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Old 02-08-2012, 10:57   #1
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State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

Is it legal for other jurisdictions. Say I go nuts and do an Atlantic crossing, and play around in the Med with a boat registered in and titled in Indiana? I've been browsing around the net and what I read is essentially as clear to me as Mississippi River bottom mud.

I do know I'll have to insure, etc. What other documentation will I need?
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:36   #2
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Re: State SMall Craft registration: Legal as Documentation?

"Documentation", as a catchall term, can refer to practically anything, including your birth certificate.
"Documentation", when referring to boats, means the U.S. government documentation papers for your boat. This is different from state registration, which is most decidedly not documentation as in federal documentation.
Most folks who sail to foreign countries have their vessels documented, since foreign countries frequently look askance at state registration. Federal documentation makes clearing in easier.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:56   #3
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Re: State SMall Craft registration: Legal as Documentation?

Thanks, that's what I needed to know, then. OK, for my purposes for now, then, State registration should do, and I'll document federally later if/when the issue arises.
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:07   #4
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Re: State SMall Craft registration: Legal as Documentation?

An expansion of the query: Specifically, the Bahamas.

Will they recognize my State of Indiana ownership documents (Registration, title), as valid proof of ownership of my little vessel? I figure they get lots of US based boats out there, and suspect they have gotten various state issued registration docs as proof of ownership, and I want to be sure I'm not operating on a faulty assumption here.

My insurance won't be an issue, my boat insurance will issue a rider addendum for Bahamian waters and surrounding.
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Old 24-08-2012, 13:09   #5
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Re: State SMall Craft registration: Legal as Documentation?

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
...
Most folks who sail to foreign countries have their vessels documented, since foreign countries frequently look askance at state registration. Federal documentation makes clearing in easier.
Yes, while State registration is perfectly legal to use internationally, life is going to be much easier with good old USA Federal Doco because authorities all over the planet know what that looks like. In contrast, I doubt they see many Indiana registration forms.

And, a Documentation form looks nice and official. I've seen some State registration forms that look like a poorly printed cash register receipt. If I were an official, I would be skeptical of that too.

Search the threads here also, there are discussions of this topic including the experiences of others.
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Old 24-08-2012, 16:23   #6
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

Tom, this subject has been beaten to death here on CF. There are folks who maintain that federal documentation is necessary, and perhaps there are countries where this is true. However, on our extended voyaging in the Pacific, our Illinois rego has proven acceptable in all countries visited so far. There have been NO problems related to this.

Cheers,

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Old 24-08-2012, 16:56   #7
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

There was a time when having a Fed. Doc. Vessel, was are real plus!! but now a days bout all ya get is a little more ease in checking into another country !! but for that reason alone it's worth the cost ! which by the way is less them most state registrations are !!! And ya can do the registation by your self !! It's a little complicated, but I barely have a high school education, and I have fed registerd boats by myself !! so Im sure you could do it !!! just sayin if ya plan to go to other countrys it will make your life a lot easier! Even in the Bahamas, even tho they see FL registerd boats all the time LOL Im sure they have never seen one from a more or less DRY State LOL Just my 2 cents
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Old 24-08-2012, 17:41   #8
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

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...And ya can do the registation by your self !! It's a little complicated, but I barely have a high school education, and I have fed registerd boats by myself !!...

And these days, you can renew on-line in about 30 seconds!

You can even get them to FAX or email you a certified copy.
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Old 24-08-2012, 22:01   #9
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

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There was a time when having a Fed. Doc. Vessel, was are real plus!! but now a days bout all ya get is a little more ease in checking into another country !! but for that reason alone it's worth the cost ! which by the way is less them most state registrations are !!! And ya can do the registation by your self !! It's a little complicated, but I barely have a high school education, and I have fed registerd boats by myself !! so Im sure you could do it !!! just sayin if ya plan to go to other countrys it will make your life a lot easier! Even in the Bahamas, even tho they see FL registerd boats all the time LOL Im sure they have never seen one from a more or less DRY State LOL Just my 2 cents
We have international ports and Federal Ports of Call in Indiana. We are on lake Michigan, after all.

We even have indoor plumbing in our marinas.
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Old 24-08-2012, 22:07   #10
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
There was a time when having a Fed. Doc. Vessel, was are real plus!! but now a days bout all ya get is a little more ease in checking into another country !! but for that reason alone it's worth the cost ! which by the way is less them most state registrations are !!! And ya can do the registation by your self !! It's a little complicated, but I barely have a high school education, and I have fed registerd boats by myself !! so Im sure you could do it !!! just sayin if ya plan to go to other countrys it will make your life a lot easier! Even in the Bahamas, even tho they see FL registerd boats all the time LOL Im sure they have never seen one from a more or less DRY State LOL Just my 2 cents
I still have to register in Indiana, even if Fed Docced, and pay use tax. I also sail inland lakes.....I have a trailer sailor.
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Old 24-08-2012, 23:17   #11
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

Does your 19' Pocket Cruiser qualify under the USCG 5 ton measurement, or will they issue documentation to any US boat now?

I had always heard that boats under 25' usually don't meet their requirements, but things may have changed, and I could be completely out in left field!
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Old 24-08-2012, 23:48   #12
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

It may be a moot point. I don't know, that's part of the reason I opened this thread.
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Old 25-08-2012, 00:16   #13
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

OK, by Thames Tonnage, it calculated out to 3.13 tons, so it's below the 5 ton threshold.
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Old 25-08-2012, 00:18   #14
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

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OK, by Thames Tonnage, it calculated out to 3.13 tons, so it's below the 5 ton threshold.
Well, at least you won't have the USCG fees to worry about!
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Old 25-08-2012, 04:09   #15
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Re: State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

The documentation argument is like anchor discussions. As pointed out in several of the posts... You state registration will work, but will the Port Captain in the the country your checking into recognise it as proof of ownership.

In most cases the Port Captain of the country your checking into is the final authority and many times their interpretation will vary from Port to Port within a country.

So yes, in the real word a state registation card works, but how much time do you want to spend explaining it to a stuborn Port Captain?

Also another thing that people sometimes don't realize is if you are carrying a bank note on your vessel and it is 5 tons or more, the lender will normally require USCG Documentation before allowing the vessel to leave the US. They do this because it makes it easier to repossess internationally.

The other thing people assume is USCG registration is expensive... Well compared to a one year state registration it is... But if you own the boat for 10 years, it will save you money since USCG Documentation is a one time fee unless you change ownership or other identifying things like the hailing port or vessel name.
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