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  • Hi everyone,

    I'm looking at getting into beach cat sailing and after searching for a couple of months, I need some advice... I live in Florida and the state requires any vessel over 16ft to be registered. While I understand that most folks will not register their beach cats, It's surprising to me that all the boats I've inquired about (under $4,000) the owners don't have a title. Have I set my expectation too high?

    In addition, I have been looking at a nice Dart 18 with no title and no HIN#. Should I stay away if it doesn't have a HIN?

    Also, I have read that the Dart 18 does not perform well with the original sail plan in light winds but if you change the jib for a Hobie 16 jib there will be a significant light wind performance improvement. Can anyone confirm this for me and advise on any draw-backs?

    Thank you all in advance!
  • Moderators, I believe I posted this in the wrong section. My apologies. If so, please move it to the correct section for me as I don't seem to have the ability to do it on my own. I believe I should have posted this in the Getting Started section. Thanks.



    Edited by remedy on Aug 17, 2021 - 11:36 AM.
  • Can't answer about Dart question. But regarding registration (boat and trailer) - I live in Texas who also requires registration and I would not consider buying without title and registration (either expired or current).
  • No you have not...I live in FL as well and would not purchase without owner having title and current registration for Trailer which serves as Trailer's Title. I have seen the Dart you are referencing on Craigslist. Seems like a nice boat but I am not a Dart Fan. It is a heavy air boat for sure. Not a lot of parts support in the US which can cause challenges on older Cats. Saw a Prindle 16 listed today in Palm Bay. Ad doesn't say whether he has title/registration but that may be a better starter boat for you. Also a Prindle 15 in Merrit Island that says it is Titled and Registered. Good Luck.



    Edited by saltlife77 on Aug 17, 2021 - 12:01 PM.

    --
    Pete
    2001 NACRA 450 SOLD
    2000 NACRA 500 TOTAL LOSS
    2004 NACRA INTER 20
    DeLand, FL
    --
  • Thanks for the advice guys! Looks like you saved me from a mistake. prost
  • saltlife77Saw a Prindle 16 listed today in Palm Bay. Ad doesn't say whether he has title/registration but that may be a better starter boat for you. Also a Prindle 15 in Merrit Island that says it is Titled and Registered.


    Thanks! Waiting on a response from the Prindle 16.... Do you guys think either of these boats (Prindle 16 or 15) would provide enough floatation for a total of 3 people with a combined weight of about 400lbs?
  • I can't speak to the Prindle 15, but the 16 can handle that weight OK. If that your general use case, I would look for a Prindle 18 or Hobie 18 as they will carry the weight better. Alternatively, the Hobie Getaway is a great boat for this, though typically more expensive and used ones don't stay on the market for long!
  • samc99usI can't speak to the Prindle 15, but the 16 can handle that weight OK. If that your general use case, I would look for a Prindle 18 or Hobie 18 as they will carry the weight better. Alternatively, the Hobie Getaway is a great boat for this, though typically more expensive and used ones don't stay on the market for long!

    Thanks Sam on the Hobie & Prindle 18 advice. I have sailed a Hobie Getaway and Wave before (Rentals) and the Getaway is what prompted me to look for a beach cat of my own but as you said, they seem to be in the higher priced and don't stay of on the market long. Any concerns with the durability of a Rotomolded boat vs. a fiberglass that I should be aware of?

    Wow! You guys are super helpful! Glad I found this site/forum.
  • QuoteCan't answer about Dart question. But regarding registration (boat and trailer) - I live in Texas who also requires registration and I would not consider buying without title and registration (either expired or current).


    I live in KY and bought a H18 from a guy and his dad in AL about 8 years ago. The boat wasn't registered and had no title. I generated a Bill of Sale, we both signed, and I bought the boat. In KY, if the boat doesn't have a motor, registration isn't required. Also, trailers in KY aren't required to be registered. So my boat doesn't have a title or registration. I doubt a 1989 Hobie Cat came with a Title Certificate - maybe it did. Why register the boat and pay taxes/fees if the state doesn't require it?

    --
    Tim Young
    Hobie 18' + other stuff that floats and goes.
    Kentucky
    --
  • [quote=timscottyoung]
    Quote
    Why register the boat and pay taxes/fees if the state doesn't require it?


    Hey Tim, the reason is that any vessel over 16 is now legally required to be registered in Florida.
  • [quote=remedy]
    timscottyoung
    Quote
    Why register the boat and pay taxes/fees if the state doesn't require it?


    Hey Tim, the reason is that any vessel over 16 is now legally required to be registered in Florida.

    We have 60 beach cats on our beach. NOT ONE HAS A REGISTRATION. If you put a motor on it then it needs a registration. I have had boats on Sarasota, Ft Lauderdale, Pompano and Delray beach never saw one with a Florida registration. Never saw a registration on any kayak either and some are over 16 feet.
  • I Live in FL as well...it is a requirement that some ignore. I just feel more comfortable that I am buying something legally and have bought 4 Catamarans to which all had titles and are currently registered. Now I do admit that I don't put the registration sticker on the boat and have not had any issues but I am the legally registered owner.

    --
    Pete
    2001 NACRA 450 SOLD
    2000 NACRA 500 TOTAL LOSS
    2004 NACRA INTER 20
    DeLand, FL
    --
  • Send a PM to MN3 here. He is in Clearwater, & been sailing cats for a good long time there. I’m pretty sure he has sourced some of his cats from other jurisdictions, & knows the score.
    Regarding Darts, they are good boats, simple to rig & sail. No boards, no boom, that’s a plus for a newer sailor.
    They use a small jib, & a smaller sail plan than a normal 18 footer carries, making them slower than some others, (though lots faster than the Getaway or Wave you sailed).
    If you live in an area with light winds, this is a negative. If you sail in 20mph, this is a positive.
    My Dart does not have an HIN. They’re English, they do things different there. Most have the hull #s written on the inside using indelible marker. You can see it through the rear access hatch.
    Most 16’ Cats are going to suffer if you put 400lbs on them.
    As Sam said, an 18’ would be better. We have a Nacra 5.0 & an N5.7 meter (16.5’ & 19’ respectively). The 5.0 sails well with two adults, (almost 400lb), but the larger 5.7 is the ideal boat for that weight.
    You stated 3 people. A boat with boards & boom, (H18), gets crowded with 3 people. The uncluttered tramp of a boardless/boom less boat is a big plus with new sailors..
    Don’t get hung up on a certain boat, buy the one in best condition, it will save you a lot grief & $$.
    That Dart would be a very good starting Cat, especially if you have to rig it each time. It is a simple rig, & the rudders just pop off. In fact the entire boat can be torn down, or put together with no tools.
    If an HIN is required, just make one up, using one of the hull #s, & written on a proper bill of sale.



    Edited by Edchris177 on Aug 17, 2021 - 04:04 PM.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • Hullflyer, I appreciate your response and I don't doubt you having 60 unregistered beach cats. However, your statement "If you put a motor on it then it needs a registration" is not the only requirement for a vessel needing to be registered according to the state. When you look at the flhsmv.gov website it clearly says that any non-motor-powered vessel greater than 16 feet is not exempt from registration (Item 1 in the image below). In addition, kayaks are different. If they are non-motor-powered they are exempt from registration regardless of length (Item 2 in the image below).
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jq7OXquz3SD_64w8Xn_64JIq2eXYlCz8bCJClW5hovv63odnhW9CsanK34T99fLiPiqIxNJe-UzJr82bcpPOopGsTGVJCdNc7rQxIWVmW4rRcw2OAri4NkUU5g-832N51oUzp92jc0=w2400
  • Edchris177, thanks for the response! I'll reach out to MN3.
  • Great information. The thing is, hardly anyone complies including myself. Makes me wonder however about all these cats like the Nacra 5.0, the Nacra 500 and the G-Cat 5.0 which most people call 16's but are really closer to 16 1/2. At the Sarasota Sailing Squadron none of the cats are registered and plenty are over 16 ft. It's never been enforced to my knowledge.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • remedyModerators, I believe I posted this in the wrong section. My apologies. If so, please move it to the correct section for me as I don't seem to have the ability to do it on my own. I believe I should have posted this in the Getting Started section. Thanks.


    I've moved the thread, welcome to TheBeachcats.com!

    Great to see you are planning to buy a beachcat. Some good feedback so far.

    The issue with beachcat registration in Florida and other states is a little tricky. You posted the actual law, but like others stated, when it comes to beach launched cats a lot of people ignore it. That's up to you, I do know plenty of sailors in Florida who have titled and registered boats but it's mostly newer ones where financing and/or insurance was involved so the bank or insurance company needed it.

    Comes down to your decision and situation. It will definitely make it harder to find a 16-18 foot beachcat under $4,000 if you are only willing to buy with a title and current registration.

    Now in other areas of the country like New England and California, pretty much all of the boats will have documentation because of the local enforcement. Just depends where you are.

    Good luck and continue to ask good questions and check the classifieds here and you will find a boat, might have to travel a bit to get the ideal one, but road trips are fun too!

    --
    Damon Linkous
    1992 Hobie 18
    Memphis, TN

    How To Create Your Signature

    How To Create Your Own Cool Avatar

    How To Display Pictures In The Forums.
    --
  • Thanks Bill & Damon!

    I’m keeping my options open and based on previos advise. While the Dart 18 is still not off the table, I’m also refining my search to a P18, 18-2, or a H18. I will be trailering and setting up each time so if any one has any further advice on these 3 boats that might help me like ease of setup, parts availability, and any other considerations. I’m all ears and grateful for your advice.
  • No opinion about the Dart but I am very knowledgeable about the state of FL title and registration requirements having bought and sold dozens of boats in my 40+ years living in FL.

    First, there is no requirements to register or title a sailboat of any size if it is used on a private body of water or permanently docked. Experienced boaters also know it is extremely unlikely for a sailboat to get stopped for a registration check in FL. Authorities are much more concerned with drunken boaters, jerks on jetskis, and especially drunken jerks on jetskis. Also, it is a maximum 50 dollar fine for first offense operating an undocumented vessel in public FL waters.

    This is why it is so common to see untitled/unregistered sailboats in FL. Just an FYI...

    Brad in Jax
    Stiletto 27 for sale soon.



    Edited by bradinjax on Aug 18, 2021 - 08:46 AM.
  • Thanks Brad. I appreciate your input!

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