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Old 23-02-2020, 19:29   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Birmingham, AL
Boat: 40 ft Van Dine Custom Gaffed rigged Schooner
Posts: 128
How hard to get a new COI for a newly purchased wooden schooner?

I am considering purchasing a 60 foot schooner whose keel was laid in 1993 but finally launched in 2003. My question here is not about a survey. I plan to get a very thorough one from someone with vast experience with wooden vessels. This is regarding the process of obtaining or more to the point the feasibility of re-obtaining a COI.
Although I have current US Coast Guard credentials to allow me to operate this vessel in charter, I doubt but don’t know with 100% certainty that I would not enter into the charter business. It’s possible but not likely. I am beginning negotiations on buying her directly from the owner and would prefer her not list it with a broker. She would prefer that as well. We are about to begin the process of discussing price. Last April the vessel had her 15 year inspection which I understand is extremely thorough. She keeps referring to it as “ the biggie”. Joshua passed with only very minor changes needed. The widow of the vessel owner has her credentials as well but has no desire to continue running the business without her spouse. Given this, She failed to get the 2019 topside inspection. This puts the vessel out of certification. my question is how easy is it to get a vessel like this re-certified? Would the USCG ever agree with a buyer to say allow 90 days( out of service of course), and then pick up with where it was left off with the topside inspection? Given only 21 months ago she had the 15 year, that the plans for the vessel before the keel was even laid were approved in Washington, and that she has been certified for all her 16 years, is it likely to be problematic? She will remain in the same Coast Guard district so would they literally be starting over with their review of the vessel? I realize it is a brand new process but would they treat it as if they had never seen it in their lives? Also, I’m only talking about truly structural things. Not things like where are the fire extinguishers, how many flashlights and where do you have them located, etc.

I ask mainly because I would like to know what’s the likelihood of other charter owners in our region being interested in this vessel. She’s unique and beautiful and ran a successful business for quite some time so I know she is well known. Pics below. I would not expect much competition for a vessel like this from individual boat owners or one who desires to own one. We all know that is a small buyers market. Great for us I suppose when we buy however not so much so whenever we sell. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were interest from some of them if the recertification process is no big deal. A longtime friend of mine who has owned numerous charter vessels tells me the real value with that boat would have been with a certificate still in place. It has his opinion that given it has expired the fact that she was certified as recently as just a few months ago matters not.

Would any of you folks with the experience in these things agree with him?
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