boat registration, british virgin islands yacht registration, marine documentation, USA
20 June, 2024


Let’s talk about Dinghies, Tenders, Boat Trailers, Motor Scooters & Jet Skis…

If your vessel has a Dinghy, Tender, or Jet Ski and the Mother Vessel to which the equipment belongs is being used in the USA, then that equipment MUST BE REGISTERED in the state of Principal Use.

Boat Trailers are either Titled or Registered (depending upon the State, and depending upon its empty weight).

Often Yacht Brokers forget that there is a Dinghy or Jet Ski being sold with the Mother Vessel. (Sometimes even a Motor Scooter).

Canada and the USA are the only countries requiring that they be registered. So, if the Mother Vessel was registered in Canada or the USA there SHOULD BE a Vessel Title or Registration for the Dinghy.

We must prepare a Bill of Sale for each item going with the Mother Vessel, AND we must collect the Title/Registration from the Seller so that it can be registered for the new owner.

We spend an amazing amount of time chasing paperwork on the additional equipment.

If the Mother Vessel is registered “Foreign”, then more often than not, there is no proof of ownership and we must track the history of the “equipment” as much as possible. Maybe the seller purchased it in another country and was given an MSO (Manufacturers Statement of Origin). If not, maybe the seller has a paid receipt from time of purchase, which “hopefully” shows the hull ID of the equipment.

I recently had a seller tell me that he did not have to register his tender in Texas (where he resides), because the tender never was in Texas. BUT his Mother Vessel and his Tender were in Florida during his entire ownership. He was supposed to register it in FLORIDA. He also did not have the Florida Title that the prior owner passed on to him…this means trying to back track to the prior owner to get a Notarized Bill of Sale to current owner, and sorting things out from there. The new owner is a Floridian, and we cannot register the Tender because of the OPEN FLORIDA TITLE from 2 Owners ago.

Don’t run the risk of getting a ticket by operating an un-registered tender,
Don’t run the risk of creating a very aggravating situation when it is time for you to
sell your yacht with its equipment, or when trying to trade in the equipment for newer.

Florida Sales Tax Rule on Dinghies and Tenders
If you purchase a boat and are issued a 90 day decal from the broker for the big boat or if the affidavit is marked for repairs any dinghies or tenders sold with the boat are taxable. This would also include any jet skis, etc., sales tax must be collected on these items at the time of sale. ONLY inflatable life rafts which are not made where a motor can be attached are not taxable.

Any dinghy or tender must be separately stated with a selling price on a bill of sale and/or closing statement. The price of the dinghy or tender cannot be included with the cost of the big boat.
Tender Never Registered?
If you purchase a big boat that has a dinghy or tender included and it has never been registered, you will need to have your surveyor add the dinghy or tender information on the survey, and you must have a bill of sale for it as well. If the tender is being used in US waters it must be titled and or registered depending on the state of principal use.

Vessel Registration, marine documentation, Registration boat

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