That was quick!
Updated: Jan 16
With all the drama around shipping the boat I had almost forgotten to follow up on our Expedited Documentation. You see, you need to either register your boat in a state or document your boat with the US Government. For international travel, some insurance companies, and some banks you need to Document your boat. State registration doesn't cut it. The issue is that it often takes months and you need to have your documentation number to do a whole bunch of stuff. You can pay a reasonably big fee for expedited service and that is what we did. It still took about six weeks but we got it yesterday. I immediately updated my Authorization for Vessel Operation which is a letter that authorizes me as skipper, to operate the boat owned by Coyote Shores, LLC.
I immediately then went online and filled out the application for a Ships Station License. You need that internationally. I also applied for an MMSI (maritime mobile service identity) number. This is important for programming our onboard AIS (automatic identification system) safety equipment as well, the VHF DSC as well as for the EPIRB (emergency position indicator radio beacon). You can do it by mail, but they said it would take up to six weeks to process. Do it online. This morning I got my Ships Station License as well as my MMSI. That was quick! I went to the NOAA site and filed my EPIRB papers so they can find us. Immediate confirmation.
All this is driven by the need for your USGC Document Number. Without it you cannot get your MMSI and without that you cannot activate your safety equipment. We had time, but I wonder what others do if they buy a boat and take delivery a week or two later.