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Old 07-09-2020, 07:29 AM   #1
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Documentation Do It Yourself?

I just purchased a Mainship that's documented. I have a bill of sale and a motorized USCG Transfer of Ownership form.

If you purchased a used documented vessel did you file your paperwork with the USCG yourself or pay a service? It looks like it costs about $500 for a service to do it.

Thanks,
Hawk
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:35 AM   #2
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It easy if the documentation is current.


The tricky part now is to get the previous owner to cooperate if even available.


Go here and read up and get forms... https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organiz...tation-Center/
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:04 AM   #3
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The owner is deceased, the daughter is the executor. I used a browker so I've has no direct contact with her.
Thank you for the link, I'll start reading.

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Old 07-09-2020, 08:16 AM   #4
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I've found that the folks at the Coast Guard documentation center are very helpful if you call them with a question. They can clarify any questions you might have after reading the process on their website. Save your $500 to put toward your new boat and document her yourself.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:52 AM   #5
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Thanks, i'll call them. I just looked up the vessel and it's current on the USCG website. I really would like to keep the $500 to use for something else.

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Old 07-09-2020, 09:06 AM   #6
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I did mine when I bought my current boat. It was intimidating until I got into it then it turned out to not be that bad at all and the folks at the documentation center are helpful. Save your 500 for something else.

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Old 07-09-2020, 09:46 AM   #7
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This is a simple process. I did mine at purchase by following the instructions. I had an error and CG contacted me, I revised and documentation was transferred. I also files a late renewal, paid a few dollars and had it back within 2 weeks.
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:23 AM   #8
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As others have commented, just follow the directions on the CG website, make a call if you have questions, fill out the forms and send the fee to the CG. I found no need to go through any service or third party. If you already have a signed bill of sale and the existing document you should have no trouble. The instructions are pretty clear and now also include the option for multi-year documentation: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/D...-28-130935-383

It may take awhile to process, that just depends on the whether there is a backlog at the NVDC.
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:42 PM   #9
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I am following up on this thread to close the loop. Today I received my Certificate of Documentation from the National Vessel Documentation Center. The broker did a good job supplying the signed USCG Bill of Sale form. If you buy a boat and you think you want to document it you must have the USCG Bill of Sale. The NVDC would not accept the document I provided because the application did not include proof from the court acknowledging the deceased owners daughter as executrix. I supplied a document appointing her and today I received the COD.
It was a little trouble but I did save about $500. If the owner had signed the document it would have been less trouble.

If I had to do it again, I would. It's worth noting this took almost 4 months.

I have already spent the $500 about 6 times since buying the boat!

Thanks for all the advice,
Hawk
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:21 AM   #10
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Going on a year now. Not happy with the CG. Calling in the dogs this week.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkshaw1 View Post
The owner is deceased, the daughter is the executor. I used a browker so I've has no direct contact with her.
That shouldn't be an issue, that is what the broker is for.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:05 AM   #12
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Plus 1 for DIY - did my mainship myself - prior owner had removed it from documentation (if that is the term) - process was easy. I actually dropped it off myself which was not of any benefit.

Side note - just got my renewal ... on a form that expired on 7/31/2019 (Form CG-1280) - given the role of this service I found it amusing that they had an out of date document.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:18 AM   #13
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Going on a year now. Not happy with the CG. Calling in the dogs this week.
I was quite happy to forgo documentation when I shifted from a documented trawler to this boat. Name it something different every other week if the fancy strikes me, and no hailing port to add to the transom. The annual cost is now less the USCG annual fee - the state registration fee is same whether the numbers are on the side of the boat or not. And I am ok with the numerals on the hull - they don't stand out so much. As I think back to 1986, avoiding numerals on my pretty white Grand Banks' hull probably had as much to do with my decision to continue documentation of my new-to-me boat as any other perceived benefit of USCG documentation.

Is there anybody out there in the US domestic market with a boat under 50 feet long who has actually been saved some significant grief through having their boat documented?
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:39 AM   #14
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I had heard that a documentation service was faster, so I paid the $400 and was certified in a month, just in time for Covid to shut everything down. So it turned out that faster didn't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gotfw View Post
I had an error and CG contacted me, I revised and documentation was transferred.
I did later notice that my new documentation says "17,000 ton" instead of "17,000 lbs." I decided not to revise. I'm just going to hope that a CG boarding won't require me to explain what I did with the missing 33,983,000 pounds.
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:08 PM   #15
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Well ... kinda agree with Rich, not sure what the value of having a boat federally documented really amounts too. State is just a registration not a title per se. But then neithjer is USCG doc.

I finally got thru to a live individual today - but only after leaving a message yesterday that mentioned a letter writing campaign to the Home Land security IG, the site commanding officer, and the state's congressional delegation. (an offer to get them some help after I've been waiting for over a year!!) Seems that I had not included an $8.00 document filing fee - required - but unclear from the fee schedule. ($86.00 + $8.00 for the transfer & 3 year renewal). Supposedly they sent me a letter requested the addition fee - never saw it! Long story short a very nice young lady checked the file, confirmed that all required fees and docs were in hand, mailing address correct and my paperwork was back in the que for final review - 2 to 3 weeks!


We shall see!! - But the computers are locked and loaded - and if I don't see something in a couple of weeks - boom - paperwork blizzard begins.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:16 PM   #16
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About titles...if Documented...you are NOT supposed to have a state title on the boat....USCG documentation is the same/as good.


you can request the "Abstract of Title" from the USCG...


from their website...


"A: A Coast Guard Abstract of Title is a record of all of the documents submitted to the Coast Guard for a particular boat and accepted for recording by the Coast Guard."
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I had heard that a documentation service was faster, so I paid the $400 and was certified in a month, just in time for Covid to shut everything down. So it turned out that faster didn't matter.



I did later notice that my new documentation says "17,000 ton" instead of "17,000 lbs." I decided not to revise. I'm just going to hope that a CG boarding won't require me to explain what I did with the missing 33,983,000 pounds.
For documentation purposes a ton isnít 2,000 pounds. A net ton is 100 cubic feet of cargo space. Net tonnage is gross tonnage minus machinery spaces that canít carry cargo. Back in the colonial days when shipping something a ton of cargo took up 100 cubic feet. So it became the standard for shipping and then the standard for documentation. They will not document a vessel less than 5 net tons.
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Old 11-18-2020, 06:38 AM   #18
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In many marine shops there are for sale brass items that
state Certified for ----------.

These were used to reduce the fees paying size of the vessel.

My favorite is "Certified for Mental Ward".
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:06 AM   #19
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Most common reason to document is to allow international travel. It’s a huge PIA to try and get practique without it. Second reason is taxes. Depending on use and encumbrances maybe benefits to be documented as it’s then serves as a second (first) house or a business. Third reason is thief. Some say easier to track and harder to illegally sell if documented. Fourth reason is legal crap. We’ve always held our boats in a trust. Easier to generate a vail of protection from liability and do estate planning from what lawyer told me. Don’t ask me why as I don’t know.
We’ve used a service available in my home town. Cost $250 but have done many boats with her. Felt it well spent as then know I have clear title without lien and someone to go after if any problems in the future.
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:54 PM   #20
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Most common reason to document is to allow international travel. Itís a huge PIA to try and get practique without it. Second reason is taxes. Depending on use and encumbrances maybe benefits to be documented as itís then serves as a second (first) house or a business. Third reason is thief. Some say easier to track and harder to illegally sell if documented. Fourth reason is legal crap. Weíve always held our boats in a trust. Easier to generate a vail of protection from liability and do estate planning from what lawyer told me. Donít ask me why as I donít know.
Weíve used a service available in my home town. Cost $250 but have done many boats with her. Felt it well spent as then know I have clear title without lien and someone to go after if any problems in the future.

Hippocampus,


Good info, but next time, I'm going to drop the documentation. No need for it. I'll never go to a country other than Canada and no issues there. House or business is no issue or benefit for me. Tracking... not sure about that, why would tracking a doc boat be easier?


Yes, totally agree with the trust, and I could argue to keep everything in a trust. As for liability, if you're the operator, you still have liability but the trust will save your butt if someone else is operating. Plus, with a trust, no one knows who owns it, no reporting, no fees and the situs can be anywhere. However, one still needs a title (if not documented) and the trustee's address would be in that state (but you're still "hidden"). Rarely do you want to be your own trustee.



Now, question for you commercial guys: I heard the there ARE reasons for documentation IF you're going to run a charter operation... any truth to that?
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