Building a pontoon in PA. How title & register?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Jho0101, Mar 27, 2022.

  1. Jho0101
    Joined: Mar 2022
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Philadelphia

    Jho0101 New Member

    What the easiest way to title and register my “homebuilt” sterndrive pontoon boat? Im in Pennsylvania.
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 3,639
    Likes: 1,592, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum JH.
    I do not know the answer, but I am sure that there are folk on here who will be able to help you.
    Possibly @Ike ?

    In the meantime, could you post some more details about your pontoon boat, and some photos when the Forum gives you permission to do so?
    (I think that new members have to post a number of comments before they are allowed to post photos).
  3. willy13
    Joined: Jan 2022
    Posts: 97
    Likes: 23, Points: 8
    Location: Canandaigua NY

    willy13 Junior Member

    Boat Registration & Titling FAQs
    17. Can I register my homemade boat?

    The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will only accept applications from the original builder for their personal use for homemade boats that have been constructed from blue prints, kits or parts of various boats by a generally recognized manufacturer. Building a boat from blue prints may require a marine survey and stability test by a certified marine surveyor. Customers may contact PFBC prior to construction for additional details.

    The regulations are specifically outlined regarding the definition of a specially constructed boat which is one of the following:

    (i) A boat not originally constructed by a generally recognized manufacturer of boats under a distinctive name and not materially altered from its original construction, but assembled from parts of various boats or kits or both, and that would be commonly known as a “homemade” boat.

    (ii) A boat that has been materially altered by the removal, addition or substitution of essential parts derived from various other makes and models and that the Commission determines cannot be readily identified as a boat of a generally recognized make or model."

    Some lawyer speak, so not sure, but it sounds like it might be a pain in the *** to get an official H.I.N. if you also designed it yourself.
    Good Luck!

  4. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
    Posts: 439
    Likes: 81, Points: 38, Legacy Rep: 56
    Location: Philadelphia PA

    fredrosse USACE Steam

    I designed and built the Margaret S (Steamboat) in 2010. Penna. registration was no problem as a powered homebuilt boat. The rules at that time required I provide details so the state could verify capacities, I sent in the required details, but the state declined verifying anything and just issued a HIN. (Hull Identification Number).

    Back in 2010 I had to register this boat as a powerboat, but looking at the Penna. rules now, maybe I need no registration at all?

    PA website:
    "Boats that must be registered:
    • Any boat powered by a gasoline, diesel or electric motor.
    • Vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard for recreational purposes. Documented vessels are large pleasure boats, such as yachts.
    • Boats such as sailboats that use gasoline, diesel or electric motors for auxiliary power."
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