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Old 21-01-2009, 13:08   #1
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Documentation or Not for Bahamas ?

I'm in the process of purcahasing a Hunter 30 which I will be cruising frequently to the Bahamas from Florida. For the next year, it will be docked in Florida.

The vessel is currently documented, but I'm wondering if its worth my while to maintain this. On my previous pocket cruisers, I only had state registration and never had a problem with entry.

The boat is 30'1" with a displacement of a bit under 10,000 lbs.

Any thoughts or advice appreciated.
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Old 21-01-2009, 13:57   #2
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Documentation is not required in the Bahamas currently. I would get documentation done anyway as it is easy and inexpensive to do yourself and like chicken soup "couldn't hurt" for the future. Many banks and insurers will want documentation if that is an issue.
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Old 21-01-2009, 14:55   #3
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It's pretty easy. Just mail an original copy USCG bill of sale document with the fee and the original Documentation papers to West Virginia. They do pretty quick now. I consider it an advantage for a buyer. It's more trusted and less prone to errors. States often get things wrong as it transferes between states.
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Old 22-01-2009, 14:49   #4
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Thanks for the input Cam and Paul. Much appreciated.
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Old 22-01-2009, 16:13   #5
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just a thought... you will need USCG/federal documentation for any other cruising destination in the Caribbean - the French Islands are very, very strict and have levied considerable fines and possible impoundment. If you have documentation, keep it.
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Old 22-01-2009, 17:45   #6
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The USCG papers look very official, too. You get some mileage out of that in some places. By the way, the French in particular are sticklers--they want the original document from which to get their copies. I'd highly suggest hitting Kinko's and getting a couple of color copies made, then keeping the original safe, dry & tight somewhere on the boat and going ashore with the color copy.
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Old 23-01-2009, 07:45   #7
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Not mentioned so far--annual renewal of the USCG documentation is free.
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Old 28-01-2009, 08:16   #8
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Thanks again to everyone for your posts. You've convinced me. Even though I don't see myself sailing beyond the Bahamas in this boat, it's worth keeping the registration.
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Old 28-01-2009, 09:42   #9
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Just click on this and download the forms. It's pretty user friendly.

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page
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Old 28-01-2009, 20:58   #10
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Has documentation become that easy these days? No builder's certificate and tracking down all the previous owners?

Regards,

JohnL
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Old 29-01-2009, 08:22   #11
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As long as the chain of title can be established, it's pretty simple. I've documented my two boats myself, and the key item was the bill of sale.
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