How to prove a Californian was built in the US?

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Joined
Oct 19, 2015
Messages
2,570
Location
United States
Vessel Name
Pacific Myst
Vessel Make
West Bay 4500
I need to prove my Californian was built in the US. I'm trying to sell her to a Canadian. The USCG doc lists the builder as "Unknown" with a hull # JMC42218M83A.

The buyer needs to be able to prove to Canada Customs the boat was US built to avoid paying import duties and taxes. Any help greatly appreciated.
 
I don't know if this will help but my Californian has a data plate inside with a size and number stating it was built in1983 by Marshal, in CA. I am surprised you don't have any other documentation with the hull number, insurance papers? . I am guessing you don't have a state title because it must be USCG documented, if not then you should have a title from the state it was registered in. Good Luck.
 
As with many older boats some previous owner took the plate. I'm not sure Canada customs would accept that anyway. Insurance papers, USCG doc and state registration all show the hull #. That does not prove to Canada Customs it was US built.
 
The hull number you have indicates it was manufactured by JMC and if they look it up they will find it was manufactured in California by Marshall boat company. From google: Every vessel manufactured since 1984 has been required by the US Coast Guard to have a unique 12-digit HIN which works much the same as your car’s VIN. This number is an easy way for the Coast Guard, manufacturers and boat owners to identify a vessel. The number indicates who manufactured the boat with the first three numbers, the hull serial number with the next five, and finally the date of certification and model year for the vessel.
 
The hull number you have indicates it was manufactured by JMC and if they look it up they will find it was manufactured in California by Marshall boat company. From google: Every vessel manufactured since 1984 has been required by the US Coast Guard to have a unique 12-digit HIN which works much the same as your car’s VIN. This number is an easy way for the Coast Guard, manufacturers and boat owners to identify a vessel. The number indicates who manufactured the boat with the first three numbers, the hull serial number with the next five, and finally the date of certification and model year for the vessel.
I understand the JMC indicates the boat was built by Marshall in California. The problem is how to prove that to Canada Customs. Look it up where? That iteration of Marshall's company ceased to exist long ago. The USCG Documentation says builder "Unknown". It has since before I purchased the boat. That is the stumbling block. I'm at a dead end to prove US build.
 
The first time a boat is titled with a state or registered with the USCG the process normally begins with a document from the manufacturer known as a Builder's Certificate, a.k.a. Master Carpenter Certificate. It is a document from the manufacture describing the basic identifiers and parameters of the vessel, who built it, where it was built, and the person the first owner (who they sold it to). This is the 1st document in the ownership document chain.

The initial purchaser of my vessel documented it with the USCG vs titling it in a US state. So, I was able to make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the USCG to get a copy. I cleaned it up and colorized it in photoshop and have it framed and hanging in the boat.

If it had first been titled in a US state or registered in Canada, then I'd have made m request to whatever that initial entity. I can only imagine that they'd want that same document.

I had no problem at all getting the document for my boat from the USCG, but the owner of one of my sibling boats hasn't had the same luck. I think his may have been first registered in Ontario, CA, but I don't know that. And, in any case, I don't know what the provincial or national public record access laws or practices there might be. I hope he's had more luck since last time we chatted.

In any case, if you believe your vessel was initially (not subsequently) documented with the USCG, I'd start there and there is good reason to be optimistic. If not, I'd start where you think it might have been first titled, documented, registered, and see where that leads.

There has to be a first piece of paper, and that seems super likely to come from the manufacturer, and somewhat likely to be accessible wherever it was first filed. Title documents don't usually go away, I'd guess.
 
We have had a title search done. The returned search bears no resemblance to what RTF found. Hard to give details working on a phone. Will dive deeper in the AM when on a computer.
 
There is tremendous conflicting information regarding when / where the boat was built. Canada Customs cannot be convinced it is a US built boat without some proof. My question remains, how to PROVE the boat is us built. Not what we all “know” by the first three characters of the HIN but tangible, documented proof.

Note: In my original post there is a typo in the HIN. The correct HIN as shown on the USCG doc is JCM42218M83A. In a minor fit of dyslexia I had written JMC.

In post #6 RTF provided two links to MarineTitle.com which are potentially useful but due to my typo what RTF found is nonsense. When I check MarineTitle for Boat Manufacturer Report I find JCM is for SHEARLINE BOATWORKS LLC which started business in 2002.

In either case, JCM or JMC the info returned does not indicate a boat built by Marshall in 1983.

When I do a Vessel Documentation Report the BUILDER: is blank, HULL BUILT: IS BLANK and VESSEL COMPLETED is blank.

The interested buyer had a title report done by a local Marine Documentation service who uses the Boat Alert service. Back comes a report of USCG Doc to 2018 to the previous owner and Washington State Registration farther back than that. In all results the HIN is JCM42218M83A, builder blank, date completed blank.

USCG doc shows YEAR COMPLETED: UNKNOWN and PLACE BUILT: UNKNOWN

This appears to be a problem dating back to whoever first had the boat documented. I’m guessing it was not documented at time of build or the document expired and was re-issued at a later date. Either way the person entering the HIN made a typo and was just plain lazy entering builder and date completed.

A round about way to “prove” to Canada Customs she is US built is to confirm the first three characters indicate the Marshall version of Californian yachts built the boat and that in those years no Californians were built outside of the US. Do any of you have any way to factually verify this?

I will on next visit to the boat double check the HIN on the transom.
 
Portage Bay,

Please see my post about making an FOIA request to the USCG for your original Builder's Certificate (Master Carpenter's Certificate). This is a different document than any you'll get from an abstract of title or title history.

You can ask for the document by providing the document number and any other identifying information you have and asking for the Builder's Certificate, Master Carpenter's Certificate and/or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin on file with the USCG for any vessels matching any of the identifying information you provide.

The easiest way may be to make your request via email: EFOIA@uscg.mil
 
STB, thank you. The request for builders certificate has been made. My hope is it won't take too long.
 
STB, thank you. The request for builders certificate has been made. My hope is it won't take too long.
Good luck with your FOIA request, let us know if you get some results. Also, after commenting above I looked at my USCG documentation and mine is like yours, builder is unknow, and our Californian was built in 1983 as well.
 
You might call the NVDC and ask them if they have any info on the boat. I have found them to be very helpful whenever I called them. Worth a shot…
 
Good luck with your FOIA request, let us know if you get some results. Also, after commenting above I looked at my USCG documentation and mine is like yours, builder is unknow, and our Californian was built in 1983 as well.
I got a mostly useless for my needs response. I need proof it was built in the US so my Canadian buyer does not have to import the boat to Canada. Washington State title proves nothing.

From the USCG
Good afternoon:

The National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) received the below request from Coast Guard EFOIA on April 9, 2024.

You are requesting a copy of the builder’s certificate for the vessel PELORUS, O.N. 1091068. The vessel was brought into documentation using a State of Washington Certificate of Title.

You may order a copy of the state registration for a $4.00 fee. These fees are user fees and not FOIA fees.

I have attached a credit card form for the $4.00 fee. Please return to the NVDC in PDF format as an attachment and email it to nvdc.pdf.filing@uscg.mil.

If we have not heard from you by April 30, 2024, we will consider your request closed.
 
My next step would be to make a "Public Records Act" request to the Washington State Department of Licensing, asking the same question.
 
I need to prove my Californian was built in the US. I'm trying to sell her to a Canadian. The USCG doc lists the builder as "Unknown" with a hull # JMC42218M83A.

The buyer needs to be able to prove to Canada Customs the boat was US built to avoid paying import duties and taxes. Any help greatly appreciated.
When we purchased a US built boat Canada Customs gave us the same run around. I asked them if they recognized the US Coast Guard as a branch of the US Government, to which they responded “yes”. I directed them to the site uscgboating.org website which lists the codes for all builders. It shows JMC built in Florida, but the reality is it proves it is US built. Our trawler was allowed into Canada duty free, no further paperwork was required as they already had proof of the hull id number.
 
When we purchased a US built boat Canada Customs gave us the same run around. I asked them if they recognized the US Coast Guard as a branch of the US Government, to which they responded “yes”. I directed them to the site uscgboating.org website which lists the codes for all builders. It shows JMC built in Florida, but the reality is it proves it is US built. Our trawler was allowed into Canada duty free, no further paperwork was required as they already had proof of the hull id number.

Exactly. We had the same experience purchasing a USA built boat. Although I had all of the original documentation, they were not interested, and just used the HIN builder ID.
 
You could also call Carver Boats because they bought Californian (I have one built by them) and they could perhaps be able to look up some old records. Yes I'd be surprised if they did it for you but it is worth a try. You may be able to sort out any problem with the HIN.
 
I need to prove my Californian was built in the US. I'm trying to sell her to a Canadian. The USCG doc lists the builder as "Unknown" with a hull # JMC42218M83A.

The buyer needs to be able to prove to Canada Customs the boat was US built to avoid paying import duties and taxes. Any help greatly appreciated.
when we sold our Mainship from Canada to the US we had the same issue plate on the Mainship was at the upper helm behind the wheel
 
When we purchased a US built boat Canada Customs gave us the same run around. I asked them if they recognized the US Coast Guard as a branch of the US Government, to which they responded “yes”. I directed them to the site uscgboating.org website which lists the codes for all builders. It shows JMC built in Florida, but the reality is it proves it is US built. Our trawler was allowed into Canada duty free, no further paperwork was required as they already had proof of the hull id number.
Thanks all for your input. The prospective buyer and I have beat on the bureaucrats only to be told there are no records. The Californian line has changed hands several times. The HIN 3 letter prefix started for Californians has been reassigned to other builders at least twice. There is no builder's plate anywhere on the boat, nor can I find scars or any hint there every was one. I'm liking Deb Jon's approach best.
 
IMG_5484.jpeg

My Californian was built in 1982. My NY registration shows WellCraft as the builder with the JMC code. You might want to check with Wellcraft for records.
 
This might be a long shot, but you could try reaching out to Ken Stanley at Sundance Yacht Sales in Portland. He used to be a dealer for Californian and I think he still has connections to the Marshall family. His number is 503-970-7250.
 
This might be a long shot, but you could try reaching out to Ken Stanley at Sundance Yacht Sales in Portland. He used to be a dealer for Californian and I think he still has connections to the Marshall family. His number is 503-970-7250.
Good lead. Thank you.
 
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