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Registering Undocumented Boat in Canada

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    Registering Undocumented Boat in Canada

    The purchase of my 3870 in Olympia, WA has been delayed for a few weeks because a peculiarity came up with regards to the title. Apparently the boat was originally owned by one of the Washington State Indian Tribes and was never registered with the coast guard as apparently the tribes do not recognize any need to. This means that the title broker cannot get a Deletion Certificate, something required to register the boat in Canada. To alleviate this, the title broker began a process a couple weeks ago to obtain something called a bonded title but this is taking so long that everybody involved would rather just close the deal with the State Registration that is in place (boat was registered in Washington State and has state registration). My question: has anybody been through this process before? Registering a boat in Canada with no Deletion Certificate?

    #2
    Being owned by someone on the tribe has little to do with having the boat documented with the USCG. There is no need to document a boat in Washington State if it is not used for commercial use. A bank may require it if there was a loan on the boat. That is because it makes it easier for a bank to repossess if it is documented if the loan goes south.

    Has the boat EVER been documented with the USCG? If it was and was deleted along the way, somewhere there is a deletion certificate/letter from the USCG somewhere. If it was documented there may be an old number affixed somewhere to the boat (more than likely in the engine room). If this is the case, that number will be a starting place to get a copy from the USCG. Although, if there was no previous loan on the boat, it likely wouldn't have been documented.

    My Symbol 41 was documented when I bought it (previous two owners both had bank loans on the boat). When we bought the boat we transferred the documentation to us, then deleted it. I see no need to have it documented for my use. I have the boat on the market at this time. The new owner will get a copy of the deletion letter I have from the USCG. Plus, the documentation number is still affixed to the stringer in the engine room. If someone wants to re-document the boat, the USCG will use the same number as before.

    I am not sure how to register a US State registered boat in CA. That is a new one for me. I guess a way around would be to document the boat with the USCG then delete it for your move to Canada.

    Good luck.
    1992 3288, twin Hino 150's sold
    S. Puget Sound

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      #3
      My understanding is that it has never been documented with the Coast Guard. I'm waiting on a call from Transportation Canada to see if anybody there can tell me if this is really a problem or not. I'm thinking that worst case scenario would be me documenting the boat myself and then deleting it to obtain the deletion certificate. I hope I don't have to do that though, it would be expensive and time consuming.

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        #4
        My advice plus $5 will buy you coffee but my advice is don't take possession without the deletion certificate in hand. No doubt the vendor would like to make the process easier FOR HIM. That's not your problem unless you let him make it your problem.
        R.J.(Bob) Evans
        Buchanan, SK
        Cierra 2755
        Previously 43 Defever, Response LX
        Various runabouts, canoes & kayaks

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          #5
          You should be able to contact the US Coast Guard and give them make, model and serial number of the boat. With that they should be able to search if the boat is or was registered. A simple note of confirmation from them should be adequate for the Canadian authorities. The issue for them is to ensure the same boat is not registered in two countries. Once the boat is in Canada, it is your choice to either register it or to simply licence the boat. If it is being used for commercial purposes, then you would definitely need to register it.
          1980 Bayliner 3270 "Goose Bumps"
          Twin 4.3 V6
          Coal Harbour, Vancouver

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            #6
            I have sold two of my boats to Canadians. One in Whitehorse and one in Vancouver. All I gave them was my signed Washington state title and a hand written bill of sale. No deletion certificate. Neither boat was coast guard registered. I think your broker is making things more complicated.
            Esteban
            Huntington Beach, California
            2018 Element 16
            Currently looking for 32xx in South Florida
            Former Bayliners: 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

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