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Old 10-11-2018, 04:20   #1
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Question City, State Under Boat Name?

Relative newbie here, just put an offer in on my first ever personally owned boat. If it goes through, I want to rename her.

Now, I did search for this in the forums, and did not find any threads, so here goes...

Typically under the vessel name, there is a City, State displayed. I have often noted that these are sometimes places one would not think would have larger boats hanging out, unless perhaps a river runs through them.

So my question is - are the any rules or norms as to what city/state appears below the name? Is it supposed to be where it is registered?

For example, I was thinking of using the City/State where I grew up, a kind of "tip o' the hat" to my home town. But this is not where the vessel would be registered or spend much, if any time.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:34   #2
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

Hi tkcas,


The city & (sometimes) state shown are called the vessel's "hailing port" - in days of yore, it indicated where the vessel considered "home" - nowadays, for big ships, it's where the ship is registered (a big deal for both regulatory compliance and taxes).
If your vessel is USCG Documented, you will have an official hailing port (which you can change) - if you are just state-registered, you can put whatever you want on there, it's just a label without legal meaning. You don't ever have to bring your vessel there, either -- ours says "Phoenix, AZ", and rest assured it's never been there



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Old 10-11-2018, 04:52   #3
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
... If your vessel is USCG Documented, you will have an official hailing port (which you can change) - if you are just state-registered, you can put whatever you want on there, it's just a label without legal meaning ...
Documented vessels must display the name and the hailing port on the transom or on both hull sides. The name and the hailing port must be displayed externally on the vessel, either on both sides of the hull or on the transom. The hailing port must include the place and a state, territory, or possession of the United States. The state may be abbreviated.
The hailing port is a choice. It does not have to be the place where the boat is stored, where you live nor does it have to have any actual significance or relevance to your life. To determine if a location is a valid hailing port, click the “Query” tab (see link*), fill in the “feature name” and the “state” and then hit the “Send Query” tab.
* ➥ https://geonames.usgs.gov/apex/f?p=138:1:0:::::

Registered boats may have names and hailing ports, but these boat names are decoration, an expression of individuality, and can be changed at any time as they are not legally significant, and you have the ability to be as creative with your hailing port as with your vessel’s name.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:22   #4
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

I seem to recall a thread on CF about state of California going after out of state documented boats with CA in their port names under "state" for excise taxes or some such.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:01   #5
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
I seem to recall a thread on CF about state of California going after out of state documented boats with CA in their port names under "state" for excise taxes or some such.
As a former Californian, I wouldn’t be surprised.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:06   #6
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

When I got my current boat I renamed it, because really your boat should reflect you somehow in the name, but left the home port on the boat the same. It didn't matter to me where the boat said it was from and it was a lot less trouble to just leave it as it was.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:04   #7
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

Quote:
Documented vessels must display the name and the hailing port on the transom or on both hull sides.
I only marked mine on one side!
There is no requirement to display name and hailing port of a USCG documented recreational vessel on both sides. The requirement is as follows:

"The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull"

https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organiz...-FAQ/#anchor12
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:44   #8
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

I think it is prudent to choose a hailing port that you know something about (for example, I have heard the story about California reported in some other post as well, so choosing randomly may lead to surprises), or leave the original hailing port unchanged.

Also, I think it is customary to choose a hailing port that you have some connection with. If nothing else, when you travel to some remote destinations, people looking at your boat will ask "oh, are you from *your hailing port*? We are too...", and expect to strike some sort of conversation... it is somewhat anti climatic to answer "no, I have never been there..."
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:57   #9
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

No rules if it's documented. One boat I used the location/name of a pioneer town that no longer exists.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:28   #10
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

My boat is USCG Documented. I changed name and hailing port to reflect my preference for both after I bought the boat.
My hailing port is in Hawaii, where I am from. Another consideration for this choice was that not everyone in the world connects Hawaii with the USA.
I am a proud and patriotic veteran. But do not want to attract unwanted attention in some places in the world where the US may not necessarily be their favorite country.
My beloved Stars and Stripes finds a safe berth in my flag locker while I Fly my Hawaiian Flag, of which I am equally proud.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:45   #11
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

My
USCG documented boat Tashina has Santa Fe, NM, as its hailing port and everyone knows there's not a drop of water in that place. But it is the place I spent the last 35 years living and so I am happy to carry that name on the boat's transom.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:18   #12
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMO Tashina View Post
My
USCG documented boat Tashina has Santa Fe, NM, as its hailing port and everyone knows there's not a drop of water in that place. But it is the place I spent the last 35 years living and so I am happy to carry that name on the boat's transom.
Wonder what looks a person would get if they put "ALCATRAZ", CA as a hailing port??
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:18   #13
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMO Tashina View Post
My
USCG documented boat Tashina has Santa Fe, NM, as its hailing port and everyone knows there's not a drop of water in that place. But it is the place I spent the last 35 years living and so I am happy to carry that name on the boat's transom.
Right on, Tashina! Flying “Roswell, NM” on Buddha Moon!
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:24   #14
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
No rules if it's documented. One boat I used the location/name of a pioneer town that no longer exists.
According to the regulations, your hailing port must have a US Post Office if you are to be legally documented.
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Old 10-11-2018, 14:16   #15
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Re: City, State Under Boat Name?

"I seem to recall a thread on CF about state of California going after out of state documented boats with CA in their port names under "state" for excise taxes or some such."
Yes, and pretty much all the tax men who deal with boats, will apply the presumption that the hailing port is the home port and you owe taxes based on that. US state and federal tax law say they can do that, and you have to pay the demand letter and THEN file your protest asking for the money back, typically. As in high-stakes poker, never try to play unless you know who else is at the table.

Last time I checked (long ago) the USCG documentation rules were also specific about the size and style of the letting that could be used, as well. If the OP plans to sail out of the country or has other reasons to document the vessel, that all needs to be looked into. If they're just sailing locally, the only benefit to documentation would be establishing and maintaining chain of title, but many states do that equally well.
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