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Old 07-05-2012, 07:41 AM   #1
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Hi,

Just discovered that any pleasure vessel intending to travel overseas is required to be on the Australian national registry of ships. Since this is EXPENSIVE (like $2000+) is there any viable alternative available, such as foreign registration?

Note that I already pay state registration to NSW Maritime, so this is a bit rich.

Rob
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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Hi Rob,

While I can understand you baulking at additional expenses, as you'd be aware, national registration is part of an international maritime structure that delivers both security and safety for both yourself, crew, your country of origin and country of entry. It's basically an international passport for your vessel allowing you to access the same support and consular facilities as we enjoy with our own passports.

If you are an Australian citizen holding an Australian passport - my advice is to bite the bullet and get Australian Registration. Unlike your state registration, it's a once only expense and can be linked to your EPIRB registration, ships station licence and a host of other details that become invaluable to ensuring a speedy and accurate response from authorities should you get into difficulties.

Sure you may be able to access foreign registration but my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) is that for international recreational vessel registration, you need to be a citizen of that country. Here in Oz, you cannot register a vessel on the Australian Ships Register if your are not an Australian citizen. You can be a permanent resident but even then, you need to do it in partnership with an Australian citizen who is registered as having a majority ownership. I would imagine this might apply to other countries as well.

Put it this way - if you have a collision with another vessel somewhere off New Caledonia with injuries, damage and any other manner of complications - my guess is you'd be giving thanks that your vessel isn't registered in Peru!

My gripe is more with state registration where you have to reregister and often reinsure if you move your vessel from one state to another - now that is a pain in the bum!

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Old 07-05-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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Hi Rob,

It actually costs $1190 to Australian register your yacht ... it just went up from $830 a few months ago ... it is a once off fee.

Go to ... Australian Shipping Registration Office

All the information you need will be there as well as downloadable forms etc of everything you need to do the Australian Registration.

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Old 07-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #4
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Hi Lexx,

The fee for "ships requiring to be registered" is $2040 which is the right category for any yacht travelling overseas, although if you applied for registration as a local yacht without mentioning your plans to travel overseas then I suspect that "ships permitted to be registered" at $1190 would work out. When I studied the AMSA page earlier today I misread that as $1910 and didn't take much notice since they appeared to be so close together, but this is a far more reasonable charge.

One also has to factor in the extra costs of transferring ownership ($340), change of name ($82) or change of home port ($82) if these ever happen. You even need to apply for permission to fly an Australian flag ($170). There's also an enormous amount of wankery regarding establishing the ownership history, including Builder's Certificate and publishing notices in the Commonwealth Gazette. Tedious in the extreme for a vessel with no traceable history.

Still, as Mico pointed out it's a once-only expense. Guess I was just balking at the cost relative to the overall value of the yacht, but once established it may actually increase that value.

Rob
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:19 PM   #5
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Dude you got it all wrong ... you are not applying the correct definitions ... your private yacht comes under "ships permitted to be registered" at $1190, ships required to be registered are commercial vessels.

As you are applying for a new registration there is no transfer, also no change of ships name and no change in home port... you nominate those when applying for rego ... you also do not need to apply for permission to fly the red ensign ...once registered you can fly it no probs ... you can fly the blue ensign or aussie flag whether registered or not.

I know the site can be confusing but believe me what I have stated is how its applied.

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Old 07-05-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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You will find once you get into and understand the paperwork that its not half as hard as it seems. Communication is the key, work out what you want to do and then ask their advice and I bet they make is pretty easy ... I have gone through the process a few times now myself and helping friends ... I aint a rocket scientist and managed without much trouble.

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Old 07-05-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
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From theDepartment of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Excerpt from the booklet Australian flags – Part 2: The protocols for the appropriate use and the flying of the flag.

FLYING THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL
FLAG AND RED ENSIGN ON SHIPS
The Australian red ensign is the flag to be flown by Australian-registered merchant ships. Either the Australian National Flag or the Australian red ensign can
be flown by government ships, fishing vessels, pleasure craft, small craft and commercial vessels under 24 metres in tonnage length, but not both ensigns at the same time.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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Lexx has it right about the price.

We just paid $1190 to have our previously US registered ketch changed to Australian registration - and its not even in Australian waters!. It took a bit of paperwork and a bit of back and forward stuff but all sorted pretty easily.

I have called the AMSA number a few times and the staff there were extremely helpful - far more so than I have ever experienced with other gov departments. I called them right at the start and they walked me through the process and have called me a few times since then to help clarify things. They've been great - as are, their other section that handles EPRIB and ships radio registration.

Just one word of caution - at some point of time - you will be asked to 'mark' your vessel. The specifications on the website are for large commercial vessels. If we had gone by the size of lettering required it would have covered the enter saloon. Most signwriters involved in marine decals know the size for recreational vessels which is basically an A3 size.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:05 AM   #9
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Yes, you can register your yacht in a foreign country, we have met many people who have done this. But they all had a very good reason like avoiding their own countries over strict rules, or afraid to fly their own countries flag, you can probably guess what countries. The most common countries used for reg were the US and Germany.
As an Aussie there is really no need to do this as Oz Registration is reasonably priced and simple enough to get, and there are not any extra hassles for Oz reg boats. Can't say the same about Oz passports I'm afraid.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexx View Post
Dude you got it all wrong ... you are not applying the correct definitions ... your private yacht comes under "ships permitted to be registered" at $1190, ships required to be registered are commercial vessels.
As noted above, if you mentioned an intention to travel outside Australian waters the vessel would then be required to be registered and the higher fee could be applied. I never trust a public servant to do the right thing.

Quote:
As you are applying for a new registration there is no transfer, also no change of ships name and no change in home port... you nominate those when applying for rego ...
I did say "if these (events) ever happen". My point was that there are possible future fees that parallel and duplicate state charges.

Quote:
you also do not need to apply for permission to fly the red ensign ...once registered you can fly it no probs ... you can fly the blue ensign or aussie flag whether registered or not.
OK, now this one has me puzzled. For whom is the listed $170 fee to fly the flag intended? See item 13 on the fees page.

Rob
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:48 AM   #11
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Ah, I found an answer to that on the application form. It's only required for unregistered ships. Note that the blue ensign can only be flown if a warrant from Her Majesty or the Admiralty was in force authorizing its use by the ship before 26 January 1982, etc, etc. See http://www.amsa.gov.au/Shipping_Regi..._for_Ships.asp

Also found some forms for notifying alterations to the ship. I have no idea whether fees apply to that, but if you even change the engine they need to be told. Suppose I had better do that before applying, mine needs replacement.

Rob
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:52 AM   #12
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Quote ""As noted above, if you mentioned an intention to travel outside Australian waters the vessel would then be required to be registered and the higher fee could be applied. I never trust a public servant to do the right thing."""

Your yacht comes under "ships permitted to be registered" have no fear of that ... you can actually sail overseas with your yacht without Australian registering it ... you risk paying import duties when you come back if you do that. You can also export your yacht without Australian Registration.

Your yacht does not come under the "Ships required to be registered" nor does any other privately owned yacht in Australia. Aussie rego is advised if wanting to sail outside aussie waters. Still your choice if you want to aust rego as it is your choice where you cruise.

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Old 07-08-2012, 05:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Your yacht comes under "ships permitted to be registered" have no fear of that ... you can actually sail overseas with your yacht without Australian registering it ... you risk paying import duties when you come back if you do that. You can also export your yacht without Australian Registration.
Sorry Lexx but the government disagrees with you.

"It is an offence for an Australian-owned vessel to sail for a foreign port unless it is registered in the Australian Register of Ships."

See Brochure - Yachts, Cruisers and Fishing Boats

Temporary passes are sometimes given for rallies like Darwin-Ambon, but the cost is usually in the order of $250 each way for a single trip. You'd only do it that way if you were pressed for time and didn't intend to travel overseas again in the foreseeable future.

Rob
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:18 AM   #14
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Hmmm things may have changed in recent years ... in the mid 90's I sailed on 2 separate yachts, both australian but not registered as such ... one went to Kupang and the other to Port Morsby. I did a one way on the Kupang one and both ways on the Morsby one. The owner on the Port Morsby trip did have some trouble re entering and was at odds about paying duty for some time... finally managing to avoid it.

Ahh well guess it may be rego time for you soonish then.

Lexx
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:32 PM   #15
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Yep, looks that way ... although I plan to sail around Australia first so could probably delay the inevitable for a couple of years. Besides I need the money to fix the old Perkins diesel as a priority. I've been researching ways to fix a hole in the block - it threw a rod while the previous owner had it - but even without a new block the full overhaul kit is about $1200.00 There was an Evinrude outboard supplied, but fitting that is a dumb idea in the long term and I'll probably sell it to pay for the repairs.

On another tack, I have now arranged to do the MROCP exam in a week or so.

MROCP test: $59.00
Class B non-assigned marine licence, 5 years: $255.00
Amateur apparatus licence renewal, 5 years: $346.00
WIA charge for a callsign assignment: $20.00

It sure adds up, doesn't it? Even getting into this the cheapest way still isn't cheap.

Since I don't have a permanent home on land I'll be applying for a VK9 ham call (external territories) which can be used in any state or territory without changing the address on record.

Rob
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:39 PM   #16
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Hi Rob,

I don't have a permanent home on land ... been living on the water for so long now that I can't imagine living in a box. I use the local yacht club as my mailing address and thats about it.

I don't have any radio licences, I only have VHF and don't chat on it ... monitor sure.

Its good to get whatever licences and qualifications you can I guess but I don't feel I have been disadvantaged by doing things my way.

I suppose I don't like paperwork and like to mostly live a quiet relaxed kind of life.

Enjoy your process and remember its the journey thats important ...

Lexx
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:44 PM   #17
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On the engine issue ... I don't think its a good idea to fix a hole in a block ... Perkins are popular motors and you should be able to source one without too much trouble. Maybe buy a second hand one and rebuild it.

Mine is an 85hp Perkins 4 236, love it, was rebuilt under 100 hours ago and has loads of power for my 20 ton ferro yacht.

I have found Perkins in Brisbane to be very friendly and very helpful many times.

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Old 07-09-2012, 07:57 AM   #18
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Where I'll be going HF radio is a necessity and the MROCP is a permanent qualification. I'll also have VHF for inshore of course, but even then there's lots of coastline that isn't covered by it.

A secondhand Perkins 4.108 is about $3500 before overhaul so repairing the block might be a better option. I've found YouTube videos of guys who have successfully used JB Weld and a tinplate insert so it isn't impossible. Just need to keep the oil in and the dirt out after all. Of course it all depends on the general condition of the other bits, if the crankshaft is too worn or everything is out of spec I'll be looking to replace it. Won't know until it comes apart really.

A couple of months ago there was a Perkins for sale in Wollongong that had been disassembled for overhaul and the mechanic found that the crankshaft was down to the last regrind. I think the whole thing went for $75.00 so maybe I'll find a cheap block somewhere.

Rob
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:49 PM   #19
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We're already off topic but I note that this topic started with a complaint about expense and given that you're really trying to get ready for cruising in the most inexpensive way you can, let's have this discussion:

It's a given that "good deal" boats often come with a large laundry list of costly things that need fixing. One of the old sayings "there's no free ride" is especially true for boating.

Not free but less expensive parts can sometimes be found, here in the USA, folks with Perkins engines often take advantage of (less expensive) John Deer tractor parts as replacements of some things. Is it no so there in AU?

Regarding engines, sails, and everything in general--once a boat gets "big" (and I won't define big except to say that by the pic of your boat it looks like it's at least in the "medium" and heading over towards the "big" category) things get really costly. In terms of repairs, Small=hundreds of dollars for a fix, medium=thousands, big=10's of thousands. You'll need to be prepared to pay for unexpected costs in far away places. That means you could end up buying a new engine for your boat, rerigging it, new mast or other big-ticket-items if something unfortunate happens. So, the cost of repair or replacement that the average Joe pays rather than an innovative fix price might be what you'll have to spend someday. We can all hope for the opportunity to do things the frugal way should something bad happen, but the boat we choose to cruise with with dictate just how frugal we can really be.

If you're planning on cruising on a tight budget, you might seriously consider getting rid of your "good deal" boat which may well eat you alive (or at least your cruising kitty) and get into a well-priced-small and simple boat. Remember the Pardeys saying "go small, go now." which is all about picking a boat that fits the budget so you can get out there and cruise with very little money rather than struggle to find ways to pay for the larger, more complicated vessel. The Pardeys have cruised two different small boats w/o an engine for close to 40 years now. Also w/o many other systems that boaters think are required aboard. Smaller is also easier to solo sail; if you're planning on sailing alone you'll appreciate that as well.

So, while considering the costs of registration of the vessel for use outside AU, before spending the money, you might seriously consider whether this is the vessel which will take you where you want to go, fit your needs, suit your budget, and allow you to cruise with the crew you plan to have aboard.

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Old 07-11-2012, 08:13 AM   #20
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Hi Bo,

You make a good point. However the demand for boats in the "small" category wrt cruising are often far more expensive. I believe a better deal would take a long time to find.

The work situation lately has made me look at every expense with a jaundiced eye and my frustration at not being to just pay someone to fix the engine must be showing. But I'm a DIY kinda guy and still young enough to patiently put it together, with the added benefit that I'll know all the onboard systems intimately by the time I've finshed.

Just found a guy in Poland (see link below) who makes very nice lasercut power boards starting at 32 euro complete with switches, fuses and meters. And I'm progressively accumulating enough radios and safety gear to reduce the risks once out there.

switchpanels.eu

I'm pretty sure single-handing a Queenslander won't be too difficult once I get a jib furler. It's a simple setup after all. Can't imagine living in anything smaller for extended periods.

I do admire the Pardeys' philosophy and will definitely be doing without refrigeration and some other electricity hogging stuff to avoid having to use a generator as much as possible.

Rob
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