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Licensing and registration

Posted by DonTyson 
Licensing and registration
November 19, 2019 12:17AM
Today I heard back from the state of PA regarding my request for the above. They sent me a letter stating that they need the boat have a marine survey and undergo stability testing. Ever hear of such a thing?
Currently I have a launch permit but without registration I can't use it out of state.

If anyone has a testimonial in this area please share their experience.

Re: Licensing and registration
November 21, 2019 05:16PM
I am aware that some drift boat manufacturers have had to undergo this testing. They also had to demonstrate that their boats met the minimum floatation requirement! I can understand that the government does not want companies, no matter how small may be to build unsafe products. I am talking about a one-man shop that builds one or two boats a year. Sorry Sir, but your drift boat is unsafe at any speed! Where is Ralph Nader when we need him?

However, if an individual wants to build a boat, kayak, or skateboard for their private use why does the government have to be a watchdog? I thought we had the freedom to do as we please especially if we are the one using the product we are building.

I am glad that I live in Washington State, we have no need for registration or a license on a boat that is not going to operate with a motor. Nada, nothing, just build it and use it.

So if you were to bring your boat to Washington State or Idaho or wherever the state of Pennsylvania can stop you from doing so?


Rick N
Re: Licensing and registration
November 21, 2019 06:57PM
HaHa Rick Well said!

However I made this bed and am being asked to sleep in it. You see, I went and got a Launch permit and that allows me to use the state ramps and so forth in pA. But I wouldn't be able to use that permit in multiples of states that I might choose to cross. Bummer. I would need a title and registration for that.

Then after using the boat in some local lakes I found out very quickly that although it rows it is not pleasurable, fast or smooth. That is why I applied for a title and registration, including use with electric or up to 5 HP petrol motors. I figured that it would be nice to motor to where I wanted to fish and then use the oars to maneuver locally. This is what prompted their refusal(motors). If I had kept it as human powered I doubt I would have been refused.
Stuck it to myself.
Re: Licensing and registration
November 21, 2019 09:03PM
I had to go through all the rigamarole when I built and sold boats. Which I didn't argue with. If you're selling you should meet the regulations. I also applied for (with the Coast Guard) and received a "floatation exemption."

Drift boat builders have successfully argued drift boats are special, that it is actually safer if a swamped boat sinks, rather than flopping around in the waves, near the surface, beating people to death. I'm not sure I believe it but that argument works. With the Coast Guard.

I flipped a Dayak two years ago, in a class IV wave and suck hole (because I made a stupid rookie mistake). I was glad my Dakak was decked and water tight. And very very glad it didn't sink. I held on and swam it halfway to shore, where I was intercepted by Dave and Whitney, who threw me a safety line (Whitney hit me right between the eyes with that rope sack) and I got rowed over the rest of the way.....only about 100 yards above Three Fords Rapid, where it would have been ugly.

As with Rick in Washington, here in Montana there are no regulations for home made boats that do not use a motor. If you do have a motor....it takes a few days of paperwork and inspections. Once done you are good for the life of the boat and/or the owner. I wish I could say I'll outlive my boat but I doubt I will. I've got a Buffalo Boat on my shop deck that's already 35 years old. In 35 years from now I'll be 106.
Re: Licensing and registration
November 22, 2019 12:29AM
Yes in PA any boat under 16' only needs a ramp permit and you can use it. The problem is that most states may or may not reciprocate completely and will likely require more that a ramp permit to let you into their waters and facilities. And so I figured that I may as well up it one grade and ask for an engine rating. I think that is why they want the USCG approval. Its okay with me but it'll take time. I built in some flotation by accident and it should work in my favor. I never opened the seat bulkheads. I intended to do that this winter but for now it is very positive buoyancy.

Re: Licensing and registration
November 22, 2019 02:42AM
Nice boat Don
Re: Licensing and registration
November 22, 2019 04:26AM
I agree!

Rick N
Re: Licensing and registration
November 22, 2019 02:27PM
Thanks for the compliments. Remember though that it is a fast build. No finery. But it handles, so far, two adults and a cattledog well. Like Sandy I hope to eventually have a planing power drift boat as well. But for now this little guy works well for smaller lakes and most streams. Imagine how fun it will be, once registered, to travel around the Northeast, Great Lakes area rivers and the mid west. Looking into coastal areas as well, i.e. ICW fishing and more.
Re: Licensing and registration
November 23, 2019 09:02PM
WWRND, Easton Pa
Re: Licensing and registration
December 09, 2019 08:21PM
I finally made contact with a surveyor and he will see me dockside soon. Then, if he finds it acceptable, he’ll write it up and send it In. $275.00. Worthwhile in my opinion as I’ll be able to reciprocate in many states and also it will give me a baseline for getting permits in states that don’t reciprocate.
Re: Licensing and registration
December 09, 2019 08:23PM
He said he’s done over thirty this year. He is friends with and lives right near the PA fish and Game. So it will be safe and direct.
Re: Licensing and registration
February 13, 2020 01:50AM
Yay! Mission accomplished! Registration, permits, hull number and last but not least, Title. Now I can cross state lines and move freely throughout the area.
Taxes 6$
Notary 15 or $20
USCG compliance survey $275
registration/title $41
Total $342
Its allowed two passengers and a 3.5HP motor
no motor and three people less than 500lbs.

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