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Old 14-04-2014, 14:41   #1
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British owner of non USCG American boat - can I expect problems?

Hi all

I'm a British citizen, I bought a boat here in California last year and have valid DMV registration and title. The registration needs to be renewed every two years to be valid.

This October, I'm planning to sail south to Mexico, cruise central America and then head out across the Pacific. Ideally, I'd like to deregister the boat as American and register on Part I UK register, thinking that it will raise fewer eyebrows and cause less trouble if the boat and I are both British.

However, the Part I register needs a tonnage survey performed by an approved RYA measurer, and I suspect they are going to be hard to come by in California. I can get a provisional Part I registration if the boat is due into the UK within 3 months, which it's not. Part III (Small Ships Register) is not an option for me since I'm resident in the USA.

I've come to the conclusion that there's no "official" way for me to register the boat as being a British vessel... unless I use a friend / family address for the Part III SSR.

1) Will I have problems clearing in and out of anywhere if my boat is not the same nationality?
2) The boat is not USCG registered. Will this cause problems overseas?

Assuming I don't go down the USCG registration route (can I even do that as a British citizen?), I'll need to renew California DMV registration in April 2015, and who knows where I'll be then. Hopefully half way to the Marquesas. Has anyone else sailed Mexico > Pacific > New Zealand with a state-registered vessel and had problems?

While typing this I think I'm going to go down the Part III SSR route, and use a friend's address in the UK for handling paperwork. Until the CA DMV registration runs out, the boat will technically be registered both in the US and the UK when I enter Mexico in October. What's the best documentation to use?
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Old 14-04-2014, 14:48   #2
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Re: British owner of non USCG American boat - can I expect problems?

You should be able to get a tonnage survey acceptable to part I standards in the US. Any surveyor approved and registered by the international. Institute of marine surveying will generally be acceptable

Connect the MCA or RYA. for clarification it's not a difficult survey


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Old 14-04-2014, 15:13   #3
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Re: British owner of non USCG American boat - can I expect problems?

We have checked in and out of 25 countries over the last 6 years using our SSR registration, Mexico included.

Occasionally they will ask for the full registration certificate because the SSR is just a 5 by 3 laminated card but once we assure them that that is how the Brits do it they accept the SSR.

25 quid or 5 years is the best deal in sailing. Plus they do not check where you live as long as long as they can post to a valid UK address.
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Old 15-04-2014, 15:52   #4
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Re: British owner of non USCG American boat - can I expect problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaskazi View Post
...However, the Part I register needs a tonnage survey performed by an approved RYA measurer, and I suspect they are going to be hard to come by in California. I can get a provisional Part I registration if the boat is due into the UK within 3 months, which it's not. Part III (Small Ships Register) is not an option for me since I'm resident in the USA....
I got a provisional PART I registration for my boat, which was commissioned in Annapolis. I contacted the YBDSA in the U.K. who gave me information on accredited surveyors in the area. I spoke with one in Annapolis but we disagreed about procedure, they stated that the boat had to be hauled and wouldn't listen when I gave numerous references about boats being surveyed while in the water.
I sailed down to the BVI and used a YBDSA accredited surveyor there to get my tonnage survey done (it took about 1-2 hours of tape measure and plumb lines, while the boat was in the water) and once I supplied the tonnage certificate and a photo of my O.N. plate affixed to the boat I, in turn, received my PART I registration. The boat has never been in the U.K. and won't be doing so until it has depreciated enough to make paying VAT less painful.
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