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US Federal Documentation

Discussion in 'The Cherubini Hunters' started by DianaOfBurlington, Feb 15, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. DianaOfBurlington


    Joined Jun 5, 2010
    934 posts, 32 likes
    Hunter 25
    US Burlington NJ
    Has anyone ever successfully documented a Hunter 25? By my understanding the '5-ton' requirement is achievable in that the USCG always considers a vessel as able to be loaded to within a fraction of an inch of being swamped, in calm weather (it's a theoretical thing). The H25 displaces between 3800 and 4400 to the waterline; but it'd be a whole lot more if it were totally immersed. Someone in this boards did say once he had done the paperwork and found it would do; but I tried sweeping the archives and didn't find any posts to that effect.

    Many say that documentation isn't worth the bother, even if your boat meets the requirements. Given that Florida and other places will attach a fee/fine for 'out-of-state' boats 'visiting' their waters, it makes sense to have non-state registration to circumvent this (a state may not 'tax' or 'fine' a federally-registered vessel. Not saying they won't tell you otherwise). Also many places in the Caribbean, the Bahamas as well, will treat you differently with state registration (which they don't have easy means to check up on) and with USCG documentation (which they tend to trust from the start, because it represents US responsibility for the boat's legality).

    I'll be eager to hear from anyone with authoritative info on this. Thanks.

  2. SG


    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    946 posts, 136 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    Go to the USCG website. There is a calculator for displacement AS COMPUTED roe Documentation purposes. It's pretty simple. Don't try to figure out what it means, you need to either comply or forget it.

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  3. Don S/V ILLusion

    Don S/V ILLusion

    Joined Sep 25, 2008
    4,993 posts, 241 likes
    Alden 50
    US Sarasota, Florida
    To clarify, documention doesnt 'circumvent' either Florida sales tax or the requirement for state registration. Both apply to documented vessels staying more than 90 days in Florida.

    The only way to avoid Florida sales tax is with proof of payment of tax in another state.

    But we don't have income tax at least thanks to Disney:waycool:

    jon hansen likes this.
  4. uncledom


    Joined Jun 11, 2011
    966 posts, 169 likes
    Hunter 41
    US Lewes
    The USCG tonnage measurement is one of cubic feet or inches and how much grain could fit in the hollow of your vessel, it’s not about actual weight.

    jon hansen likes this.
  5. vhoisington


    Joined Mar 13, 2011
    129 posts, 25 likes
    Islander Freeport 41
    US Longmont
    We had our Hunter 25 documented. It was less to do with tax and more to do with the desire to take it to Mexico. We actually got the boat that way but had no issues with maintaining the documentation. Your biggest issue if it is not currently documented is to establish the history. Since the primary purpose of uscg documentation is to establish clear ownership

    Good luck


  6. Benny17441


    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,342 posts, 299 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Lenders usually require that the boat they may be financing be USCG documented. (we are talking large loans on newer or larger boats) A documented vessel maintains a record of ownership and any liens on the boat. Lenders can perfect a mortgage and the vessel or collateral can be tracked around the world. A documented boat has International Status and the obtaining of permits, licenses facilitates the entry requirements into foreign countries. It also makes it easier to sell a boat Internationally. For older, less expensive boats that will strictly be sailed in US waters an State title and registration will do fine.

  7. DianaOfBurlington


    Joined Jun 5, 2010
    934 posts, 32 likes
    Hunter 25
    US Burlington NJ
    Thanks for the intelligent comments, friends.

    One thing I found was weird is that when I looked up several boats I know for sure to be documented, they have no records available. This makes no sense. All I can think is one or more of the following:
    1. The boats I 'know' to be documented have been un-documented. But:
    2. Even un-documented boats should show records of when they were documented. Several of the boats I know of now show no history of former names, which I thought was the purpose of documentation: to show the whole chain of ownership and use. So maybe the CG records are not as complete or as infallible as they'd like us to believe.
    3. Maybe the site I was on (some federal site) is unaware of these changes, which brings me back to 2.


    Thanks for the encouragement,Vhoisington. I'll give it a try.

    Uncledom, the real concern the USCG had/has with documentation is for commercial vessel's displacement. The displacement is essentially equal to the weight of the vessel out of the water. In the water, the real matter is how much water is displaced, such as over the side of the canal, when the boat is fully loaded. It sinks lower into the water; where does the water go? And what fills it? The government assumed/assumes that this is because of cargo, commercial cargo, and so that's a good thing to tax. In days of old they put the loaded vessel in a canal lock and calculated the rise of the water, reflecting the volume that the boat was taking up. Then they learned how to calculate displacement on paper (which I learned to do, working on the Hunter 30, when I was 16).
    The on. I'll giver

  8. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    816 posts, 354 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    yes, a ship's/boat's displacement = the weight of the boat

    a ship's/boat's tonnage = the weight of the cargo it can carry

    i have my alden documented for only one reason, to put the name of my vessel on the bow instead of the states registration numbers and letters. it's pure vanity. i still have to pay state fees and show their sticker, on the transom. forever the doc. was free. that's over now.
    also in my dreams i'm ready to sail to the med. not

  9. uncledom


    Joined Jun 11, 2011
    966 posts, 169 likes
    Hunter 41
    US Lewes
    I know for sure my Hunter 41 weighs less than 30,000 lbs. That would be 15 tons and yet the coasties list my net tonnage at 18 and my gross at 20. I do know that there is some documentation situation where a boat can not exist in both the US and Canadian databases simultaneously. I had to wait ten days before I could use the boat after purchasing it.

  10. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    816 posts, 354 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    coasties info is confusing, gee, never saw that coming

    gross weight = weight of vessel + weight of cargo ( on pleasure craft its prolly humans) that you are not to exceed as to the design.

    the net weight difference might be explained as allowance for gear that gets mounted permanently on the vessel that is not cargo and therefore becomes part of the net weight.

    believe it or not there are some sailors that buy every little or big trend that comes along and permanently mount to vessel there by changing its net tonnage.

  11. Dennis Kitchen

    Dennis Kitchen

    Joined Jun 4, 2004
    339 posts, 88 likes
    Hunter 23.5 and 25
    US Stockton State Park Marina; MO
    Hi John,
    My H25 was previously documented.

    Have you see these? Documents/Marine Safety Center/Tonnage/CG-5397_10-17.pdf?ver=2017-11-15-070703-783 Documents/NVDC/CG-1258.pdf?ver=2017-05-09-113142-067 See note 1 under Simplified Measuring Procedures that shows that tonnage for this purpose is a calculation of volume. ( not displacement)

    Did you get your boat finished yet? Mine still languishes unfinished.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018