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Thread: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    san juan county washington usa
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    30

    Default Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    What do I need to register my self built 18 ft sailboat in Washington State.?
    How do they value it?
    I don't want it to be taxed for more than it's worth
    I've got a few pictures of the build.
    With a bit of work, I could find reciepts for some of the materials, but not all of them.
    Lot's of the materials were scrounged and leftovers from other projects.
    Thanks for any information or help with this.
    The building section seemed the right place to post this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    5,691

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    There is a lot of good information here:

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-in-Washington

    I haven't registered a self-built boat, but I did have to register an untitled boat from out of state last year. I ended up having to get the boat appraised to come up with a value for tax purposes. That proved to be a bit of a hassle because the regulations around the qualifications needed to provide an appraisal are open to some interpretation. At first I was just told that I had to have a "professional" provide the appraisal, with no other specifics. I tried several boat brokers but no one was willing to do it for an old wooden boat (and I expect that the same would be the case for a home build). I ended up going to a well known local small boat builder and restorer who was kind enough to take on the task. But when I took his appraisal to the DOL they were reluctant to accept it since it wasn't from a broker, dealer, or surveyor. I ended up pleading my case with them and they did take it in the end but they had to call the main office in Olympia for approval. The alternative would have been to have a surveyor provide the appraisal but I expect that would have taken a lot more money and time.
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    san juan county washington usa
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    30

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    Thanks for the link!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    3,449

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    One takes the accounting of the boat (meaning receipts since your labor was worth zilch) to the local DMV and fill out the form. They will mail off the accounting to Olympia to be verified or something. But, you'll leave their office that day with your registration sticker, a HIN that you must then build into the boat, and a small hole in your wallet. My best advice is to go to a small town license office staffed by a sympathetic person. Our local contract office is such a place. Then it's easy street.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    I'm going through this now, they wanted an appraisal for it to ensure they get their taxes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    Note the appraisal has to be from a company, on letterhead with the HIN and boat description on the doc and signed by the appraiser

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
    Posts
    5,195

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    When I registered Marianita they wanted copies of all my receipts and an accounting of what they were. I kept the originals. Jeff and I use the same licensing office. YMMV
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    san juan county washington usa
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    I'm going to need to be creative.
    Most of the reciepts for this build have scattered with the 4 winds

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Loon Lake, Washington
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    Heh, I do it at the courthouse in Colville, Stevens county. The nice ladies there don't mess with you, and waived inspections and so forth for me in the past. I'd rather shoot myself than try it at the DMV in Spokane county!

    You do need a pile of recipes, make it look as good as you can. Buy any lumber 'n stuff from Home Depot lately?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Bellingham, Washington USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    At the small licensing places I have never had a problem. I just told them the worth of the boat and they charged me tax on that, without recipes. It seems to help by saying it's a simple plywood boat, to justify your low appraisal.
    "I see!" said the blind man who picked up his hammer and saw.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Dog Ranch, USA
    Posts
    9,549

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    I dislike that the experience and rules often differ based on which licensing office you visit around here.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    22,260

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    one might pick up an 18' junker on craigslist for a hundred bux ,one that has an HIN, and ummm. rebuild it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    118

    Default

    Previous owner of moonbeam was given the run around about the hin for some reason I still don’t understand so I have two registrations for the boat lol. I dislike most processes that involve governments. I was able to successfully register and get the title transferred with the appraisal but not without paying more than I wish I did in taxes. Sell the boat ten times and the government gets more taxes than the boats worth.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    SW Washington/ At Sea
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    Based on a friend’s experience having a survey performed really helps, along with all the receipts. I find that smaller towns have more pleasant bureaucrats and customer service people. You don’t have everything at your fingertips like the city, but the pace is slower and generally people are more understanding.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,691

    Default Re: Registering a self build boat in Washington State

    I did not love the amount of effort that it took me to transfer the title of the runabout that we bought last year. It was bureaucratic, tedious, expensive and unclear. But two things to consider. One - if we required that every government office be able to efficiently manage all of the edge cases - the antique boats from Oregon with no title like mine or a home-built boat with no receipts or documentation for example - then the process would be vastly more complicated and expensive for the 99.99% of people who just want to register their Searay. And two, after getting the boat registered I immediately took it to the San Juan Islands and spent two weeks enjoying a series of beautiful marine parks paid for with public tax dollars. So yeah, I’m fine with things the way they are.
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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