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Old 07-28-2018, 11:03 AM   #1
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documentation

My Mainship 34T has been documented since purchase. I have to pay $26 a year to maintain this. Is it worth it
I'm considering dropping documentation for just state registration (which I have to pay for anyway) and add state numbers
I don't leave country or state
my only concern does documentation give any value to the boat if I should later want to sell it?
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:02 PM   #2
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Not really for that boat if not owned by a lender that requires it...it can always be redocumented by a future buyer.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:16 PM   #3
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I would leave it documented. For the sake of $26/year your going to have undisputed chain of ownership and lien status.....Not so with state registered vessels. I would question a vessel that was previously documented, removed from doc and then appears in federal documentation again right before a sale. UCC filing against it? Maybe, maybe not... Continuous Documentation disarms any question about ownership and liens. Why raise a potential flag for lenders,Doc companies or potential buyers? $26/year isn't worth it IMHO only.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:39 PM   #4
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I can't argue with you if you keep it documented or drop it. I'd personally pay the $26 not to have to put numbers on the side, but I won't tell you the documentation carries any real value for you. It might to some buyers, I don't know.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:44 PM   #5
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I agree with both Sailor and BandB. I like not having registration numbers on the hull and it does provide a consistent chain of ownership. $26/yr is really cheap. It is also very simple and easy to document now that the USCG allows it to be done on-line.
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Old 07-28-2018, 02:52 PM   #6
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I thought about dropping documentation on my last boat. I never got around to it as you have to undocument, if you just stop paying the $26 you become a boat out of compliance.

When I sold the boat the new lender’s first question was documentation. They wouldn’t loan on a boat that wasn’t documented. This could have killed the deal so i’m glad I never dropped the documentation.

This may not be a valid concern in your case.
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:22 PM   #7
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I can't argue with you if you keep it documented or drop it. I'd personally pay the $26 not to have to put numbers on the side, but I won't tell you the documentation carries any real value for you. It might to some buyers, I don't know.
I total agree, well worth the $26 per year. My tender has T/T Kinja on it. No need to attract the State's attention. Yea, I know of the limited use. I just use to go ashore and return the boat, no extended trips
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:52 PM   #8
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So if in Florida where I have a Documented boat-- Both boat and dinghy have Florida registration and titles also---- I only have to mark the dinghy T/T and the documented boats Name? Putting numbers and decals is a pain on inflatables. Can I just put the T/T and documented boats name and registration decal on the inflatables transom inside? Thanks
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:35 PM   #9
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One of the few benefits of California is that USCG-documented boats need not be state-registered. A documented boat is prohibited from displaying state-registration numbers. Thus, no need for those nasty registration numbers on the bow. Also, a US documented boat (as opposed to state-registered) might face less hassle at foreign-country ports.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:44 PM   #10
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So if in Florida where I have a Documented boat-- Both boat and dinghy have Florida registration and titles also---- I only have to mark the dinghy T/T and the documented boats Name? Putting numbers and decals is a pain on inflatables. Can I just put the T/T and documented boats name and registration decal on the inflatables transom inside? Thanks
I am not a lawyer nor am I expressing any legal opinion. Check with a real attorney to see if what I say 'floats'.

What registration decal? Check with someone in the know. My boat has a home port of Atlanta GA. It is US documented. A documented boat does not need to display FL numbers nor registration decal because it is not registered in FL, it is "documented."

I suggest you check and see if you can just declare home port your boat in a different city and state. Well, any state other than Calif. No need to contact anyone in the new home port. I suspect you will need to change your US documentation. You keep kicking a sleeping lion, begging to pay another tax. Yes, there may be a maximum number of days you can stay in FL waters. Let them find you and count the days. How difficult is it to take a boat ride out of FL waters and back in the same day? Head east until you are far enough pump your sanitary tanks, pump your sanitary tank, make a log entry and then back in. This resets the calendar and clock. Dont brag and dont flaunt it. You have followed the letter of the law, I suspect. Screw the spirit of the law.

You get a tax bill for your boat, send them a polite letter indicating you have changed home ports.

Some boat sales, they take a nice trip outside of US waters, Bahamas waters? Sign the bill of sale, log the lat and long on the sales slip and presto, no sales tax. Of course that voids US documentation and the hailing port. Then the next year, pick a home port other than FL, put on the stern of the boat and re-document the boat with the CG.

This marina has some sort of silly rule about the maximum number of days I can remain onboard. I leave the boat, go to the grocery store or boat parts store, get a haircut and I satisfy that rule. I suspect owning my slip has little something to do with it too. Also, my legal residence is GA. IF I change my legal residence to FL, my boat is still home ported in GA. Then, there is some sort of exemption if the sale is between two private parties, no sales tax, I believe. Yea yea, I am walking a fine and narrow line.

If someone says, "That's what the law means." The ask them, why doesnt the law say what it means?
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:49 PM   #11
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One of the few benefits of California is that USCG-documented boats need not be state-registered. A documented boat is prohibited from displaying state-registration numbers. Thus, no need for those nasty registration numbers on the bow. Also, a US documented boat (as opposed to state-registered) might face less hassle at foreign-country ports.
The only 'caution' is get a radio station license if you are going to operate outside of US waters.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:58 PM   #12
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I am not a lawyer nor am I expressing any legal opinion. Check with a real attorney to see if what I say 'floats'.

What registration decal? Check with someone in the know. My boat has a home port of Atlanta GA. It is US documented. A documented boat does not need to display FL numbers nor registration decal because it is not registered in FL, it is "documented."
Don't need a lawyer to know what you say doesn't float. Rules are very specific. You keep the boat in FL and are required to register it in Florida and have a decal. Furthermore, you're also required to register your dinghy in FL and have numbers on it. Documented boats are still registered in most states. You home port has absolutely nothing to do with where it must be registered.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:04 PM   #13
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Don't need a lawyer to know what you say doesn't float. Rules are very specific. You keep the boat in FL and are required to register it in Florida and have a decal. Furthermore, you're also required to register your dinghy in FL and have numbers on it. Documented boats are still registered in most states. You home port has absolutely nothing to do with where it must be registered.
So if my boat winters in FL waters, it must be registered in FL even though it has a display home port in a different country? LOL
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:37 PM   #14
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Is it not true that most states require registration of a boat in the state for 90 days? So one could potentially required to be registered in four states simultaneously during a year? So, if documented, one needn't show four columns of state registration numbers?
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:41 PM   #15
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The only 'caution' is get a radio station license if you are going to operate outside of US waters.
Solution: just monitor radio traffic. Trust that an emergency broadcast will be forgiven.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:43 PM   #16
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So if my boat winters in FL waters, it must be registered in FL even though it has a display home port in a different country? LOL
Perhaps dark-hulled boats are exempt.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:48 PM   #17
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Is it not true that most states require registration of a boat in the state for 90 days? So one could potentially required to be registered in four states simultaneously during a year? So, if documented, one needn't show four columns of state registration numbers?
Yes, I've known one person who was registered in four states within 12 months as some states only allow 60 days.
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:12 AM   #18
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Appreciate your message....but I agree with Olddan. I'm sure the Coast Guard does not actually require you to register in your hailing state, and I can't see how the state can require registration if you follow the 89day rule. ( legally speaking not spirtuality speaking)
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:56 AM   #19
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Appreciate your message....but I agree with Olddan. I'm sure the Coast Guard does not actually require you to register in your hailing state, and I can't see how the state can require registration if you follow the 89day rule. ( legally speaking not spirtuality speaking)
Registration has nothing to do with homeport......

Taxation often has nothing to do with registration and the 60, 90 or 180 day location rule and EVERYTHING to do with intent of use/domicile.


Anfs the tax guys have llittle srnse of humor when they find you pkaying such gsmes as often suggested.
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Old 07-29-2018, 06:12 AM   #20
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Documented boats are still registered in most states. You home port has absolutely nothing to do with where it must be registered.

I don't think this is quite correct. As a starting point, you need to be in compliance in your home port state. As noted, that may or may not require state registration. As you then travel from state to state, and many of us do, you are exempt for some period of time as a visitor, typically 60-90 days. But the exemption is typically based on the boat being documented and properly registered in it's home port state.


Now if you stay in a state long enough, you trigger their registration rules and need to register locally. That's how you end up with a second state registration.


But now let's say to move on to a third state. Your visitor's exemption will once again be based on your home port registration. So I think you need to maintain registration in your home port state at all times, assuming it's required, and may collect additional registrations along the way based on how long you stay places. At least that's how it's worked for me. People from visited states want to know that I'm in compliance at my home port.
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