Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Update on Local Boater Registration

More paperwork.

When we took our previous boat 'Joint Decision' over to Bimini about 8 years ago, we enrolled with the Local Boater Option program so that it was easier for us to report back into the USA with the Customs and Border Protection agency. That was pre 9/11, but even then we had to go down to Miami and visit the local agency office with our Passports, Identification documentation for an interview. Wanting to make sure we are OK for our trip to the Bahamas next year, I followed up with the US CBP agency and found that things have changed just a bit.

We already have our LBO (Local Boater Option) registration number, but we need to register our boat too.

So far we have renewed our Vessel Documentation (1 year) and obtained a FCC registration ID so that we can login to the FCC website in order to get a new MMSI for use in our VHF Radio. Now we're working on updating our LBO documentation. We need to get a DTOP account (done) and then get a Private Boat Decal. We applied for that online and their site suggests that it will take about 6 weeks for it to be delivered (assuming it's issued!)

This whole process is really not so bad, and I'm happy that they (the US CBP agency) takes all of these steps to ensure that we're doing it right and that we're qualified to have everything.

The big plus, in my mind, is that once we have the boat registered with the US CBP, then we can file float plans with them too. And Float plans are a big safety issue in our book.

So, just to recap - So far:

  • Register the boat with Florida State (Tax) 
  • Document the Vessel 
  • Get FCC private vessel Radio License
  • Get MMSI for the Radio
  • Update our LBO documentation 
    • Get DTOP account number
    • Get DTOP purchasing account number
    • Apply for Private Vessel Decal
    • Register vessel with LBO
I think that's it! So far we've paid $220 for the MMSI, $27 for the Decal (Annual), renew State Registration (Annual), renew US Vessel Documentation (Annual) 

And of course, when we head over to the Bahamas, we'll have to pay the tax of $150 (current rate) because our boat is not over 34' long. That's $150 a year if we return to the Islands within 6 months of departure. That would be nice!

I'll update this when the Decal arrives.

See you on the Water.

Paul

Private Vessel Decal

October 29th 2016.

Well, that was easy! An email notified us that the Decal was going to ship, and a few days later it came in the mail courtesy of the USPS. Next it's time to register Eximius with the LBO service. 

So far, the whole process is just a lot of comparatively small steps, each takes a little while and a little patience, but not so bad really. We're actually getting to the point where we are starting to figure out or first International Cruise - we might see if we can do a mini cruise locally, perhaps to the Keys first. As long as we can get in some sailing time it will be good.

See you on the Water.

Paul