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Old 03-06-2016, 19:40   #1
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Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

Purchased a 30 ft sailboat, which I am about to register in New York. Just noticed a USCG documentation number inside. I am the 3rd owner. Second owner knows nothing about it.

Can this USCG documentation be brought back to life?

Boat 1984

First owner 1984 to approximately 2002

Second owner 2002 - 2016

Thoughts?
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Old 03-06-2016, 20:07   #2
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

Should be possible. Contact the USCG Vessel Documentation Service in West Virginia and talk to them. Try checking the number online as well.
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Old 03-06-2016, 20:29   #3
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

Good idea psk.

The number is 1000288

https://boatdb.net/boat/fulana-1000288.htm

This seems to be the first owner and first boat name. I'm wondering if I can reactivate this documentation and not have to register in any particular state. Will be keeping the boat in New York then Florida.

This is a $20,000 boat, not $500,000. Is there any benefit to USCG documentation? Any tax savings? Seems USCG documentation has some value. As for travel to other countries planning Bahamas but that's about it for this 30 footer.
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Old 04-06-2016, 16:33   #4
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

You should be able to get the boat documented in your name with the same number. Contact the USCG as stated above. You'll need a bill of sale as proof and probably something else. Plus a fee of course.

Most states require you to register your boat regardless of whether it is USCG documented or not. In Washington you have to and you have to display a small sticker each year. If not USCG documented you have to display a much larger size WA registration number on the hull plus the sticker. Annual taxes are the same. They do want to know if it is documented or not.

USCG documentation does make it easier, and is sometimes required, for coming in to other countries. You might be OK to go to the Bahamas without that but dunno.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:27   #5
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

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Originally Posted by Larry Florida View Post
Good idea psk.

The number is 1000288

https://boatdb.net/boat/fulana-1000288.htm

This seems to be the first owner and first boat name. I'm wondering if I can reactivate this documentation and not have to register in any particular state. Will be keeping the boat in New York then Florida.

This is a $20,000 boat, not $500,000. Is there any benefit to USCG documentation? Any tax savings? Seems USCG documentation has some value. As for travel to other countries planning Bahamas but that's about it for this 30 footer.
If you keep the boat in NY you will have to register it with the DMV and show that you have paid the appropriate sales tax. If you buy the boat through a broker, the broker will collect the sales tax. If you buy from an individual, you'll have to pay the tax at DMV.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:28   #6
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

You can re document it easily. It will have the same number but you can change the name and hailing port. The fee is about $125. There is no advantage to documenting a vessel for your intended use. If you keep the boat in Florida for more than 90 days you will be subject to a use tax. If you register it in Florida you will pay sales tax(same as rate). The rate is 6 percent of the sales price plus $50. This applies whether or not it is documented.

I don't know about NY but they probably have a use tax for vessels that are not registered in NY but are kept there for a certain period.

Again, no advantage to documentation as for sale or use tax. Also, no advantage for going to the Bahamas.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:16   #7
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

Since ownership has changed, you will have to submit an application, and the bill of sale form. It's not as simple as an address change.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:47   #8
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

I recently sold my 30 foot Yankee 30 that was documented. I only went to Canada with it a few times from WA State, and noticed no real advantage in crossing the border. However, I will suggest that documented vessels might be worth more in some future buyer's eyes, and I saved the cost of the state numbers I did not have to put on the boat, which, to my mind are quite unattractive! I DID have to purchase the small sticker every two years to show that I paid my taxes on the boat.

Personally, I'd redocument it, if it was my decision. No real disadvantages I can think of, and it may be useful to you or a subsequent owner some day.....

2 cents, please.....
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:53   #9
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

Documenting a boat provides a title to the boat. This can be important if the boat is financed. At least in NY, boats built in mid 80's and earlier did not have a title, only a transferable registration.

And for less than the cost of a beer per month, you don't have to put those damn registration numbers on the bow.
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:40   #10
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

You say the owner prior, knew nothing of the documentation. That's a problem as the boat ownership was never transferred to him properly. You may have to track down the original owner who likely is still listed as the owner according to the USCG. As others have said there will be an application and you will need a USCG Bill of Sale form signed by the owner of record and notarized. Could be opening a can of worms!
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:04   #11
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

After just completing the documentation process, what the others above have said is true. They are inflexible on the paperwork required, and there is lots of red tape to work through. An example is when I bought my boat the bill of sale is to me. I tried to document it in both my wife and my names, but they wouldn't do it without ANOTHER bill of sale from me giving 50% interest in the boat to my wife, notarized of course, and another $8 fee... Bureaucracy at its best.

Worst of all, it took 3 months to get the notification they need this additional fee and paperwork, and when I submit it, it will be another 3 months to get the documentation done as I will now go to the back of the line...

Be sure to get everything in correct the first time - not as easy as it sounds. At a minimum for recreational, they are currently around 3 to 3 1/2 months out on processing applications.
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:09   #12
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

There are companies that will handle all the documentation services for a fee. Sometimes it is worth it to pay someone who does this every day.

We used this company a few years ago. Very easy. All Yacht Registries, boat registration, vessel register USA
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:26   #13
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

Documenting a vessel through USCG is simple, if, you have your paperwork in order. Here is the link to the USCG documentation site...

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page

You do not need a broker or intermediary to do it, you can easily do it yourself and save all the fees charged by marine vessel documentation services. I have used the link above to document 4 of my own vessels and helped a number of my dock mates with there boats.

Fees...$133 if vessel never documented previously, $84 if previously documented and $8 for USCG Bill of Sale. That's it. As a poster said above, the back log wait time is about 2 to 3 months but once your paperwork is accepted, you can check on their website to see where you are in the que. (I just checked the NVDC site and as of today's date, they are processing paperwork submitted the week of 4/14/16 so they are catching up)

If the boat has previously been documented as you state, it makes the process easier as your boat should be in the data base. If you do not mind being on hold for 15-20 minutes, you can call the information line and get all your questions answered by very helpful Coasties.

Good luck!
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:51   #14
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Florida View Post
Purchased a 30 ft sailboat, which I am about to register in New York. Just noticed a USCG documentation number inside. I am the 3rd owner. Second owner knows nothing about it.

Can this USCG documentation be brought back to life?

Boat 1984

First owner 1984 to approximately 2002

Second owner 2002 - 2016

Thoughts?
I may well be wrong? With that few owners I shouldn't think it would be a problem. It may help if the second owner can provide a bill of sale from the first? JMHO My old man did it on one he bought from a guy that won it in a poker game and never did anything. Register it or documentation.
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Old 05-06-2016, 13:21   #15
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Re: Purchased boat, now notice Documented number

If documented in the first owner's name your first step has to be tracking down the original owner. Then call the CG for guidance on exactly what documents you will need. It might be as simple as him signing a transfer form or as complicated as a string of papers signed by both the previous owners. All that assumes the first owner is still in shape to sign anything.
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