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Old 07-09-2010, 08:04   #1
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Do I Really Need to Be Registered ?

Does the mothership and/or the dink really need to be registered anywhere?

For example:
Documented vessel, hailing port is in NJ.
My address is in NJ, but it's just my parents's address. (AKA: only a mailing address, and it can be changed)
I live aboard full time, and don't own any land based property, businesses, etc.

So, if I'm cruising full-time, or even just snow birding it, and not staying in any one location beyond the limit for which I'd be required to register in that state, country, etc.

Then...do I really need to be registered anywhere?

No I'm not trying to pull a fast one on the government as I'm sure at least someone will respond. Just wondering if legally I really need to be. I currently am registered in NJ by the way.

And I'm not trying to be cheap either. More looking at the potential PITA of renewing every year, when who knows where I'll be located at the time.

And what really spurred this question is the JOY I'm sure I'll have when I go to register a new/used dink that doesn't have a HIN, doesn't have a serial #, and wasn't registered by the previous owner, because it was used in inland water with no motor. Also, why register it in NJ now,if I'm leaving in about a month?
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:09   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grunzster View Post
Does the mothership and/or the dink really need to be registered anywhere?

For example:
Documented vessel, hailing port is in NJ.
My address is in NJ, but it's just my parents's address. (AKA: only a mailing address, and it can be changed)
I live aboard full time, and don't own any land based property, businesses, etc.

So, if I'm cruising full-time, or even just snow birding it, and not staying in any one location beyond the limit for which I'd be required to register in that state, country, etc.

Then...do I really need to be registered anywhere?

No I'm not trying to pull a fast one on the government as I'm sure at least someone will respond. Just wondering if legally I really need to be. I currently am registered in NJ by the way.

And I'm not trying to be cheap either. More looking at the potential PITA of renewing every year, when who knows where I'll be located at the time.

And what really spurred this question is the JOY I'm sure I'll have when I go to register a new/used dink that doesn't have a HIN, doesn't have a serial #, and wasn't registered by the previous owner, because it was used in inland water with no motor. Also, why register it in NJ now,if I'm leaving in about a month?
if you got a motor on the dink and no registration in FL at least you will be pulled over. It is a revenue stream for the state.

As far as the boat is concerned, I believe the following website will help you figure out what to do since I understand you plan to spend some time in FL

Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:17   #3
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if you got a motor on the dink and no registration in FL at least you will be pulled over. It is a revenue stream for the state.
So, technically the answer may be no, but it's still worth registering in NJ...or just somewhere, if for no other reason than to avoid the hassle of the most boat loving state?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shipofools View Post
As far as the boat is concerned, I believe the following website will help you figure out what to do since I understand you plan to spend some time in FL

Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Thanks. I do understand (at least to some degree) the limits. Just one of my reasons for considering a hop to Tolum over the winter.

I'm just asking specifically, if you're not staying in any location past the limit, is registration really required. Judging from the first part of your response, I'm going to guess technically not, but the cost and hassle may well be worth it over the hassle of potentially getting pulled over EVERYWHERE you go (at least in the US) when they don't see a decal on you boat?

Hadn't thought of that angle.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:45   #4
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Quote:
I'm just asking specifically, if you're not staying in any location past the limit, is registration really required.
Yes it is required. You'll be in violation of US state boating laws.

Having a different state should not be a problem until the registration expires. So yes, in the US you'll need it and it can't be expired. If you stay in a state and establish some degree of "we can prove you've been here a while" you could need to pay again. Some states are pretty cheap. Don't pick a state with personal property tax or a state that has no registration and claim you don't have to have it.

It's not a people resident law. It applies to the boat itself. Consider it like rabies tags for your dog. Nobody cares where you are from or if you got here on that boat anchored over there. It's a boat with a motor small as it is.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:53   #5
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Historically, the answer has been no. No registration was necssary. It used to be that the boat to get people ashore only had to have the name of the vessel it was launched from. Cruise ships do this all the time with their launches/lifeboats. As Paul says, all states have made it a requirement for it to be registered. Maritime tradition has no meaning to the states. Yachts launching their shore dinks are not going to get around the state laws like the ships do.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:54   #6
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This kind of question come up here on a fairly regular basis. I was curious, so I Googled

registration of vessels "new jersey"

This came up on the state website...

State of New Jersey - Motor Vehicle Commission

Quote:
Boats and marine equipment that do not have to be registered
  • Those not based in New Jersey or operating for less than 180 consecutive days
  • Foreign vessels
  • U.S. public vessels
  • Ship's lifeboats
  • Non-motorized vessels used exclusively on small lakes and ponds on private property
  • Racing vessels with New Jersey State Marine Police permit
  • Non-motorized inflatable devices, surfboards, racing shells, dinghies, canoes and kayaks
  • Non-motorized vessels less than 12 feet in length
So, in New Jersey, if your dinghy is less than 12 feet and not motorized, you don't need a state registration.

What that says about potential consequences when you cruise down to Maryland is an unanswered question.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:02   #7
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If our sailboat is licensed in canada but not our dinghy, since we don't need to do that here in our province, but we will be sailing in the states do we have to register our dinghy somewhere there?
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:22   #8
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You can get a push because you are on a foreign vessel. A passport works. Your Homeland Security forms get you out of a few things since you need those for an extended stay in the US. You still must meet all USCG requirements for equipment and PFD's on a dinghy.

Where it gets not true is say you own a condo in FL and are there just a month per year and have a boat you keep there all year so you don't have to haul it home. It then becomes about the boat and nothing at all to do with you.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:56   #9
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So, in New Jersey, if your dinghy is less than 12 feet and not motorized, you don't need a state registration.

What that says about potential consequences when you cruise down to Maryland is an unanswered question.
Actually read that again. Even under 12' with no motor needs to be registered, unless...
Quote:
used exclusively on small lakes and ponds on private property
I more concerned about that second part, though. And then what happens when the locals see me in VA with no sticker, and then NC, etc.

Wish me luck. I just picked up a WalkerBay 10 with no HIN or serial # and that the previous owner doesn't even know the year of. This should be a real joy!
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grunzster View Post
Wish me luck. I just picked up a WalkerBay 10 with no HIN or serial # and that the previous owner doesn't even know the year of. This should be a real joy!
Did you get a bill of sale? In some states that is enough for registering.

Cheers
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:21   #11
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Did you get a bill of sale? In some states that is enough for registering.

Cheers
I do have a bill. I think the biggest issue they may have is not knowing the year. PITA over that one with the RIB, just because it didn't have the year on the bill, even though it had the serial which matched the # on my other paperwork with the year.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:38   #12
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In California it's something like:

- over 8'
OR
- propelled by more than just oars and sails (ie: engine)
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:48   #13
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I would get my dingy licenced in PEI at Service Canada. There is no charge and no renewal necessary. You will have to pay GST or HST.

Keep a copy on your boat in case you get stopped sinced Canadian Licence Numbers do not require an annual sticker.

Also in Ontario you might have problems with the OPP unless your powered dingy is licenced.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:53   #14
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The year of manufacture is part of the HIN on all boats manufactured in First World Countries. Even the Walker Bay. That is a Coast Guard requirement placed on US manufacturers, just as other Nation's Authorities place on watercraft made there. You are a potential source of income to every State you pass through, and some charge 5 or 6% of the purchase price. If there is no price on the Bill Of Sale, they will go to which ever Blue Book makes them happiest.

I think Maine is the cheapest registration I've seen. And in some areas, a Delaware Registration is an automatic Twenty Questions.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:01   #15
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There is a price on it. But It's an early display model, so there isn't any # on it. Never was. Apparently they became in such high demand so quickly that they started selling display models, which didn't have #s. Wasn't an issue for the previous owner as they used it exclusively inland and with no motor. I'd guess it's around a 2000, since that's about when they came out, right? Or maybe more like 2004. 10' came out a few years after the 8' didn't it?
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