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Old 25-01-2017, 12:03   #1
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Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

I'm buying a catamaran that is located in Panama that is BVI flagged/registered. We are using the same the same documentation agent that the seller used when he bout the boat two years ago. The price I was quoted for the agents service:

'I anticipate buyer expenses to be $175.00 lien search, $610.00 documentation with USCG and $125.00 courier fees (plus $150.000 escrow).'

Is this typical or am I getting ripped off?
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Old 25-01-2017, 12:06   #2
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

US Document you mean? The $610 CG fee is very high I think? Isnt it $100?
BTW, You could document your boat with a US agent with the boat not physically being here. I have done that.
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Old 25-01-2017, 12:12   #3
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

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US Document you mean? The $610 CG fee is very high I think? Isnt it $100?
BTW, You could document your boat with a US agent with the boat not physically being here. I have done that.


This agent is based in the US. Do you know if it possible for me to do the documentation myself while I'm in Panama?
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Old 25-01-2017, 12:15   #4
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

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This agent is based in the US. Do you know if it possible for me to do the documentation myself while I'm in Panama?


Sorry, forgot to mention I will document in US
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Old 25-01-2017, 12:20   #5
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

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This agent is based in the US. Do you know if it possible for me to do the documentation myself while I'm in Panama?
Every time I have self documented I just mailed it in. I think I would mail it to a friend and have them forward it though....
In theory, the boat should be available for inspection of the numbering, lettering etc. In reality, I've never heard of that occurring on Rec boats. Anyone else ever had it occur?


I had a cat documented while it was in the Caribe. An agent in FL did it all inclusive for about $550. That was 15 years ago though....
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Old 25-01-2017, 13:57   #6
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrybas View Post
I'm buying a catamaran that is located in Panama that is BVI flagged/registered. We are using the same the same documentation agent that the seller used when he bout the boat two years ago. The price I was quoted for the agents service:

'I anticipate buyer expenses to be $175.00 lien search, $610.00 documentation with USCG and $125.00 courier fees (plus $150.000 escrow).'

Is this typical or am I getting ripped off?
I think it is fair, assuming the Documentation service knows what they are doing.

BVI Registry to US Registry will require some extra hoops I suspect. Perhaps an apostille on the bill of sale. A letter regarding removal from the BVI Registry perhaps.


The documentation service should know about all of that.
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Old 25-01-2017, 14:13   #7
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

I paid $450 last time, last year in Florida for an agency to do it.
Then they cocked it up.
Try yourself with the CG instead, much cheaper and it takes just as long, but you fill out the paperwork.
I am now into doing it the 3rd time, got screwed a bit but won't pay again..
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Old 25-01-2017, 18:15   #8
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

This is my take on it. Kind of like asking this question: "I know I have to walk a mile to point A from point B. I don't feel like walking so is $150.00 for a limo OK when a $3.00 public bus is available (google) or a $50.00 taxi (standard doc service) or a $20.00-30.00 uber type online doc service?

There is nothing magical or difficult about the USCG documentation process. If you can read and follow the charts without hitting the rocks you should not have a problem deciphering applicable forms and rules. And if in doubt (as we all often are) ask the CF members who recently went through it themselves.
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Old 25-01-2017, 18:29   #9
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

I'm going through the same process with a boat in the Bahamas. Your prices are very comparable. You actually saved $50 over me for the escrow.
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Old 26-01-2017, 09:40   #10
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

I think I paid about $450 two years ago with Vann Maritime. The yacht broker put me in touch with them. I'm not sure Peggy Vann is still in business, but if so, you might want to get a quote from her.
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Old 26-01-2017, 11:06   #11
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

I believe hiring an agent is probably worth the money especially if you are out of the US.

The CG fee seems ? If it is actually meaning their fee alone.

It may keep you from getting ulcers. They know the ropes and contacts.
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Old 26-01-2017, 12:12   #12
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

I used Coastal Documentation of Spruce Head Maine. The cost was a fraction of what you are experiencing. Your situation may be different but without contacting other Doc Services you'll never know.
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Old 26-01-2017, 13:29   #13
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

USCG Documentation Center quoted me $87 dollars to change me to new owner of a previously documented.
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Old 26-01-2017, 13:39   #14
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

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The CG fee seems ? If it is actually meaning their fee alone.
Yep, agree with you and would say it is high but that is where they are padding (my guess anyway) for their fees.

Heck, everyone knows a business doesn't stay in business working for free. Why don't they just say "CG fee is $XXX dollars and our fees for providing service are $XXX dollars"?
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Old 26-01-2017, 13:56   #15
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Re: Cost to Document a sailboat (using a documentation agent)

Chris Welch at Coastal Financial Corp (Virginia Beach VA) got my financing and did the documentation change for $500 (this was Nov 2015). He was very professional and it all went smoothly. He is at "Chris@coastalboatloan.com".
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