Need a title for a 17’ Grumman

Beating my head against the wall with NJ DMV. I’ve had my canoe for many years. About 15 years ago, I put an add on craigslist, “wanted canoe for cheap” and got a response. $120 got me a pre-1972 SK model that was totally beautiful. It was covered in bird poo and had a rats nest in the floatation section but it cleaned up to like new. Almost no dents and water tight.
I’ve used it often but now I’m a bit of a geezer. I purchased a brand new Suzuki 2.5hp and I have the original Grumman motor mount. It goes really well. But with a motor, I need to register it with the state. In NJ, you don’t need to register a canoe unless you put a motor or sail on it. Most people never register a canoe.
I’ve read everything in the state regulations regarding this subject and I understand the requirements fully. But when I discuss this issue with DMV representatives I get all sorts of differing responses and instructions including the response, “You cannot register a canoe”, and that one came from the Special Title Division of DMV.
Does anyone have a damaged 17’ Grumman with a title that I could purchase?
My email is wrnchbndr at comcast dot net

A title for a canoe? I can’t imagine having anything but a bill of sale or maybe a manufacturer’s certificate of origin

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I totally agree. In NJ, like most everywhere else, you can buy a canoe with cash and a handshake. But if you want to put a motor on it, you must register it (its only $12). To register it, you need official proof of ownership such as the original receipt when you purchased if from a dealer. If you buy one used, you need the seller to provide you with either the title (if they got one) or the original receipt. A 50+ year-old canoe on Craigslist has probably gone through numerous owners and nobody remembers who they got it from. To get a title and a registration, you need the complete paper trail.

I don’t believe that the factory issues any such paper work? I’ve never bought a new canoe, but I know that with an expensive kayak you get a receipt from the store is all. One idea might be to contact any modern canoe builder and ask them if that is something that is ever supplied. Wouldn’t help with getting a title for yours, but it would maybe help to find out if any such paperwork exists at all.

The Texas DMV would not let me register my 2nd hand canoe without a title or an affidavit from the original owner that the title was lost/never applied for. Same procedure they use for registering cars, I think.

About 20 years ago I was given an old 12 foot aluminum boat. I lived in Queens and contacted NYPDs harbor patrol unit. They came to my house and issued me some paper work stating that the boat not stolen and I was the legal owner. It might have been something to do with salvage rights. I was able to register it at DMV. Maybe start with your local Police or NJ DMV.

I live in Pa and today I went for the stupid launch permit and sticker for my canoe from the fish commission thru a sporting good store. About 25 bucks to use any public ramp in the state for two years. I was in that store for 2 hours answering questions about the canoe and how I came about owning it after God knows how many others. I had to show them a photo of the serial number and he questioned my number and I told him I could have taken this photo of anyone’s canoe. He called the state 3 times just to get me a sticker that will come in the mail whenever it gets here.

I remembered this thread and I asked him what if I put a motor on it? He said good luck with that. I feel what you are going thru.

As long as I was there I got a fishing license also one price for one year and because I’m now 65 I can get a lifetime for a different price. I did the math and asked him if he thought I would live 5 more years? He looked me over and said get the lifetime. So I did.

I’m going to fill out the NJ application for a title and make the appointment at DMV. I understand that appointments are out by weeks. I’ll take pictures of the serial number and pictures of the canoe and I’ll just sit there at the DMV until they fully explain the proper course of action and I’ll jump through all of the hoops they ask. If I run into a person who again tells me I cannot register a canoe, I’ll take out the printed page from the DMVs internet website and show them and/or ask to see their supervisor. I just want to do the right thing. I have a very nice Grumman and I’m tempted to just buy another canoe so I can get on the water.

I understand doing the right thing. I’m the same way. But I would be tempted when I find someone willing to say you can’t register a canoe to ask them to please put that in writing and sign it. Then put your motor on and if you get stopped say call this guy I spent a week trying to do this and here is what I was told.

Red tape is ridicules.

Then you get a ticket and have to go to court to tell it to the judge.

Manufacturers issue a “statement of origin” the state then creates a title. I suddenly acquired an outboard motor (dog won it in a raffle) and instead of going through the gymnastics required to put it on a canoe. I built a skiff which just happened to be designed for that motor and the kit was on sale. Good luck…

You might research slavage regulations. There are ways to salavage and register a lost untitled boat in some states.

You think a state employee would put that in writing and sign it? No chance

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Sweet looking little skiff!

That was kind of my point. People always tell me stuff as if it was fact and when you ask them to make it official they then have a different story. In my work life I was always being told to do something that was counter to my better judgment. Others would argue I would simply reply with an email that I would proceed against my better judgment and keep this email in case things didn’t go as planned. 99 out of 100 times the other party would reconsider what they wanted.

People like the path of least resistance but when they know they will be accountable they normally reverse and do the right thing.

Takes about 5 min online once you have the HIN to do a launch permit and they mail it. I have registered 2 canoes and only needed the HIN in PA.