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Old 10-04-2012, 18:36   #1
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Location: Fort Myers, FL
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FL Beach Cat Registration

Recently I purchased a '04 Hobie Getaway. I had always been under the impression that there was no need to register these small catamarans in Florida, where I live until I stumbled across some change in the law that states that unmotorized vessels 16ft and up need to be registered, with a handful of exceptions that I do not fall under. The boat has never been registered because the previous two owners sailed it exclusively on a private salt water lake. It has no title. The manufacturers certificate of origin was never passed along from the first owner and the real kicker is the hulls were sanded, to remove scuffs or barnacles I'm guessing, and the serial number is completely illegible on both hulls. I have a bill of sale but without some other documentation or at least a serial number how can I possibly register this boat? If I do not register it what is the likelihood of law enforcement coming after a 16'7'' beach cat for lack of registration? Do you think I could be accused of stealing it with the screwed up serial numbers? Both previous owners were very wealthy people that dont seem like they would deal in the stolen hobie trade.
If anybody has experience in this sort of thing please help
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Old 10-04-2012, 18:43   #2
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Re: FL Beach cat registration

I have registered home made trailers with no documentation at all, dinghies with no serial number, etc. Just call the local registration office and explain your situation. They have always been able to explain to me how to deal with such situations.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:07   #3
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Re: FL Beach cat registration

Contact the nearest office of the Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. They handle boat registrations. They can tell you exactly what you need to do to get the boat registered. With a bill of sale in hand I'm sure it won't be that big of a deal.

What is the likelihood of you getting caught if you don't register it? I don't know, but do you really want to take that chance? I guarantee you that the hassles and paperwork you will have getting this boat legally registered are NOTHING compared to the consequences if you DO get caught.
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