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Old 13-04-2012, 13:56   #1
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Boat Documentation

I'm looking at a boat this weekend that, as far as we know, has never been documented. I don't know how many owners it's had either.

I've heard (read) that to document a boat you have to be able to trace its ownership (bill of sales or similar) back to the person who last documented it or have a CG-1261. I don't think I will have access to either of those. The company is out of business (Allied, Wright Yacht Company) so I can't go there.

Is it possible to document a boat under these conditions? The requirements have always been rather vague to me.


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Old 13-04-2012, 14:07   #2
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Re: Boat Documentation

You could try a Documentation Service, looks like you are in the PNW so try Vessel Title Services LLC 19019 International BLVD # 280 Office 206-286-8994 Ive used them many times! make things easier it's NOT CHEAP but they make things easy for ya and will advise you what to do and handle everything for ya !! hope this helps

Bob and Connie
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Old 13-04-2012, 22:09   #3
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Re: Boat Documentation

Have you checked out the USCG's website about vessel documentation?

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Forms Page

They also have a page devoted to "instructions", maybe that has what you need for free if your willing to do a bunch of reading.

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Instruction Page

Hope this helps.
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Old 14-04-2012, 07:30   #4
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Re: Boat Documentation

My last boat had state registration when I purchased it. When the Marine Title Company looked it up by Hull Number in the USCG list, they found that it had orginally been documented. It seemed the previous owner was not American and couldn't document the boat with a green card.

Anyway, it was nothing to re-document the boat using its orginal Documentation Numbers. As I recall, it was less than $500 including the Title Comapnay fees.

You can do it yourself, but in the long run it might be easier and faster to hire a Marine Title Company.
Tom Jeremiason
SV Camelot
Punta Gorda, Florida
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Old 15-04-2012, 04:14   #5
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My experience documenting our boat was pretty simple. In purchased it from a Canadian citizen in FL. The boat had been previously documented and the hull was marked with the number. I searched the database and found it easily last documented about 10 years ago. I completed the paperwork from the website and sent the coast guard bill of sale with a copy of the title and a check for the fees. It took about 3 months and I received the official document. It was also easy to change the name of the boat in this manner. Once I had this, I applied for a ships station license from the FCC. Again, very easy. That took less than a week. The total cost for the coast guard process was around $90 or so.
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Old 15-04-2012, 04:33   #6
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Re: Boat Documentation

Thanks for the advice everyone. I found an obscure number on something hidden in the salon that looked like it might be a documentation number. Turns out that is was the USCG documentation number. The hull number matches as well. It was documented last in 2007.

I guess it didn't come up by vessel name because it was expired.

Thank you all for your help.
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Old 15-04-2012, 04:37   #7
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Re: Boat Documentation

It's really not hard to do. Check the boat for a previous documentation number. If none is found, then contact the documentation people and have them search for the HIN to see if it's been previously documented. Redocumenting is a piece of cake. If it has never been documented, check with the CG to see what you need in terms of paperwork.
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Old 15-04-2012, 12:42   #8

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Re: Boat Documentation

When in doubt, pick up the telephone. The vessel documentation center is really good about answering phone calls, and their online database should give you the vessel's last name if you put in the documentation number. They keep "last" data even if the vessel is no longer documented.
No need to pay big bucks to a service, those folks at the vdc do an outstanding job of making life easy for customers.

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