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Old 04-07-2021, 10:50 AM   #1
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documented vessel questions

I bought a trawler that had been documented the PO had it removed form documentation. (unknown why but) I have the paperwork from that and the documentation number. I sent it and the bill of sale and of course $450 to the coast guard in january still waiting for it .
I live in Michigan and have a yearly slip in Florida where the boat stays. I tried to register it in Florida with the bill of sale but haven't been able to complete that due to Covid and also I went to the wrong county . I plan to complete that so I'm legal in Florida, I guess. Other option would be to try and get a title in Florida or Michigan. Possibly register it in Michigan VS Florida.
Not sure which direction is correct.
Looking for feedback . Thanks
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:31 AM   #2
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I bought a trawler that had been documented the PO had it removed form documentation. (unknown why but) I have the paperwork from that and the documentation number. I sent it and the bill of sale and of course $450 to the coast guard in january still waiting for it .
I live in Michigan and have a yearly slip in Florida where the boat stays. I tried to register it in Florida with the bill of sale but haven't been able to complete that due to Covid and also I went to the wrong county . I plan to complete that so I'm legal in Florida, I guess. Other option would be to try and get a title in Florida or Michigan. Possibly register it in Michigan VS Florida.
Not sure which direction is correct.
Looking for feedback . Thanks
Congrats on your new boat. First, the CG doesnít charge $450 to document a boat or did you have a service do it for you? That could cost $450. The CG is always backed up so it may take 4 to 8 months to get the documentation back. Maybe more with covid. You are supposed to register the boat in the state that it will be used. So you will most likely have to pay Florida sales tax on the boat and register it there. Documented boats do not display the state numbers but most states require that you display the registration decal to show that the boat is currently registered with the state. Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:48 AM   #3
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documented vessel

Guess I fell for a trap on the $450.
Maritime documentation MT .

I will wait and also register in Florida.
Whats your take on attempting to get a state title?
The boat came from Canada 2 owners ago, there was no title.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:58 AM   #4
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CG is significantly backed up. I called them about my documentation and they said to keep copies of the application and other paperwork on board. If you were to be boarded this would suffice as it is a known backlog.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:13 PM   #5
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Guess I fell for a trap on the $450.
Maritime documentation MT .

I will wait and also register in Florida.
Whats your take on attempting to get a state title?
The boat came from Canada 2 owners ago, there was no title.
Don't panic. Did you use a legitimate documentation service or one of the scam services? Legitimate would work through the change of ownership, lack of title, whatever Canadian registration you have. You are doing right in registering in FL.

It may be months or even a year as complex as your situation is but you'll be fine with FL registration and documentation application.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:32 PM   #6
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Guess I fell for a trap on the $450.
Maritime documentation MT .

I will wait and also register in Florida.
Whats your take on attempting to get a state title?
The boat came from Canada 2 owners ago, there was no title.
You either document with the USCG or title with a state. NOT BOTH. Not all states title vessels.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:35 PM   #7
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maritimedocumentation.us

I sent them my info , I heard back from them several times that my info was transferred to a different department and they will get back to me.
I guess i should have just applied for a $15 state title
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:40 PM   #8
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If you document, you wo't be able to get a state title as the documentation is technically a title.


With no title, the USCG may take quite awhile checking the ownership of the vessel.


The advantage of USCG documentation is it defines who the owner is similar to a title but have always heard it's even better than a state title in doing so.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:45 PM   #9
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documented vessel

It was documented and I have the original documented records, but for some reason the PO had it removed. Very confusing I know.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:56 PM   #10
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It was documented and I have the original documented records, but for some reason the PO had it removed. Very confusing I know.

Sorry forgot so quick...if documented to him and you have a bill of sale from him shouldn't hold things up.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:33 PM   #11
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Possibly register it in Michigan VS Florida.
If you keep the boat in Florida for more than 90 days, then the law requires that you register it in Florida. So you really do not have a choice in that regard. Registration fees in Florida are very modest.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:02 PM   #12
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I bought a trawler that had been documented the PO had it removed form documentation. (unknown why but) I have the paperwork from that and the documentation number. I sent it and the bill of sale and of course $450 to the coast guard in january still waiting for it .
I live in Michigan and have a yearly slip in Florida where the boat stays. I tried to register it in Florida with the bill of sale but haven't been able to complete that due to Covid and also I went to the wrong county . I plan to complete that so I'm legal in Florida, I guess. Other option would be to try and get a title in Florida or Michigan. Possibly register it in Michigan VS Florida.
Not sure which direction is correct.
Looking for feedback . Thanks
I just went through the documentation process, took just over 4 months. That is actually 2 months faster than what I was told to expect by the people helping me.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:15 PM   #13
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Documentation is going to be your title, just from the US government and not a state. Registration is a state thing and it is done mostly so the state can collect sales tax and registration fees. If the boat will be in Florida then it should be registered there. When I did my own documentation I think it cost about $80. When I used a company it cost in the neighborhood of $400 to $500 to have it done. The company should provide you some paperwork that shows you have applied for documentation. You carry that on the boat in case you get stopped. It should allow you to do the state registration. There may be some penalties if you donít register it timely, but I donít know Florida laws so there may not be any penalties.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:50 PM   #14
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documented vessel

Understood, I sent everything maritime required Jan 21. feb 7 and 16th. Another department just e mailed me stating they need the bill of sale which I sent in twice. The e mail chain they sent me even had the bill of sale attached in it.
Isn't it great working with people today?
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:12 PM   #15
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It was documented and I have the original documented records, but for some reason the PO had it removed. Very confusing I know.
It may have been removed when it went to Canada, where the rules are similar, but would require giving up the US doc. Then when it came back it would be without the original doc, though records of its original existence may still be aboard, confusing your PO.

A boat I once owned had done the opposite, so I ended up needing to start from scratch to get re-"registered" in Canada.
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Old 04-13-2021, 05:50 PM   #16
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I went through the same thing, I bought a documented vessel last June the previous owner took it out of the documentation and I emailed all the documentation around September. I received an email from the CG in mid December saying that I forgot to sign the papers. So I sent it all back in, this time with a signature and I just received the documentation a couple of weeks ago. They are sllooowww
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Old 04-13-2021, 06:22 PM   #17
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The boat we purchased end of January this year was documented. Our Documentation arrived yesterday. If maritimetimedocumentation.us asks for one more document, I would tell to cancel the whole thing, and you will do the documentation yourself. They obviously don't have their act together if they keep asking you for more information. Just for comparison, the escrow company that did our boat transfer only charged $150 for that part of the purchase. It is for 5 years.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:04 AM   #18
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The joy of purchasing a Documented vessel is any action , lien , yard bill, mortgage , oil or accident report or crew wages will be registered in one place, the USCG . Makes for a safer purchase .
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:54 PM   #19
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it took me less than a month to get all my paperwork back from the CG on a boat i bought last year at the height of COVID. I found them responsive and easy to work with.
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:57 PM   #20
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I agree with most of the comments but want to warn everyone that just because a vessel is documented it doesn't mean there are no hidden liens. Maritime liens are created as soon as the vessel benefits from the services of a vendor, crew member or the vessel causes damage to the environment, another vessel or dock, etc. Mortgages are another category if they are not recorded (Think "loan from Uncle Fred to buy the boat"). We call these unrecorded liens "dirty little secrets" in my business. We always hope that all liens are recorded. We know that many times they are not. Remember, not all vessels are documented. A lot of maritime lawyers chase vessels and, when they are located, have them arrested to get a lien satisfied for a client. Recently a couple purchased a vessel from its "owner". The owner had a mortgage but hid that fact by creating a fraudulent title. The couple was enjoying the boat when a maritime attorney and U.S. Marshal came walking down the dock to arrest the vessel on behalf of the bank. The couple didn't use a broker or pay for an abstract of title from the USCG. ($25.00) The vessel had been documented in the past. Most banks require that if you want a mortgage. The couple had to grab their personal belongings and leave. The vessel was arrested and delivered to a substitute custodian. The couple had to defend the action against the vessel and post a large bond to get the vessel released from the custodian. They had to pay a maritime attorney to represent their interests in the vessel. Ultimately they were forced to pay everything or forfeit the vessel at auction. The "owner"/seller had spent all of the money by the time he was located. Criminal prosecution was little solace for the defrauded couple. Do not assume abstracts of title are accurate or that liens do not exist. The only way to avoid them completely is to buy a vessel at a U.S. Marshal's auction. Due diligence is so important!
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