|The "car" hanging on the back of the "house".|
The dinghy wasn't in the greatest shape. In particular it has a rather ugly patch that slowly leaks and the tube fabric is looking rather worn and...well you may have seen some of the other issues in this post. And I have no idea what condition the motor is in. So I've been debating how much more money I should invest in the dinghy or if I should just replace it. I hate just throwing things away, but I also don't want to throw good money after bad. After some mental debate, I decided I would try to resurrect the dinghy.
I'm not really worried about how "ugly" it is (after all, if someone wants to steal a dinghy, do they want the shiny new one or the faded and worn one with patches...right?), I just want it to stay afloat without having to pump it back up while we are using it. Someone recommended a product that is somewhat similar to automotive fix-a-flat that sounds like it might help seal up any leaks in the inflatable tubes...so I might give that a try. I was also talking with a guy that suggested that, particularly since we will have dogs, that we find or make dinghy "chaps" for the tubes using Sunbrella or similar fabric. This would protect the tubes from the sun, chafing, and dog claws.
But first, since the boat will have a motor on it, we should probably register it. Just like you have a license and registration for your car, most U.S. states require a registration for any boat that has a motor on it (this isn't an issue once you get out of the U.S.). And just like your car, most states will recognize a registration from another state on a temporary basis. There seems to be a bit of debate on the internet over the need to register if it is strictly being used as a tender (only to go from ship directly to shore with no side excursions). Since we will be in the U.S. for at least a little while, and we would like to use it more like the car to do a bit of sightseeing and other trips without having to "drive the house around", it seems to make sense for us to register it.
We have a bit of a dilemma, though. You see, I technically live in Colorado right now but the dinghy will likely never be in Colorado so it doesn't make sense to register it there. Of course, we will also be rather transient and most places seem to want a permanent mailing address and some require it to be in their state. I don't think they'll accept "s/v Rover, Somewhere in the Atlantic, USA (sometimes)". Of course, in a bit of irony, many states also want you to register your boat and/or dinghy if you are in their state for a given period of time (we don't intend to hang out in any one place that long). This time seems to vary from 50 to 180 days depending on the state and is the what they use to determine your area of "primary use". So you could easily be considered the area of primary use by several states and therefore require multiple registrations. But without a mailing address....well, you get the idea. It can make the head spin.
I think for now I'll try registering my dinghy in Georgia. I'm at least here now and their registration fees don't seem too bad. Or maybe I'll need to get one of those James Bond rotating license plate gizmos for the dinghy so I can register it everywhere as I go....yeah, right.