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 What does "USCG Documented vesses" mean?
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Gloss
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1916 Posts

Initially Posted - 09/14/2005 :  17:31:24  Show Profile
Hi there,
One of my favorite wasters of time is to look at sailboat brokerage listings. I get the monthly newsletter from the Hull Company in Charleston (I bought my 25 through one of his agents)
They have a Hunter 34 listed for 29k, and it says it is a "USCG Documented Vessel"
What the heck does that mean?
At least the older Hunters had backstays, and sidestays like our Catalina's. Not bad looking boats either. I wonder how sound they are.

Frank Gloss
Formerly 89WK/TR
85 Ericson 32-3 shoal draft "Molto Bene"

seastream
Navigator

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USA
242 Posts

Response Posted - 09/14/2005 :  17:55:42  Show Profile  Visit seastream's Homepage  Send seastream an AOL message
Found this online.

US Coast Guard Documentation provides evidence of nationality for a vessel.  This procedure is only available to U.S. citizens on vessels that have a hull volume capacity of 5 net tons or greater.  Most vessels over 25 feet qualify.  Each documented vessel is assigned an official number which must be permanently affixed to the inside of the hull.  The official number will remain with the vessel indefinitely, even if the vessel is removed from USCG Documentation and registered in another manner.   Once documented, a vessel then falls under Federal jurisdiction for recovery and prosecution, which acts as a theft deterrent.

   The owner of a USCG Documented vessel is issued a “Coast Guard Document”.  This is the official ownership instrument for the vessel and contains the owner’s name(s), vessel specifications and the Official Number assigned to the vessel.

     On a documented vessel you can obtain information on the chain of ownership as well as any instruments recorded against the vessel, including but not limited to;  bills of sale, mortgages, claims of lien and lien releases.  This information is issued in the form of an abstract of title and verification of the information contained in the abstract ensures valid ownership and proper transfer of title.  This information is critical to both the buyers and sellers of a vessel.

Bob

Seastream
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At Ease
Admiral

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672 Posts

Response Posted - 09/14/2005 :  20:06:15  Show Profile
It also has nothing to do with state registration...which is still required in most if not all states.
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ClamBeach
Master Marine Consultant

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3072 Posts

Response Posted - 09/14/2005 :  23:05:19  Show Profile
>"It also has nothing to do with state registration...which is still required in most if not all states."

Sure about that? Documented vessels here (California) don't carry state registration numbers or stickers. They have their documented name and port only.

WOTAM - '77 Catalina 25 SK/SR Sail Number 158
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Ben
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1192 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  07:29:26  Show Profile
I agree with CB. I believe I read in Chapmans that once a document is "USCG Documented" you no longer have to do state registrations. The schooner Stephen Tabor had such a number but no State of Maine numbers on the sides of the boat or any accompanying stickers. It's hard to see here, but you can see the numbers below the heel indicator. It references the vessel's Net tons.


The numbers were on the bulkhead just forward of the companionway hatch to the galley, which I think is a customary place for these documentation numbers.

of course, I could be completely wrong. My sailing waters are a little 1x5 mile reservoir.


Ben
Beneteau 361
Viking Kitty
Columbus, Ohio
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Champipple
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
6855 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  07:59:49  Show Profile  Visit Champipple's Homepage  Send Champipple an AOL message
This might Help

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/vdoc/faq.htm

Some items of note - You need to file paperwork to change the name of a documented vessel

You must still register you boat with the state if required- however you do not need to put numbers on the hull. A registration sticker may still be required if the state so indicates.

D. Wolff
DPO C25 Hull 401
Currently Sailing "Champagne and Ripple" 1982 O'day 30


Chief Measurer 2002-2006
Vice-commodore 2007
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dave holtgrave
Captain

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USA
426 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  09:52:06  Show Profile
here's the benifit of documenting.
there is no registration required for state numbers.
if you buy the boat out of state and can work a deal to pay your own sales tax.
once you bring thew baot to your state, there is no paper work that needs to be files with the state that would alert them of taxes.
ex:i live in illinois. if i go to san diego and take delivery off shore doing the paper work, the dealer or person selling, does not have to collect sales tax for califonia. i move the boat to illinois and change title without the state knowing.

i have done this several times and it works,
my 25 is documented and am looking at a catalina 36 in san diego now

dave holtgrave
sailing carlyle lake in southern illinois
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smythyll
Deckhand

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USA
21 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  10:02:58  Show Profile
And one other important point: In times of war, the Federal Government can seize your vessel for national defense purposes.

My recently acquired Freedom 32 is registered this way, and can you guess what branch of the armed services the PO of Semper Fidelis belonged to? Anyway, he sort of jokingly informed me that they can commandeer the vessel for such purposes, but as I keep the boat on an inland lake, if they need my vessel for national defense, I sort of figure I'll have bigger concerns than losing my boat temporarily.

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dlucier
Master Marine Consultant

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Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
7576 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  10:36:29  Show Profile
From the FAQ's on the USCG website that Duane provided...

IS A DOCUMENTED VESSEL EXEMPT FROM STATE JURISDICTION?

No, all documented vessels must comply with the laws of the state in which they are operated. The vessel's document must be shown to state law enforcement personnel upon their demand. States may require documented vessels to be registered (but not numbered) and to display state decals showing that they have complied with state requirements.


Don Lucier

North Star SR/FK
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JimB517
Past Commodore

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USA
3285 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  11:29:15  Show Profile  Visit JimB517's Homepage
My older (big) boat was documented. I did not have California CF numbers or registration. You can not document a C25, there is a minimum size limit.

Its more common for bigger boats that cruise internationally and all commercial vessels.

The name and hailing port replaces the state registration number.

Some states DO require state registration anyways.


Indiscipline 1978 FK SR #398
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dlucier
Master Marine Consultant

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Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
7576 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  12:10:47  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by dave holtgrave

ex:i live in illinois. if i go to san diego and take delivery off shore doing the paper work, the dealer or person selling, does not have to collect sales tax for califonia. i move the boat to illinois and change title without the state knowing.

i have done this several times and it works,
my 25 is documented and am looking at a catalina 36 in san diego now

dave holtgrave
sailing carlyle lake in southern illinois



Dave,

Aren't you supposed to pay the tax when you re-title the boat in Illinois?

Don Lucier

North Star SR/FK
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Doug
Captain

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USA
457 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  12:35:27  Show Profile
Going through this right now in Washington State. Boat (C34) is documented, but still has to be registered with the state. Don't need to put the state numbers on, but need to show the registration sticker- read taxes. State is interested in their 8.6%+ excise taxes...

Doug - #1913 Noeta
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dave holtgrave
Captain

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USA
426 Posts

Response Posted - 09/15/2005 :  14:11:50  Show Profile
dang
the government is wising up.
thanks for the input

dave holtgrave
5722 sk/tr
sailing carlyle lake in southern illinois.
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John V.
Admiral

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USA
559 Posts

Response Posted - 09/16/2005 :  07:23:01  Show Profile  Visit John V.'s Homepage
Several years ago we were achored beside a bayfield with no numbers and the name Elida Sjiel on the bow. The Canadian couple Robert and Julia, her owners, informed me that their boat was "federally registered" a Canadian version of the USCG registration. Since Canada is part of the British commonwealth, Julia, mentioned that all federally regestered vessels were "the Queens". Robert grumbled that if the Queen is an owner, why isn't she down for spring fitting out.

John V.
Nin Bimash II
Neebish Island, MI
77 C25 sk/sr #153
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Champipple
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
6855 Posts

Response Posted - 09/16/2005 :  07:38:23  Show Profile  Visit Champipple's Homepage  Send Champipple an AOL message
A C-25 actually meets the net tonnage requirement by a small bit. Net tonnage does not equate to the weight of the boat exactly. If I recall a number of members in the past have documented their boat. Most boats 25 feet and over qualify...(most not all)

I've used the following coast Guard Calculator to determine tonnage http://www.uscg.mil/hq/msc/T3/cg5397/cg5397.form.htm

25 ft length
8 foot beam
5 feet depth (estimated, but considering I can almost stand in the cabin and I'm 6 feet tall, I errored on the low side.

returns 5 net tons

Other notes - SMythyl puts it best: If they want to seize my boat in a time of war or any of our boats we've got a lot more to be worried about. Go ahead and mount a 50 cal on my bow!!!

Again, if your state requires you to register you still must do so. Many states don't if your documented. The only benefit to that is you don't have to put and shouldn't put numbers on the bow, just a sticker.

Also - loans are easier to secure for documented vessels.


dw


D. Wolff
DPO C25 Hull 401
Currently Sailing "Champagne and Ripple" 1982 O'day 30


Chief Measurer 2002-2006
Vice-commodore 2007
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aeckhart
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1709 Posts

Response Posted - 09/17/2005 :  08:42:28  Show Profile  Visit aeckhart's Homepage
Last year one of our club members, who owns a 25'....something, was stopped by the Coast Guard for a routine inspection and was ticketed for not having his boat registered in Michigan. His claim that his was a documented vessel didn't hold water in court, since he is required buy the state to register his boat. The ticket and fine stood.

It has been my impression that while boats of 5 tons/25 ft may be documented, all vessels 26' and over must be documented. The documentation number must be etched into the main support cross-beam in the cabin, but need not be displayed on the exterior of the vessel.

Al Eckhart
GALLIVANT #5801
'88TR

Edited by - aeckhart on 09/17/2005 08:46:50
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Champipple
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
6855 Posts

Response Posted - 09/20/2005 :  14:17:14  Show Profile  Visit Champipple's Homepage  Send Champipple an AOL message
With a number of exceptions Al, recreational vessels are not mandated to be documented regardless of size. there are also a number of 26' vessels that wouldn't make the tonnage.


D. Wolff
DPO C25 Hull 401
Currently Sailing "Champagne and Ripple" 1982 O'day 30


Chief Measurer 2002-2006
Vice-commodore 2007

Edited by - Champipple on 09/20/2005 14:17:53
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Oscar
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
2030 Posts

Response Posted - 09/20/2005 :  17:35:14  Show Profile  Visit Oscar's Homepage
State requirements for documented vessels vary. MD, where Lady Kay's ducumnetation says her homeport is, wanted it's 5%. Better than the 6% in PA where I live, and believe me they tried...I had to prove the boat was not in PA. MD does not require a registration number, but does want an annual $10.00 sticker displayed.

Florida has been known to give out of state owners of documented vessels a hard time if they do not display registration numbers, even when their state does not require it.

The main reason Lady Kay was documented was because the registration of lien is (inter)national, and thus provides more protection for the bank in case I sell it out of state/coutry without paying them off....The bank wanted the documentation.

The number has to be affixed on a permanent part of the boat in such a way that tampering would be evident. Most people put the self sticking numbers somewhere on a fiberglass part of the hull or liner, and then slop a few layers of epoxy over it.

Edited by - Oscar on 09/20/2005 17:52:06
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