Coast Guard Documentation

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Coast Guard Documentation

Postby mac07733 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:50 pm

I just got my Coast Guard identification number for my new 27. I believe that it is required to mount a plaque somewhere on the hull that has the number carved into it. With my previous vessel, I had it mounted on the wall in the anchor chain locker. Has anyone had any experience doing this with their Tug?
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby PhilR on Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:50 pm

My dealer, Wilde Yachts, is going to have a plaque with the Coast Guard documentation number fastened to the hull in the engine compartment of my new R27. Pretty neat.....never had a documented boat before!
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby tugfan on Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:56 pm

Maybe a dumb question, but what is the advantage of being documented?
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby mac07733 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:40 pm

A valid question, "Why have the boat documented?". In our case, with our previous boat, we spent many months in the Exumas (lower Bahamas). We found checking in and out very simple and also checking back into the US. I never talked to people who might have not been documented. I am going to Vancouver/Victoria and north in May, and although I have heard Coast Guard documentation is not needed to do this, I just typically overkill.
Also, when you have a US documented vessel, you are not required to put your state registration numbers on our hull.
Hope this helps.
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby tugfan on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:48 pm

So if you stay in this country, it's only a matter of displaying reg numbers. I suppose you still pay the state's yearly registration fee still.

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby JamesTXSD on Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:15 pm

That depends on the state. Some states still require that you pay the sales tax, as well, in spite of the boat being documented. Check with your local Department of Revenue, Department of Motor Vehicles, or whoever handles boat registration. In our state, registration and sales tax is still due on a documented vessel kept in the state.

For financing purposes, some lending institutions require documentation, because there is a very clear paper trail of ownership. For the Bahamas, Mexico, and Canada, those countries see plenty of US vessels that are not documented and know what to do with state registrations.

I've heard of some people who try to avoid paying sales tax and/or state registration by documenting. This will vary by state; some states require that you pay registration even though your boat is registered in another state, IF your boat is in their state waters for a specified time (i.e. 30 days, 90 days). We had a sailboat that was documented, and when brought into our state, the local Game, Fish, & Park folks would constantly stop us because of having no registration numbers on the boat... explaining documention got blank stares from them and more hassle... easier to put state reg #s on and not get stopped every time we went out.

Re: the documentation numbers - they need to be permanently affixed to the boat in such an manner that removal would deface the boat. I put vinyl numbers on a storage compartment wall and then went over them with epoxy.

Best wishes,
Jim B.
CD-25, Wild Blue
http://captnjim.blogspot.com/
Image
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby abcandjrc on Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:18 pm

Technically, the identification has to be a structural part of the boat. Here is the requirement from the USCG documentation FAQs:

HOW DO I MARK MY VESSEL?
The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded by the abbreviation "NO." must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least three inches high on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area.

The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. The vessel name of a commercial vessel must also be marked on the port and starboard bow and the vessel name and the hailing port must also be marked on the stern. All markings may be made by any means and materials that result in durable markings and must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.


The standard method used to be to carve the number into a major structural member. Our Atlantic 44, which had been documented for over 22 years when we bought it in 1999, had never been identified at all. I did the traditional thing and carved the number into a main beam under the saloon at the entry to the engine room.

Our Crealock 37, a much newer boat and with no structural wood, had the number glassed into one of the cockpit lockers. Pacific Seacraft used numbers similar to those used to identify the outside of normally-registered boats applied in the locker and then fibreglassed over them using a single layer of glass and a clear resin. Essentially what JamesTXSD said just above. They were easily read, and truly an integral part of the hull. They were a significant manufacturer, so I am sure that the procedure met USCG requirements.

Whatever you do, to paraphrase the old carpenter's saying, "Read twice, glass once!" And don't forget the "NO." (En Oh Period)!
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby PhilR on Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:08 am

My lender requires the boat be documented. I still have to register with NY, pay sales tax and put the registration stickers on the boat, but no registration #'s. Inasmuch as I will likely be in canadian waters on occassion, it is the best proof of ownership.
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby Shared Dream II on Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:36 am

Shared Dream has it's documentation number on the wall of the starboard cockpit storage. The numbers were purchased at West Marine, applied to the wall, and glassed over.
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby RProffer on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:09 pm

I have read on this and other venues where Coast Guard registered boats seem to be inspected by the local authorities more often than state registered vessels. A general recommendation is to put the registration number someplace that easily accessible, such as the cabin bulkhead. If it is hidden down in the bilges or some other inaccessible space, then it becomes a pain every time you get inspected. Also, states such as Maryland, require Coast Guard Documented vessels to have a state registration sticker, but they do not specify where the sticker must be placed, other than the forward half of the vessel. I would recommend placing the state registration sticker either on the bow next to the boat's name or on a side cabin window - someplace where it will be very conspicuous.
Rick,

Rick & Dottie Proffer
Therapist II - 2010 R21-EC

Previous Boats:
25' Marathon - cruiser
17' Bayliner - bowrider
14' Sears - tri-hull bowrider
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby abcandjrc on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:25 pm

Alabama also requires the registration sticker for documented vessels. I could fit one on either side of the anchor roller assembly on our two documented boats. That means one has to purchase the required registration each year even though the numbers are not required to be displayed. Relatively inexpensive, but still a pain.
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby Nellie Too on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:03 pm

Back in the old days when we had the Mimi, she was documented and we saw some advantage ( no state registration or state taxes) however she was recognized as real property in foreign countries. I really don't know what the advantage is anymore and I don't have a plans to document the Nellie Too. Best to do some research.
Bob
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby mac07733 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:48 pm

Thank you everyone. I am in NJ and have taken care of sales tax and have the proper state registration. Interestingly enough, I have prepaid for the dealer to paint the hail port and name as required by the coast guard when it is shipped to NJ in the beginning of June after our Vancouver north trip. That leaves me with no proper compliance during the trip. Someone suggested that I get the name and hailport painted on a signboard, cut it out and if I need it, duct tape it to the hull. (Very temporary!!) It will be interesting seeing how it holds on! ( maybe I'll get more than one copy made :) )
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby abcandjrc on Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:30 pm

I think you might hear those famous words of Queen Victoria from any Coasties who happen to board you. "We are not amused!" Then you might hear the sound of a chain saw as they search for contraband on your new boat.

They do not take documentation and identification lightly. If I were you, and if I did not have a bank or insurance company relying on your having a documented vessel, I would return the document to the Coast Guard ASAP. Or follow the rules to the letter.
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Re: Coast Guard Documentation

Postby thataway on Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:50 pm

Go to the local sign shop and have the boat's name in 6" letters and the hailing port as it is on the document in 4" letters. Apply these to the transom before you first put the boat in the water. That should be done even if you don't have the final documentation papers in hand. (You can get a fax from the CG in Falling Waters W. VA stating that you have applied and the application is in process with the doc numbers if you don't have it.) Do not go to Canada with duct taped on name and hailing port. You might get away with it going into Canada, but most likely not coming back into the US. It is rare that names are painted on boats today. 95% or more use vinly letters. Why ask for trouble. The CG in the PNW is very vigilant.

As for the advantages--mostly for the lien holder-no longer do the marines come to your rescue. Yes no numbers on the boat. But if you come into Florida Waters, and are going to be here more than 30 days, you better have some state sticker or get a Florida one. Some FMP officers have stopped boats at the border and given warnings. There is a "Sojornors pass" which is available. Fl requires state sticker on the port window if a documented vessel.
It is somewhat easier going into foreign ports--because they are used to a document vs never having seen a NJ registrations. No advantage coming back into the US with customs etc. But if you are hailed on the high seas, CG will want you Doc number and of course passport numbers if near a foreign port.
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