Every day Moonfish gets a little closer to being ready for sea. I've re-run and rerouted wire, moved electronics, bolted the electronics console in place, replaced worn hose, checked and replaced hydraulic lines, added chafing gear where needed, clamped and wire-tied loose hose and wire, removed wire that went nowhere, tightened the engine belt, built a platform at the helm, checked and replaced engine zincs, replaced rudder zincs, waterproofed some of the windows and hatches, fixed broken fittings, tightened loose screws and bolts, and generally attended to things the previous owner would have done himself had he kept the boat.
For the record, it costs $121.00 to do your own paperwork. This includes an Abstract of Title and the application for redocumentation. A service would charge $300 to $400. I had the paper work done in about a half hour, although I ended up making an unscheduled trip to a bank in order to track down a second satisfaction of mortgage I didn't know about. Took about an hour an a half of my time. Start to finish, I had the the new document in my hand in a week. The guys at the Documentation Center in Virginia work pretty fast.
I needed a marine surveyor for the insurance company. I've had some bad experiences in the past with surveyors, but this guy was OK. In fact, I knew him years ago when he was with the USCG Marine Safety Office. He was one of the inspectors who would visit Finback twice annually for her hull and safety inspection.
Surveyor was Mike Whitten, of Bucksport, Maine. Take my word for it. If you must have the boat surveyed, for either an insurance company or a bank, make sure the person doing the survey knows what the hell they're doing. At $15 a foot, you want to feel like you're getting something more than just a chance to shell out a fortune in insurance premiums. I can't say the money I spent on the survey would not have been better spent on a new EPIRB, which I have to buy anyway, but at least I had a chance to review the boat's systems and condition with someone I respected. Would I have voluntarily chosen to have to boat surveyed had it not been required by the insurance agent? Not on your life.
The only thing left for me to do to be completely legal is to have the new name put on. Both bows and stern. This is kind of a conundrum because I have some gelcoat work to do on the transom, right under where the lettering will go. It's a Catch-22. I need the lettering and name so I can be official and legal and get to work, but if I put the lettering on before I fix the gelcoat, I'll just have to re-do the name afterwards. Oh, well, not much I can do about it.