The 40hp Suzuki weighs 163 pounds, which is about 20 pounds less that the 2 cycle that came on the boat. We put the boat in the water, and the waterline didn't change at all. In addition, the Suzuki has tilt and trim, which the old motor did not. We've also moved the fuel to a custom tank located under the seat in the forward cockpit and the battery is a li-ion battery that weighs less than 5 pounds.
Syd, a documented T/T can be used for any purpose related to the operation of the parent vessel, but is not to be used for pleasure purposes. That said, we've never, ever, heard of enforcement of that stipulation.
States can and will try to coerce boat owners to do lots of things, but they have absolutely NO legal standing to require that a documented vessel maintain a State registration as well. Florida is a good example of one State that tried this money grab, and failed miserably. Florida now has the 'Use Tax' police that monitor any boats that spend 91 days or more in State waters. This is cumulative days, not contiguous days. They report their sightings to the State, which maintains a database. If a vessel is found to be in Florida waters for more 91 days or more in any twelve month period, the State of Florida will send the documented owner a bill for 'Use Tax'. They do this for ANY vessel, even those registered in other States.
Small boat owners (those under 5 net tons) aren't targeted; they zero in on the larger boats. Super yachts in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale are huge targets for this shakedown. I'm far from a super yacht, but Barefeet weighs 54 tons.
In 2017, a boat owner from the Turks and Caicos brought his boat to Stuart, Florida for no purpose other than work on the hard (out of the water). When the work was completed, the State of Florida prevented the yard from splashing the boat, because it took more than 90 days. The owner had no choice but to pay the Use Tax to get the vessel released, only to immediately leave the U.S to return home.
The Florida Use Tax is presently 6% of the purchase price of the boat and is capped at $18,000. It's a nice litte racket. There is supposed to be some sort of credit for sales tax paid to other States that have reciprocity agreements with Florida, but that's pretty muddy water.
It has been a long time since I had to deal with documented boats, but check with your state if you have not done so already, some states require you to still register your boat even if it is documented, you just do not have to display the number on the hull. Also if a dingy/tender is going to be used for more than just getting from an anchored boat to the shore, then it also needs to be registered.
In Georgia if you have a boat that is pre HIN required you simply have to have the DNR come and do an inspection and they will assign it an official state issued HIN number. From there it would be easier to assign it to your yacht. THis is the one done to my Seacraft.
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Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions. Donor VINs are much more common in the motorcycle world, as it's a common practice there. In all cases, you MUST cut out the original stamped VIN, and graft it onto the recipient in the proper location. The VIN number alone is of no value. It's not done on cars/trucks because the VIN is stamped all over the place to deter theft.
My HIN issue is complicated by the fact that Barefeet is a USCG documented 68' motoryacht, and not registered with any state. It's documented because we frequently leave U.S. waters for a variety of foreign destinations. State registered boats, large or small, can run into significant problems in some foreign locales. Morocco seized a State registered tender from us years ago, so I learned the hard way. Any tender for Barefeet needs to be added to the USCG documentation, and the tender is thereafter T/T Barefeet, or 'tender to' Barefeet. Essentially, it beomes a part of the parent vessel. The USCG can be real sticklers for the details, so I need/want to get it right.
Obviously, it would be far easier to just make up a HIN, versus finding a matching donor and cutting/grafting the HIN. The DRX suggestion is interesting, as that would signal any future owner of the boat that it is NOT entirely authentic.
I'll definitely be happy to post some photos of the Runabout here. I also have a lot of the original FC pieces that I need to post. Things like the grab handles/cleats, steering unit and pulleys, engine controls, original dashes, and the motor might be of interest to others who are doing true restorations.
Finally, I have told Bensonicus that I would get him the name and number of the owner of the Vagabond that I saw a couple of weeks ago. That boat would be a great candidate for restoration.
As others have noted every state is different in their requirements, my home state of Tennessee will not use the hull number on any boat earlier than a 1971 even if you have a title from a state that does, they just leave the hull number space on the registration blank, a bill of sale is all that is required to register a boat in Tennessee, no titles are issued for boats by the state.
As Mike suggests, your State knows that a boat that old won't have a HIN, and should have some process in place to, either accept the original serial number, if it exists (...like my State does, as long as it's inspected by a licensed dealer or law enforcement, who fills out a form), or issue a new one. No need to use a number from a donor boat since it's probably illegal just about everywhere, just as trying this with a car would be. I'm sure that you're not the first one with this problem, so your state should have an answer.
As for the resto-mod... If you look around here a bit you'll see that there are quite a few of them. Most started with a boat with some damage like yours. The motivation for most was, like yours, the desire to preserve something old and cool. While there are a few purists here (...I sometimes stray into that camp myself), 'resto-mod' is not necessarily a dirty word here unless you're starting with a perfect, unmolested barn find. Personally, I hope you hang around. I'd love to see pics of your progress, and particularly of it hanging off the davits of that big boat.
"Kiss my ass, I bought a boat; I'm going out to sea." - Lyle Lovett
Wow, I hadn't visited in a few days and all of the fuss surprised me.
First of all, to adress the concern that I might be faking something in order to 'sell' a FeatherCraft, I presently have almost $20K invested in the project. I expect it to come in at nearly $25K when done. Were I trying to scam someone, it would seem illogical to invest so much in something that I could never sell for anywhere near that amount.
The boat is, without any doubt, a FeatherCraft, but I am not restoring it by any stretch of the imagination. If that causes angst for purists, I'm sorry. The boat will be a tender for our motoryacht. Nothing more, nothing less. I liked the look of it and had a vision of what I thought it could be when returned to life.
I would have done an old ChrisCraft, but they're just too heavy.
I'm not trying to impress or annoy anyone here or anywhere else. I undertook this project for my own purposes and pleasure, certainly not anyone else's. I have no intention of displaying the boat, or trying to upstage anyone. In fact, most of you would hate what's been done to the boat.
Gentlemen, this is a resto-mod, not a restoration. I purchased it to re-purpose, and that's what I have done.
When I found it, the boat was a basket case. (photos below don't do the damage justice) The sides were badly damaged below the rub rails, so we patched it up and painted the entire boat in Imron. The motor was a two stroke, which wasn't desirable for a tender, so I put a new 40hp four stroke on it. Cable steering? No, for the same reason. We did teak floors, dashes, and full width transom, and added a teak deck/hatch in front of the motor. The seat structures were wrecked, so we built new ones using carbon core laminated with aluminum. The upholstery isn't done yet, but will be rolled and pleated blue/white vinyl.
The lines are still pure FeatherCraft, but the boat is now a modern, fully functional, tender. Had I not re-purposed the boat, it would have been sold for salvage aluminum by the previous owner.
So, that's all there is. I didn't want to create any problems here. I came asking a question about any way it might be possible to figure out how to get a VIN for this boat, beause it deserves one. A donor boat is probably what I'll do to accomplish that.
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I guess we all think differently. If I were entering a boat into a judged event I would be a stickler for accuracy. Non-stickler that I am, I would rather have a Feather Craft accurate number (that could possibly be correct) stamped into the proper area of the transom than a DMV-issued ugly plate with a totally obscure number attached to a visible place on the boat. If DMV will accept a rubbing, why not?
“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” Gary Spence