Problem with Documented vessel and Campbell Yachts

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by SolomonGrundy, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. SolomonGrundy
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    SolomonGrundy I'm not crazy...

    Campbell Yachts (Santa Ana, CA 1970's) https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/campbell-yachts-santa-ana-ca-1970s.59315/

    I'm trying to have this vessel, R/V San Carlos, documented.
    The back-story is that she is a 56' research vessel built for the State of California Dept. of Water Resources in '76. The CADWR owned and operated her on San Fransico and San Pablo Bays for 40 years. I am the 2nd owner. At the time of sale, I received a bill of sale, a 15 year expired CA Vessel Certificate of Number, and the original (issued 1/28/76) CA Undocumented Vessel Certificate of Ownership. I have begun the process of having the vessel documented but there are some hang-ups...evidently the original Hull # was not properly registered with the USCG at the time of construction and since I have no "...registered State Title", the maritime Documentation Center is balking at documenting her unless I can provide:

    Please submit an original Builder's Certification (CG-1261) OR other original document containing the same information, executed by a person having personal knowledge of the facts of build because that person:
    (1) Constructed the vessel;
    (2) Supervised the actual construction of the vessel; or
    (3) Is an officer or employee of the company which built the vessel and has examined the records of the company concerning the facts of vessel construction

    As far as I can ascertain, Campbell Yachts has been out of business for 40 years...I'm open to any and all suggestions.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Strange how government bureaucrats never seem to think that their own rules apply to themselves isn't it?

    I'd suggest that you might have better luck in a less restrictive state, but they are pretty much all arbitrary in their application of regulations that exist mostly for their own sake and to provide job security to bureaucrats.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Despite James acerbic opinion of the reason for laws and rules, I can understand why you are having the problem. What does "Hull # was not properly registered with the USCG at the time of construction" actually mean ? If it was Improperly registered, then they have SOME info.

    If I was the ex owner of a stolen large boat, albeit an old one, I wouldn't want the new "owner" to be able to just take it over on a few vague pieces of paper.

    In EVERY case of apparent bureaucratic impasse, I have found that "engaging with the enemy" will produce a solution. You need to put all supporting documents together with your own story, and march into the "Maritime Documentation Center", and ask higher and higher pay-grades for a solution. Just be nice, and appear sincere and insist that there must be "some way" to overcome the problem, and "maybe their supervisor will be able to suggest a course of action".

    It may end up being a stroke of the pen from the Department Head after a lot of hard yards. Despite the conspiracy theorists, most regulations have a reason for existing, and if you have encountered an unforeseen "blockage", you are doing your civic duty to get a solution developed.
     
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    If your HIN does not start with PDG...you may have problems. If it was a custom build for CADWR, it may never have had USCG oversight during the build and therefor no federal documentation. Note that the CFR requirements only applies to commercially offered vessels or vessels offering services for a fee, not to "private" vessels.
     
  5. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Your naivety and optimism is cute Rwatson.

    @jehardiman his probably only chance is to get a letter from the current CADWR stating the circumstance of its build, service, and disposal, and then hoping for a waiver. But he might be stuck if they won't. Lots of boats (and planes, and cars, and bikes, and...) have gone to the wreckers simply because their paper trail was broken.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  7. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    "What you have here is a failure to communicate" rather famous quote but it applies.
    item #1. The vessel was not a "recreational boat" rather it was a state owned vessel, that is a public vessel, a vessel owned by the government of the United States or a subdivison (a state) thereof. The requirements for registration, a hull id number, builders certificate etc. Did not apply. They especially did not apply in 1976. So none of these things exist.
    Definition of a recreational vessel from Title 20 CFR
    § 701.501 What is a recreational vessel?
    (a)Recreational vessel means a vessel -

    (1) Being manufactured or operated primarily for pleasure; or

    (2) Leased, rented, or chartered to another for the latter's pleasure.

    (b) In applying the definition in paragraph (a) of this section, the following rules apply:

    (1) A vessel being manufactured or built, or being repaired under warranty by its manufacturer or builder, is a recreational vessel if the vessel appears intended, based on its design and construction, to be for ultimate recreational uses. The manufacturer or builder bears the burden of establishing that a vessel is recreational under this standard.

    (2) A vessel being repaired, dismantled for repair, or dismantled at the end of its life is not a recreational vessel if the vessel had been operating, around the time of its repair or dismantling, in one or more of the following categories on more than an infrequent basis -

    (A) “Passenger vessel” as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101(22);

    (B) “Small passenger vessel” as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101(35);

    (C) “Uninspected passenger vessel” as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101(42);

    (D) Vessel routinely engaged in “commercial service” as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101(5); or

    (E) Vessel that routinely carries “passengers for hire” as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101(21a).

    (3) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a vessel will be deemed recreational if it is a public vessel, i.e., a vessel owned or bareboat-chartered and operated by the United States, or by a State or political subdivision thereof, at the time of repair, dismantling for repair, or dismantling, provided that such vessel shares elements of design and construction with traditional recreational vessels and is not normally engaged in a military, commercial or traditionally commercial undertaking.

    (c) All subsequent amendments to the statutes referenced in paragraph (b)(2) of this section and the regulations implementing those provisions in Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations will apply when determining whether a vessel is recreational.

    [76 FR 82128, Dec. 30, 2011]

    The vessel you described does not meet any of these. It is a public vessel, not originally intended for recreational use.

    item# 2. Unless you want to take a trip to Maryland it's going to hard for you to march into the Documentation Center. They do almost all their business by phone, mail, or these days internet.
    Item #3. Get all the paperwork you have together. Send copies to the Documentation center along with a letter explaining that this was a public vessel belonging to the state of California, and that none of the requirements applied to this vessel (but before you do that see my last comment)

    If they continue to insist that it have a Hull Identification Number then the state of California has the authority and responsibility to assign one. That's in 33 CFR 181. 31,
    (c) Persons who are required to identify boats under §181.23(b) must obtain the required hull identification number from the State Boating Law Administrator of the State where the boat will be principally used, or, if the State Boating Law Administrator does not assign these numbers, from the Coast Guard District office in the area of principal use.

    The last part only applies in Alaska. All other states assign HINs to boats that do not have one assigned by the manufacturer or builder. In California I believe this is done by the DMV. Of course, then they will want to register the boat, and of course collect personal property tax. But it's an option. And they'll get the tax whether you register it or document it. California is famously aggressive about collecting tax on boats. They even patrol marinas so I am told.

    Last but certainly not least, if you still get no joy kick it upstairs to a supervisor. (I used to know the guy who ran the center but he retired about the same time I did.)
    Anyway. You are dealing with the lowest level employee who is just following the rules they have been taught to use. They don't usually deal with exceptions. The supervisors know that there are exceptions and when you say Public Vessel they will (or at least should) know that this is one of them.

    If you really want to avoid all the hassles hire a documentation service to do it for you. It may be worth the money. They will do any paperwork, write letters, navigate the byzantine layers of bureaucracy and get it done for you. Documentation services deal with these things a lot.
     
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  8. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    This is only added for levity. Here in Minnesota, we call it a home built when all else fails.

    The main reason for documenting is possession is only 9/10ths; documenting is the other tenth!

    Best of luck.
     
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  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    50 Years on both sides of the counter buddy - no naivety here.

    What I said - lots of ways for the determined, competent fighter.
     
  10. SolomonGrundy
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    SolomonGrundy I'm not crazy...

    It isn't exactly that they won't...but nobody working now was around back then, so they couldn't be honest and attest to the builder's certificate.
    I get that.

     
  11. SolomonGrundy
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    SolomonGrundy I'm not crazy...

  12. SolomonGrundy
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    SolomonGrundy I'm not crazy...

    THANK YOU !
    This is a big help.
     
  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member


  15. SolomonGrundy
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SolomonGrundy I'm not crazy...

    It was never documented, because it was owned by the State of California...why would they need it to be documented?
    Here she is in all her glory:
     
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