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Document vessel?

Old 05-13-2019, 08:04 AM
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Default Document vessel?

I have just purchased a new vessel in Florida, I'm considering whether to document the vessel. I read in another thread US documentation provides protections from foreign governments wishing to seize a vessel (or other related penalties). Is this accurate? Also, in Florida, I know the vessel must also be registered, is it true that FL#'s would not need to be displayed if the vessel is documented? Would documentation #'s need to be displayed? I would love to not have to put numbers on my new boat. TIA.
Old 05-13-2019, 08:09 AM
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:12 AM
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Documented boats have to display a current registration sticker and have the boat name and hailing port on the transom. Don't know about the protection issue.
Old 05-13-2019, 08:48 AM
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and you do need to have your documentation number on a placard somewhere on the boat. Mine is mounted under the deck in a storage hatch of all places.
Old 05-14-2019, 06:02 AM
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US Documented boats don't need to display FL registration numbers. You get a sign/plaque with your Documentation number and
put it inside the hull, usually in engine bay. You also are under different rules as far as people carrying capacity - yacht classification.

I just bought a 32' center console and got the form from the USCG site and will be registering this week.
Old 05-14-2019, 06:12 AM
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Prior posts are all same experience as my own - don't need FL# 's displayed, but you still need the registration tag displayed. Name has to be displayed (side or transom) and hailing port displayed on transom. Plaque with documented #'s needs to be onboard at all times. I have mine under the deck too, in the generator compartment. Not sure about "protection", I got mine documented for reported (by the salesman) ease of clearing into the Bahamas, which is ironic because I won't be going back there. Not sure it was any easier. If you are boarded by law enforcement for inspection, they sometimes (depending on the experience of the officer) struggle with the documented vessel routine. I have been stopped a few times just because the FL Regis #'s were't displayed. Now either they know me or something is in my online file, but the first year was a busy one for stops. Not that many documented vessels in my area, from what I have been told by LEO's.

Last edited by CurrentSea1; 05-14-2019 at 06:30 AM.
Old 05-19-2019, 07:14 AM
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I was curious about the benefits as well, specifically the foreign government claims that have been mentioned on the THT. After a quick search I couldn’t find many details.
Old 05-19-2019, 07:35 AM
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In the event you have issues, Documentation speeds up the verification of ownership and nationality compared to communication between sub-national government agencies.

It also restricts which (foreign) agencies can board your boat without your permission.

...And that's all I think I know about that.
Old 05-19-2019, 09:45 AM
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:52 AM
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Documentation recommended if you finance through a Nigerian Bank.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:06 PM
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My boat is documented and I have registered my VHF radio for international use (required to legally use it in Bahamas). I am not sure one can register the VHF radio this way without documenting the vessel.
Old 05-21-2019, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tomgtv View Post
US Documented boats don't need to display FL registration numbers. You get a sign/plaque with your Documentation number and
put it inside the hull, usually in engine bay.
Yes, you can do a sign or plaque as long as it is permantly mounted somewhere inside the boat and would be obvious if removed.
or you can get some stick on letters/numbers at least 3" high, block style and mount it somewhere inside the boat and give it a couple coats of epoxy, so, again, it would be obvious if the numbers were removed. I had a sign maker make up a single piece and coated it with 3 coats of varnish.
Old 05-22-2019, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by chuck34 View Post


Yes, you can do a sign or plaque as long as it is permantly mounted somewhere inside the boat and would be obvious if removed.
or you can get some stick on letters/numbers at least 3" high, block style and mount it somewhere inside the boat and give it a couple coats of epoxy, so, again, it would be obvious if the numbers were removed. I had a sign maker make up a single piece and coated it with 3 coats of varnish.
I just bought a new 33 center console and the bank who wrote the note required Coast Guard documentation. The benefits were explained to me like this:

Let's say someone on your boat takes one more conch then they are allowed, and the BDF stops you. If your boat isn't documented, they can seize it. If it is documented, they can not because it's property of the U.S.A. and if must be allowed to return to it's home port. Doesn't get you fully out of trouble, but it saves the boat.

Now, that said, there is a ridiculous wait time to actually get the boat documented by the USCG. I applied in early April and still don't have a number. Currently they are working on applications received in the first week of March, so if you want it done by mid-summer, I'd apply asap.
Old 05-22-2019, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by FloridaDore View Post
I just bought a new 33 center console and the bank who wrote the note required Coast Guard documentation. The benefits were explained to me like this:

Let's say someone on your boat takes one more conch then they are allowed, and the BDF stops you. If your boat isn't documented, they can seize it. If it is documented, they can not because it's property of the U.S.A. and if must be allowed to return to it's home port. Doesn't get you fully out of trouble, but it saves the boat.

Now, that said, there is a ridiculous wait time to actually get the boat documented by the USCG. I applied in early April and still don't have a number. Currently they are working on applications received in the first week of March, so if you want it done by mid-summer, I'd apply asap.
you believed that? Ok Iím going to bring 9000 kilos over but they wonít seize my boat lmao!

It makes it it easier for the bank to repo
Old 05-22-2019, 08:02 AM
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When I did my Coast Guard documentation last year I was told they were months out on turn around time. The company that assisted me in the documentation process asked if I had any planned trips to the Bahamas. I informed that we were planning a trip in two weeks. They were able to expedite the documentation process with the Coast Guard and I had it back in time for the trip. I may have paid an additional fee to expedite.
Old 05-22-2019, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post


you believed that? Ok Iím going to bring 9000 kilos over but they wonít seize my boat lmao!

It makes it it easier for the bank to repo

So why do people who pay cash also document their boat? And how does documenting a boat make it easier for the bank to repo vs. just registering in the state. Maybe it makes it easier for them to retake the boat from the Bahamians, but doesn't it make it easier for me to take it back, also? Not clear to me how it makes it easier to repo the boat here in the U.S. - please explain (seriously, since you're expert enough to mock me).
Old 05-22-2019, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by FloridaDore View Post
So why do people who pay cash also document their boat? And how does documenting a boat make it easier for the bank to repo vs. just registering in the state. Maybe it makes it easier for them to retake the boat from the Bahamians, but doesn't it make it easier for me to take it back, also? Not clear to me how it makes it easier to repo the boat here in the U.S. - please explain (seriously, since you're expert enough to mock me).
cash buyers are usually looking for tax breaks.
First Preferred Ships Mortgage -letís the bank have first dibs on the boat if their are other leins on it. Iíd do a search before dropping $400. I looked into it with my boat, wasnít for me
Old 05-22-2019, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post


cash buyers are usually looking for tax breaks.
First Preferred Ships Mortgage -letís the bank have first dibs on the boat if their are other leins on it. Iíd do a search before dropping $400. I looked into it with my boat, wasnít for me
yes, $400 if you have a service do it....or do it yourself for about $100. I only used a service once when I was young, dumb and didn't know any better. Ever since, I've always done it myself.

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