 28
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Apparently, in New Jersey, you need the ugly numbers too... :( But in NC and Mass... no state reg numbers.

Red...
I believe your boat is large enough to be documented. You can get complete details on the process from the US Coast Guard's website.
A documented boat registered in New York State does not have to display the "ugly numbers", but must have the registration gizmo properly affixed to the hull, both sides.
As always, check with your local...........
Have fun!!!
Paul

Redstripe—

IIRC, if you keep the boat the boat in Mass for the summer, you'll have to pay sales tax and excise tax on it, if it is here for over 90 days.
 

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I don't really pay much attention, just another requirement unless you go ducumented.

Do you consider these ugly?
I don't. (Best pic I could find right now.)
 

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Telstar 28
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Yes, the guy at the bow is very ugly, and his mother dresses him funny. :D

Oh, wait...is that you?? Damn, did I actually type that...
I don't really pay much attention, just another requirement unless you go ducumented.

Do you consider these ugly?
I don't. (Best pic I could find right now.)
Yes, if you're in the state for over 90 days... :

If I document it with the Coast Guard do I still have to pay tax in MA just for having her there?
 

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Although you will probably receive the correct answer here (regarding state requirements), why not simply ask the appropriate state or read it on their web site? At least you have a better chance of not getting a guess for an answer. I'm not familiar with Ma statute, however, most states, if not all, which require tax could care less if you have the boat documented- they want their money regardless. Again, check with them - an internet chat forum isn't the best basis by which you can ensure compliance.
 

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I have a plastic panel that's big enough to hold the numbers and the registration sticker. I "tastefully" wire tied it to my bow pulpit.

I bought the plates at West Marine; they're designed for inflatables-looks like this:

 

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Redstripe, if you don't CHECK WITH THE STATES you are going to wind up paying a lot of money or losing your boat to a tax seizure. Simple enough?

The laws are different in eveyr state. In some states you can keep the boat "in the state" while in others it is "in the navigable waters of the state" for a period of "ninety consecutive days" or "30 days" or "no more than 185 days" in one year, and then it has to be registered AS A MOTOR VEHICLE or AS A BOAT or EXEMPTED AS AN ANTIQUE or NOT REGISTERED IF THERES NO ENGINE.

Every one of those variations applies in different states and that's just the beginning. Either visit the state web sites or call their boating authorities and find out the laws. "Some guy on the internet told me" isn't going to scare the tax men away or get you forgiven for not paying their tithe.
 
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