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Old 03-05-2024, 02:42   #1
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Vessel Flag certification - Etiquette

We are considering purchasing a boat in St. Martin. This would be our first boat purchase and a bit 'green' (we don't know what we don't know) around vessel flag certificate etiquette.

The boat is currently French flag registered. We presume the current owner will deregister the boats flag certificate following the sale.

With the hurricane season a few weeks away we need to move the boat out of the hurricane zone (insurance purposes). Therefore, we can't wait in St. Martin for the 8 to 10 weeks for the de-registration and re-registration process to complete.

Q: Is there any reason why we couldn't move the boat without the vessel having a flag registration certificate?

We would complete the flag registration at a location outside of the hurricane zone.
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Old 03-05-2024, 05:26   #2
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Re: Vessel Flag certification - Etiquette

You will need to ensure that whatever country you are taking the boat to is OK with a boat in the process of being de- and re-registered can enter that country - some countries will have significant objections to a "flagless" vessel entering their waters.
You may need an attorney to figure it out for you.



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Old 03-05-2024, 05:48   #3
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Re: Vessel Flag certification - Etiquette

Be careful! The first thing checked when you enter any country is your registration/documentation to prove you own the vessel. Not sure how it works for Ireland, but with USCG Documentation you can travel with a copy of the application and it will be accepted within the USA, but I wouldn't want to try to travel internationally without the official document.
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Old 03-05-2024, 06:40   #4
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Re: Vessel Flag certification - Etiquette

Very helpful JJKettlewell so much. Peter
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Old 03-05-2024, 10:39   #5
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Re: Vessel Flag certification - Etiquette

Our boat was French documented and they deregister it in a few days. We signed our paperwork in a US Consulates office in FP.
The re-registration was a PITA. For the US you need all French documents translated by an official translation person not an online service.
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Old 03-05-2024, 21:50   #6
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Re: Vessel Flag certification - Etiquette

Perhaps Ireland as EU-Member has a similiar service as my country (Germany). For vessels used solely for recreation the process for getting boat papers is very fast and easy (apply online, send copy of sale contract). This is not a flag certificate but a proof of ownership and recognized worldwide. Other options would be keeping a French Registration, you can apply with a EU Passport and its quick. hope this helps.
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