Should a 14' Raft be Titled and Registered?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by dick-walla2, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. I just purchased a 14' raft for drift fishing and am headed down to the County Auditor tomorrow to title and license the new raft trailer. This is in Washington State, by the way. While it is not required to apply for a boat title and registration for a non-motorized raft, are any of you aware of any advantages to paying the fee to obtain a title for the raft? It was a pretty significant investment and the thought of a title somehow makes me feel more secure for the proof of ownership. What do you think?

    Here is the Washington boat regulation:
    Boat Title, Registration, and Renewal
    To navigate, operate, employ, or moor your vessel in Washington, you must have a Washington title, registration card, and registration decals, except:
    • If your vessel is a canoe, kayak, or a vessel not propelled by a motor or sail.
    • If your vessel is less than 16 feet in length and has a motor of 10 horsepower or less and is used on non-federal waters only.
    • If your vessel is properly registered by a resident of another state or country who uses Washington waters for 60 days or fewer.
  2. And a nice raft you bought, too! ;)
  3. I'm not an expert, but I wouldn't suggest making it more complicated than it needs to be. So no, I would not register it, and not even sure if you could register it. I assume you have a bill of sale with a serial number or some other identifier - that should suffice as proof of ownership. File that away securely with a bunch of printed and dated photographs of the raft and signature plate. And then make a call to your insurance broker to see what your insurance options are. That will go a lot farther towards a sense of security and any future loss issues.
  4. Title and register the trailer, insure it and the boat with a gear deductible too.
    Itchy Dog likes this.
  5. As Derek said. Also take pics, record the I.D.#, and save your receipts.

    The other day at Lowes I noticed cop dots. Looked interesting.
    They're like DNA on your personal possessions that you register and can be traced through police
    departments. Might be worth a look.
    Enjoy your new raft.
  6. Thank you for your comments. And thanks to Derek who is largely responsible for lighting the fire for a raft after a demo trip on the Yakima last summer.

    You might be interested in the answer and suggestion from the County Auditor's office today while the paperwork for the trailer license was being processed. She said she has been asked similar questions before and in general she suggests the same actions that Darryl mentioned above. However, she warned me that if I put an electric motor or a small outboard on the raft and use it on the Snake or Columbia Rivers (both close to home) the raft will need to be registered and display numbers. The Sheriff considers the Snake River and Columbia River in this area to be federal waters and their river patrol deputies will ticket boaters with boats and motors that are not displaying a registration number and a current license tab/sticker. There's a big financial incentive for you to buck-up and use the oars!
    Derek Young likes this.
  7. I
    Although I've never used a motor on my raft, I didn't think about motorized on federal waters.
    Good point.
  8. Three of us bought a raft and trailer from Derek last winter. Pretty sure we licensed the trailer but not the raft.
    Derek Young likes this.

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