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Old 26-09-2016, 15:39   #1
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Tonnage Survey in California

Hello,

I recently bought my first boat, a Valiant 40, she's based in California, and is currently state registered in my name. This is all well and good but at some point I'm going to sail out of the US, and would like to have the vessel registered ideally in a red ensign country.

As a British citizen, the obvious choice would be the UK SSR, (It is not possible for me to federally document the boat in the US) however that requires a tonnage survey, which I do not have, does anybody know if its possible to get one done either in California, or remotely? (I can provide the measurements.)

The alternative is that I choose another country to register the boat in, any suggestions? The easier and cheaper the option the better.

Thanks in advance

David
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Old 26-09-2016, 19:07   #2
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

you might contact kjels christian, christian and associates, sams and nams surveyor, of san diego, via telephone and follow up with his recommendations.
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Old 26-09-2016, 19:24   #3
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

FWIW, be sure to re-register the boat before leaving Caliif. They will need proof of other registration to take you off their tax rolls. Do not be surprised if they want a certified photocopy of the new rego.

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Old 26-09-2016, 19:36   #4
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

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Originally Posted by irvined View Post

As a British citizen, the obvious choice would be the UK SSR, (It is not possible for me to federally document the boat in the US) however that requires a tonnage survey, which I do not have, does anybody know if its possible to get one done either in California, or remotely? (I can provide the measurements.)
Last time I registered a boat in the British SSR aka Part III register there was no need for a tonnage certificate. In fact I did the whole thing online.

Part I is another story.


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Old 27-09-2016, 05:59   #5
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, David.
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Old 27-09-2016, 09:04   #6
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

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Originally Posted by irvined View Post
Hello,

I recently bought my first boat, a Valiant 40, she's based in California, and is currently state registered in my name. This is all well and good but at some point I'm going to sail out of the US, and would like to have the vessel registered ideally in a red ensign country.

As a British citizen, the obvious choice would be the UK SSR, (It is not possible for me to federally document the boat in the US) however that requires a tonnage survey, which I do not have, does anybody know if its possible to get one done either in California, or remotely? (I can provide the measurements.)

The alternative is that I choose another country to register the boat in, any suggestions? The easier and cheaper the option the better.

Thanks in advance

David
I would think a brochure or something from the manufacturer should suffice

Tonnage, as I recall, is the wait of the water displaced at the design waterline? Has nothing to do with boat weight or the amount of junk you can load onboard.
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Old 27-09-2016, 09:34   #7
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

This kind of tonnage is actually a volume measurement, not weight. The name came from way back when wine was carried in containers called tuns and officials wanted a convenient way to charge taxes and harbour dues etc. There is often a standard tonnage measurement applied to common style boats. The manufacturer would probably have some info on this.
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Old 27-09-2016, 09:43   #8
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

Your best bet would be to contact a surveyor in your area. I'm a surveyor on the East Coast based in Massachusetts and do tonnage surveys for clients, primarily for commercial fishing vessels as well as other types of vessels. The process would entail a visit to your boat by the surveyor who would take comprehensive measurements of the interior volume of your boat and then calculate the net and gross tonnage of your vessel from those measurements.
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Old 27-09-2016, 09:56   #9
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

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Originally Posted by WeeJimmy View Post
This kind of tonnage is actually a volume measurement, not weight. The name came from way back when wine was carried in containers called tuns and officials wanted a convenient way to charge taxes and harbour dues etc. There is often a standard tonnage measurement applied to common style boats. The manufacturer would probably have some info on this.
I'll buy that, we are talking apples and oranges. Interesting, I do believe I had heard something of that. Volume below deck level as I recall. In my case kegs of beer I don't drink wine.
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Old 27-09-2016, 10:35   #10
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

Gross and net tonnage are volumes, not weights, interior volume minus certain exempt spaces, and for your boat there are no exempt spaces, so it becomes quite simple. The boat builder should be able to tell you your boat's gross and net tonnage.

If you ever need to calculate it yourself, it is easy. Take a few measurements and do some simple algebra. For small boats like yours, the instructions are found in the US Coast Guard publication
https://www.uscg.mil/hq/msc/tonnage/...-1_Current.pdf

cheers
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Old 27-09-2016, 12:18   #11
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

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Gross and net tonnage are volumes, not weights, interior volume minus certain exempt spaces, and for your boat there are no exempt spaces, so it becomes quite simple. The boat builder should be able to tell you your boat's gross and net tonnage.

If you ever need to calculate it yourself, it is easy. Take a few measurements and do some simple algebra. For small boats like yours, the instructions are found in the US Coast Guard publication
https://www.uscg.mil/hq/msc/tonnage/...-1_Current.pdf

cheers
I think the head is an exemption. Seems kind of archaic , other than maybe for a commercial ships even at that a bunch of containers are carried on deck.

Seems stupid in the case of requiring it of people like the OP.
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Old 27-09-2016, 12:30   #12
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

If I remember correctly (it was 14 years ago) the USCG already had the gross and net tonnage for my boat when I documented it. Maybe you can call them and ask, even though you won't be documenting.

In any event, with a little Googling you can find it online. This source says a Valiant 40 is 14 gross and 13 net.

1979 Valiant 40
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Old 12-01-2017, 15:25   #13
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

Hi Everybody,

Thank you all for the help. I received my registration certificate today. In the end I was able to use the UK SSR Part 3, as I am normally resident in the UK. (even though the boat is not.) This does not require a tonnage survey, unlike part 1 of the registry.

In case it helps anybody, after purchasing the boat in the US, this is what I did. This process was determined by talking with the local DMV in California, the various brokers involved, some online research, and some trial and error.

The boat was federally documented with the USCG when I bought it. As a non US (British) citizen, I was not able to transfer the documentation to my name, there are ways around this by forming a company in Delaware, however as my intention was to use the red ensign, this was not appealing to me at the time.

As such the boat had to be undocumented, this needs to be done pretty much as soon as you take ownership of the vessel. I used a third party company to do this for expediency, but it is not a complex process to do yourself. The end result is that you will get a deletion certificate. (This can be used to prove the vessel is no longer documented in a foreign registry should your new registry of choice require such proof (SSR did not.)

As the boat was moored in California, and was sold in California waters, I needed to register the boat with the DMV in California, and pay sales tax, and yearly property tax. I again used a third party for this, but if I had been in the US at the time, I would have walked into the DMV some cash, and filled out the form. In return you get a CA title of registration, it looks like a regular ships registration document, is valid for the whole of the US, but is not strictly speaking internationally recognized. (Although some people do use it in place of a federal registration document and seem to get away with it, YMMV)

At this point, if the boat was sailing only in US waters, there wouldnt be anything else required, however as it is my intention to sail about a bit, I wanted the vessel flagged with a red ensign, with documentation which would pass muster more or less anywhere. As such I chose the UK SSR, there are a bunch of requirements for this, which have been debated ad-nauseam on just about every boating forum, needless to say after some consulting with the MCA, it was a no-brainer to use the SSR as its basically a bargain. I had initially thought this required a tonnage survey, however that is only required for Part 1, not Part 3 of the SSR.

To get this, I filled in a form online, just before christmas, and received my certificate a week or so later. (the royal mail accounting for almost 90% of the time....) Once I had the SSR number, i then logged onto the website for offcom and got my radio license, call sign, and MMSI number.

Now, the next part is to obtain a TIP from the USCG, it isn't entirely clear how to do this, and it seems that as the boat is already in the US, taxes are paid, and its state registered, there is no need to do so at this stage. It seems I would need a TIP when the boat clears back in to the US, as I'm leaving the US shortly to head south, I wont be able to clarify if that is the case or not.

Before leaving the US, you need to unregister the boat from the state registry, else you are liable for property tax and all sorts of other fun stuff for the state of California, to do that, head to the DMV with proof that the boat is registered elsewhere, (ie, the SSR certificate) and you're done.

Once I'm successfully cleared into another country, Ill give an update on the

I also considered some other options, having lived for a number of years in the Netherlands, Dutch registration was also appealing, whilst more expensive than the UK SSR, it would also be a very straight forward process, and has no requirements about residency (must be EU citizen or form EU company) however for full registration in the Kadaster you must have a microdot fitted to your boat, which can be done only by certified people, which would have been prohibitively expensive in my current situation, but possibly ideal had the boat been in the Caribbean or Europe.

Working for a Belgian company also gave me some options, as they have similar requirements as the Kadaster but without the microdot, the process would have cost a few hundred euros however, for no additional benefits over the SSR. Should I ever use my boat for commercial purposes this may be a better solution, whilst the requirements are not that much different from the MCA coding, it will probably be cheaper to have the boat certified so outside of the EU compared to the MCA coding process.

Finally - the tonnage survey itself is a specific survey particular to British (and some other commonwealth countries) used predominantly for taxation. Whilst it is possible to calculate these figures accurately yourself, the document needs to be provided by an accredited surveyor, who must inspect the boat in person. There are some in the US, and Carribbean, but few on the west coast.

All the best, and thanks again for the help, advice and encouragement.


David
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Old 12-01-2017, 16:18   #14
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

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Originally Posted by irvined View Post
Hi Everybody,

........
As such the boat had to be undocumented, this needs to be done pretty much as soon as you take ownership of the vessel. I used a third party company to do this for expediency, but it is not a complex process to do yourself. The end result is that you will get a deletion certificate. (This can be used to prove the vessel is no longer documented in a foreign registry should your new registry of choice require such proof (SSR did not.)
........

David
This past spring I bought a boat from the UK that was SSR Part 3. She had previously been US documented. Having a copy of the letter of deletion from the US made the re-documentation process in the US much easier. Keep that paper.



Also,
David
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Old 27-03-2017, 19:47   #15
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Re: Tonnage Survey in California

David, you mentioned there are accredited surveyors on the west coast. Where did you find them? Any in Mexico by a chance?
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