Question: I recently purchased a 53' x 15' steel hull "houseboat" in Texas. I am trying to obtain a yacht certification and do not know where to turn as I have no idea if there is a capacity limit on a vessel this size in my state. I did not finance the vessel I paid cash. I intend to use it for private use and may occasionally rent it out. It is still registered with the state of Texas and is in a slip on a lake in Texas where I intend to keep it. I have not transferred the title yet because I was going to wait until the current registration expires in 03/13. Also, are there any types of certifications that I need to obtain from the Coast Guard? Please help.
Answer: The first thing you need to do is register the boat with the state in which you intend to use the boat. If you intend to do any financing on the boat, it may need to be documented with the Coast Guard, but if the lending institution does not require it, you can skip that step. If you were renting out the boat, the insurance company should be aware of that. They may require an additional premium and a charter policy.