NJ Sunfish Registration

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Ghost, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost New Member

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    I acquired two sailboats this year. I bought a Mutineer 15 and I rescued a sunfish from a backyard (currently drying out about 30 years of osmosis). When I went to the DMV, I was charged 12$ to register the Mutineer and 60$ (yes 60$) for the DMV to reprint the title. I had a title for the Mutineer with me. I was astonished, 60$ to hit print on the computer.

    Now for the fish. Since it is a pre hull id # model I brought a notorized bill of sale (it was actually free, try to explain that to a dmv worker). The dmv gave informed me I have to go to the NJ State Marine Police. Closest to me is West Trenton. They gave me the address, (a PO box - worthless) and a phone number. I called and was told I have to trailer my sunfish to them and they will run the serial number and see if it's stolen. I was told to bring a notorized letter from the seller stating the transaction was legal and the boat is not stolen. I am currently in the process of retrofitting a trailer for the fish and registering it so I can make the journey to Trenton, which is never fun.

    Here's my issue, and I could be mistaken. I have a sailfish. According to everything I read, I don't need to register the sailfish because technically it's a sailboard. I've haven't registered it ever and never had a problem at the local boat ramps. The sunfish needs annual registration because it has a cockpit and is greater than 12 feet. Does anyone else think it's ridiculous that we have to register sunfish? Does anyone know if there's any groups out there trying to get small dingy type boats greater than 12 feet to be exempt from registration.

    I ask because I'm sure there are people that would be more willing to rescue some of these forgotten backyard Sunfish if they could sail them without going through all this hassle. Plus I know it's going to be 12$ to register plus 60$ to print a title. I know 72$ isn't that much, about a tank of gas, but it feels like NJ is pickpocketing you everywhere you turn.
     
  2. Alan Glos

    Alan Glos Active Member

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    Oddly, New York State ( where they tax everything) has no requirement to number, title or register an
    unpowered sailboat regardless of size. Given NYS's financial woes, I wonder how long this situation will last.

    Alan Glos
    Cazenovia, NY
     
  3. Geophizz

    Geophizz Member

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    Mass is the same as NY. There are no registration requirements (and therefore no excise taxes) at all for unpowered watercraft. Come sail it up here!
     
  4. 203

    203 Very Senior Member

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    NC is the same, we don't register/mark anything under 14 feet.

    But you live in NJ. I think California requires registration of your boat as well, if that makes you feel any better.............

    (Who's absolutely amazed that Taxxachusetts and NY don't require it either (c: )
     
  5. Ghost

    Ghost New Member

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    I just re-read NJ boat registration requirements. (http://www.state.nj.us/mc/Vehicle/VehicleBoats.htm.) The following is the 4th paragraph:

    Boats and marine equipment that do not have to be registered
    • Those not based in New Jersey or operating for less than 180 consecutive days
    • Foreign vessels
    • U.S. public vessels
    • Ship's lifeboats
    • Non-motorized vessels used exclusively on small lakes and ponds on private property
    • Racing vessels with New Jersey State Marine Police permit
    • Non-motorized inflatable devices, surfboards, racing shells, dinghies, canoes and kayaks
    • Non-motorized vessels less than 12 feet in length
    So now I'm confused. According to Wikipedia (The Sunfish sailboat is a personal size, beach launched sailing dinghy utilizing a pontoon type hull carrying a lateen sail mounted to an un-stayed mast).
    NJ says dinghies are exempt, and technically a Sunfish is a dinghy but every Sunfish I see in NJ has a registration sticker.
     
  6. Ghost

    Ghost New Member

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  7. brianZ71

    brianZ71 Member

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    i think its referring to inflatable dinghies
     
  8. danpal

    danpal Active Member

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    I found this in a previous post.

    "NJ State requires any boat over 12' feet to be registered with the exception of kayaks, canoes, racing shells and dingies- used only for transportation to and from another boat."

    http://sailingforums.com/threads/nj-dmv-title-registration.12748/

    So if you're sailing your sunfish from another sailboat to the dock and back, you might be able to away without registering it.
     
  9. OldNJLaser

    OldNJLaser Member

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    When we sailed in the Barnegat Bay years ago no registration was required if your racing within a event, but joy sailing its needed. We had many boats in the club that were strictly racing boats and never had numbers. All the day sailors had them.

    My sunfish was registered. My Laser was never registered. Race or day sailing, I was never bothered.
     
  10. douglas_zargham

    douglas_zargham Member

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    here in FL theres no registration req. for sail powered boats under 20' - which seems pretty reasonable

    you could move here. 300 good sailing days a year.
     
  11. lava

    lava Member

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    I had the same type of thing, I called the south Carolina DMV and was told I didn't need to register my SF. 3 years later a SC DNR officer (department of natural resources) told me I couldn't sail again until I paid $35.00 for a onetime sticker (along with a $40.00 late fee). Seems to me The DMV should have told me what was needed to legally get on the lake.
     
  12. Melanie Sunfish

    Melanie Sunfish New Member

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    I'm a first time sunfish buyer - found a great deal on Craig's list - boat & trailer.
    Seller hands me the boat registration certificate and delivers to the boat to my house. When I tried to get it registered & get plates for the trailer, I learn that I can't do anything without a title. Seller hasn't returned my calls.
    What are my rights here? DMV made it sound like I should just junk it...
    Anyone in MA or NY want to trade for a sunfish with a title?
     
  13. douglas_zargham

    douglas_zargham Member

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    Melanie - it looks to me from danpal's link above that a notarized affidavit declaring ownership will suffice.
     
  14. lava

    lava Member

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    I had kind of the same problem,my dad gave me the boat for xmas, when I looked asked him for the title (3 years later) he couldn't find it. I was told by the SC DNR that they could do a "stolen title or stolen boat check" It would take a lot longer but it could be done. I was lucky and found the title before we had to do this. Maybe NJ has something comparable. Good Luck
     
  15. Melanie Sunfish

    Melanie Sunfish New Member

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  16. Ghost

    Ghost New Member

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    Here is what I did. I rescued a SF that was made in 1971. There was no title or hull ID # (HIN). After much fact finding, I brought the hull to the NJ State Police Marine substation at Lake Hopatcong. There are several marine substations but make sure you call and make an appointment. The Trooper inspected the hill and ran the serial number (located forward of the cockpit) to see if it was stolen. I also was told to bring a notarized letter detailing how I got the boat, the manufacturer, serial number and who gave/sold it to me. They made a copy of the letter and my NJ drivers license then gave me a form to take to the DMV so they could assign me a title and a HIN. At the DMV, I had to explain to the worker that my boat DID need to be registered and titled (they know very little about marine stuff). Finally, an older lady, who knew what to do got me fixed up. I had to pay 60$ for a title. They gave me a metallic sticker to place on the stern with a newly assign HIN. I then registered the boat (12$) and received a registration card, two bow stickers and was assigned bow numbers. It took me a few hours from start to finish but now I have a title, registration and HIN for my 1971 Sunfish that a few weeks ago was laying in the woods behind a house. I dried it out (from an estimated 300 lbs..thanks to the forums here) and it sails like a dream.

    I just bought another one yesterday. I'm selling the first one to my brother because he is learning to sail, very quickly, and what's better than sailing alone? Sailing with someone else, trying to out maneuver and out run them (it's a brother thing).

    I hope this helps. If you in NJ, the previous registration and the notarized bill of sale should be all you need.
     
  17. leob1

    leob1 New Member

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    I live in NJ, LAST year I got a Super porpoise, for free, from somebody on Graigslist. It has all the parts, it had some hull damage, and of course was way over weight. So I let it dry out, and just started to repair the hull damage, and plan on getting it in the water next summer. The person I got it from had no title or past registration, however it does have registration numbers on the hull. Can you tell me the format of the letter and bill of sale you presented to the police? Did they contact the person you got it from? Where in NJ are you? I'm in Hillsborough, and I don't like going to Trenton either.

    Thanks
     
  18. Ghost

    Ghost New Member

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    I'm near Flemington. What you need is a notarized bill of sale with make, model, length and sale price (also hull ID# if it has one). If the boat has a title somewhere (meaning the previous owner titled and registered it) the DMV is going to tell you to obtain the title from last seller. I learned this year, with my second SF, that when you buy a boat, the seller is responsible for handing over a valid title. With my second SF, the previous owner was selling it for his son and had no title. I convinced the dmv worker to let me register it as a dinghy without titling it. Not sure how or why they let me do that but they did.
     

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