View Full Version : Home-Built Boat Title & Registration

03-30-2011, 04:10 AM
An old high school buddy of mine just inherited a home-built boat project that his father started in the 1970s. His Dad has worked on-and-off on this project for deacdes.
The mahogany planked & plywood 24 foot Inboard retro style multi tripple cockpit hull was based on plans that his dad bought from Glen-L (Glenwood) Designs in Calif .
His father first saw an advert for these plans in the back of a Popular Mechanics magazine in the early 1970s
The frames & ribs for this boat were also bought in pre-cut kit form from Glen-L.

This project looks simiar to the Chris Smth/ Chris~Craft or John Hacker tripple cockpit style boats of the late 1920s-mid 1930s.

His father appears to have done a fine job on this project so far.
The sides are traditional mahogany double planked design but the bottom is made from 1/2" mahogany faced marine plywood that was cut in various shapes placed over a canvas covered 1/8 " inner bottom. Boat Life Poly-sulfide caulk was used on top of the canvas covered inner bottom to bed-in the outer 1/2" plywood bottom.
I suggested that he use West System Epoxy to seal the outer marine plywood bottom.

The Home-Built hull is basically almost finished ; but was never, rigged, varnished, painted, powered .and has no engine or marine gear, interior, gas tank, wiring, deck hardware etc.
It does have a rudder, steering system, strut & prop shaft.
His dad also has some old style windshield bronze castings etc.

How does he obtain a Pennsylvania boat Title & Registration for this Dad's unfinished home-built boat ?

He now wants to finish this boat in honor of his Dad's memory.
And he wants me to help-him-out .

Will this boat now need to meet modern Coast Guard safety & flotation standards in order to be titled & registered in Pennsylvania ?

Will it need to be inspected by any state or Coast Guard officials before any title or registration is ever issued by the state ?

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Comission handle all boat titles & registrations here in PA.
A call to their office brought little help or advise .
The lady there on the phone never had to deal with a home-built project boat .

How do you Title & register a Home-Built Do-It-Yourself project boat ?

03-30-2011, 09:34 AM
I'm sure this is going to vary by state so you're probably going to need to make some phone calls. In Minnesota I registered a rowing shell built from a kit and it was very simple. There was no inspection and no requirement to meet flotation standards. I suspect this is going to be the case with homebuilts. I was assigned a hull ID number and issued registration stickers and that was about it. The boat was too small to be titled in Minnesota so I didn't have to deal with that.

Sounds like an interesting project, something like I think about doing every now and again. i would love to see pictures.

03-30-2011, 11:01 AM
www.glen-l.com (http://www.glen-l.com) Brad this site has a boatbuilders forum that just might be of some help .

04-14-2011, 09:54 PM
Not in the same state, not even in the same country, but when I built my 16 I was amazed at how easy it was to title and register. I filled out a form requesting simple measurements, paid $1 and I was done. That was 20yrs ago and in Canada, but I wouldn't doubt it will be an easy process even where you are. I'd go down in person rather than try to deal with someone on the phone.