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Old 09-07-2016, 04:05 PM   #1
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Documentation

So we found a nice 30 Pilot II in Maryland and made a deal. 20% down and financing the balance over 15 years. Used a reputable boat broker for the financing and closed the deal today. At the closing the broker asked for $595- to have the documentation done. Not expecting this and not having anymore checks with me he said I could mail it to him. So me being the wondering type I started wondering why the fee was so high. At home I jumped on the lap top for the number to the National Marine Documentation center. Called them and they said the fee was $84--??? I questioned the broker and was told the documentation must be done by a company with"errors and omission insurance". After numerous calls to the lending bank with no good answers I called an independent Marine documentation company. I was told the $595 fee was fair and this process was similar to using a title company when securing a mortgage. Who else has had to go through this? I thought I had all my ducks in order. Thanks

regards Holty
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:16 PM   #2
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Our first boat large enough to document, we did the documentation on our own. It was an owner to owner sale with no broker or bank involved. It isn't that difficult. We just filled out the form and sent a check along with a copy of the sales agreement. For the second boat, which was a bank-owned reposession, we had the bank take care of it. We decided to pay the fee due to the title issues that came with buying a repossed boat. I think the fee was around $400, and that was about four years ago.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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You can take all your papers and walk into a regional CG office and do the transfer yourself. I have been doing documentation this way since the mid 1960s.
The documentation services are fine for people that don't want to be bothered. The rate quoted is similar on the West Coast. These companies do hundreds of documentations a year and know the ins and outs. But all the info is available online and over the counter. I have always found the CG personnel working inside to be very helpful.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:36 PM   #4
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What everyone else has said....you CAN do it yourself. And if not, that fee is in line with what everyone else is charging for that service.
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:07 PM   #5
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So It is what it is. The bank will not allow us to do it on our own. I feel like I have just had an appointment with Johnny Carson's doctor. You may recall his name was Al Bendova. Anyway next week I (we) will be behind the wheel of a mint condition Captain Blue 2003 Pilot II with a custom hardtop. The owner paid to have it totally detailed inside a out, bottom painted with ablative and all new zincs so the documentation hit is not terrible. I will post up after our first run out on the sound. Thanks

regards Holty
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:27 PM   #6
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We have done it both ways. When we paid cash for a boat, we did the documentation ourselves. When we financed a couple of boats, we had to pay to have it done since the bank wanted to make sure it was done correctly and that the CG had the mortgage recorded on the documentation. The price you quoted is about right at this time. We had one done about a year ago and paid about that price.
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:53 PM   #7
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In recording a mortgage the bank has a real interest in using a Title/Documentation company. They are making sure the lien gets recorded properly and their are no previous lien's that haven't been removed. So there is a bit more to it in terms of responsibility than a simple documentation.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:20 PM   #8
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Did it myself. Simple enough. The boat's builder provided boat volume statistics so I could provide that information to the Coast Guard. Received the documentation number while the boat was under construction so the builder could "permanize" the number on the boat. And at no extra charge!
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:22 PM   #9
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Did it myself. Simple enough. The boat's builder provided boat volume statistics so I could provide that information to the Coast Guard. Received the documentation number while the boat was under construction so the builder could "permanize" the number on the boat. And at no extra charge!
I suspect the difference is you had no mortgage involved.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:28 PM   #10
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I believe the USCG fee is higher when a mortgage is involved.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:33 PM   #11
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I suspect the difference is you had no mortgage involved.
Yes, no mortgage loan was involved. Don't believe in borrowing money for the purpose of recreation.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:52 PM   #12
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When we bought Hobo, we had a marine tile company do the closing. They did the final distribution (to the sellers, their bank, brokers, new vessel doc, etc.; basically all the paper shuffle. We split the cost with the sellers but that was part of the deal. We paid $250 for our share. IMHO, if they do the whole package, the price sounds about right.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:40 PM   #13
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Current fees can be found here:

https://www.uscg.mil/nvdc/instr/fee%20sch.pdf

We completed ours without assistance and liens were involved...it was painless and surprisingly free of "layers" of verification. The wait time for the document to arrive was disappointing - fortunately we encountered no vessels with a little blue stripe next to a big red stripe before we got the document. I kept copies of the application aboard during the wait, and of course we had the (heavy) state sales tax receipt and registration decal.

Good Luck and enjoy the new boat!
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:35 AM   #14
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It's really not that much different than buying a house. You CAN do a title search on a house yourself. Having once worked for a title company, I know just what needs to be done. But there isn't any mortgage lender in the country that will accept that. You have to hire a bonded and insured title company to do the work for you--usually at some significant expense.

It may seem like a racket--in some ways it is--but it is one of the expenses of asking someone else to loan you money.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:37 AM   #15
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The fee when I bought my boat in 2008 was about $300. It was some company in Washington State.


I need to redocument my boat to put it in a trust. I'm thinking I can do it myself for $89 since all I have to change is the name of the owner. Of course it would be much simpler and "user friendly" if the USCG would just accept a name change. It's not like the boat is being sold.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:08 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by WesK View Post
The fee when I bought my boat in 2008 was about $300. It was some company in Washington State.


I need to redocument my boat to put it in a trust. I'm thinking I can do it myself for $89 since all I have to change is the name of the owner. Of course it would be much simpler and "user friendly" if the USCG would just accept a name change. It's not like the boat is being sold.
Yes, it is exactly like it is being sold, the ownership being transferred from one owner to another.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:21 AM   #17
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Yes, no mortgage loan was involved. Don't believe in borrowing money for the purpose of recreation.
Come on, Mark! We all know you have more money than dirt! You probably paid for the boat right out of your wallet!
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