Monday, January 11, 2010

On Becoming Legal


This entry is actually about the registration process for a vessel in Canada...  We decided that although we could look at registering Mowzer in other countries such as the U.K., we would rather have the boat registered in Canada, Ottawa in particular.  So began the adventure of navigating the waters of Transport Canada Small Vessel Registration.

First things first, in order to leave France our new baby needed a name.  Thus began the investigation to figure out what would be involved in registration.  Once I figured out that it was Transport Canada who looks after the registration, their web-site is actually quite helpful with all forms and names of actual people to contact with questions.  For vessels that are to be registered in Ottawa we would have to go through the Toronto office, but given that there is an office in Ottawa that deals with registrations in northern waters, I decided to pick up the phone and see if I could talk through the process with a live person.  I ended up in the very capable hands of Darlene, whom it turns out is responsible for approving all names of vessels in Canada.  We had searched on the internet listings and Darlene was able to confirm for us that the names we were considering (Mowzer in particular) was available.  She even went so far as to put a hold on the name for us until we could get our paperwork completed and the fee ($250) submitted through the Toronto office.

The paperwork we've had to supply so far has included:
  1. Application for Registry - with three possible names for the boat
  2. Declaration of Ownership - one each for both of us since we want to set up joint ownership (notarized)
  3. Appointment of Authorized Representative - who is Transport Canada going to deal with?
  4. Payment of $250.00
  5. Measurement of Tonnage - this one has proved a little tricky as monohulls have a specific set of measurements that can be taken to calculate the tonnage, but there are no such specifics for a multi-hull (other than a pontoon boat).  We have an "Attestation de Juage" from the Director General of something or other in Bordeaux, France, but I have a feeling that this may not be acceptable from TC's view.  We'll have to deal with this when we get to St. Thomas.
  6. Builder's Certificate and Bill(s) of Sale - the originals are on their way from France and I'll forward them on to Transport Canada once they arrive.
Yikes - I hope we get this completed soon as it seems that every time I think we've met the requirements, something is not quite right.  I thought there would be quite a few boats built overseas, delivered to the Caribbean and registered in Canada, but I guess there are many more fishing vessels and such that make this a little unique for the folks in the registration office.

As an aside, we also have a registruation in the USVI, but this one was easy as John took care of all that (phew!)