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>This is just how wooden boats are, whether you do it bit by bit, or as a big project, eventually you replace just about all of it every 100 years or so.

If you replace one specific part of the shit(Keel), it is by law a new ship. It needs to be accredited again if it is to be used commercially.






Reminds me of a story from a morning radio show. Guy calls in to say how he "legally" stole a car. Steals expensive car, strips it, abandons frame. Frame is collected and put up for auction. Thief buys bare frame and puts all the stripped parts back on.

It is definitely car theft. This is just a way of getting a clean (-ish) title for it afterwards. In the USA, it will still be a salvage title.

It is definitely car theft. But...if he claimed that he parked the car in this neighborhood and came back to find it stripped he could conceivably get away with it.

That's an interview I would like to listen to


> It is definitely car theft. But...if he claimed that he parked the car in this neighborhood and came back to find it stripped he could conceivably get away with it.

That sounds more like insurance fraud, actually. Which you can also get sued for.


I wonder how this is legal. I mean you might not be held accountable for car theft anymore, but being prosecuted for normal theft is still possible, right?

It's definitely still car theft. They just avoided getting caught.

As someone who used to work around the kind of people and organizations who own vintage (like 1960s on down) wooden boats I assure you almost nobody except the museum nonprofits that own restored/replica tall ships cares in the slightest about having proper government papers to accompany your new keel. It's often actively avoided in practice.

A lot of times the chain of custody and the history is what makes a boat valuable or interesting and government recognition of the new boat is the difference between the original and the replica in a lot of people's eyes because without that recognition there is one boat and with it there is two, a real one and a replica. Sometimes people just work done right and if the hassle of creating a "new" vessel in the eyes of the government can be reasonable avoided it will be (but this is rare reason, most of these people would rather buy a different boat, nobody does that kind of work on a boat that isn't historically interesting or of sentimental value).

It's common (as common as something can be in a niche part of a wealthy people's hobby) to have a boat in crap shape and park it in a shop, deconstruct it enough to take critical measurements and then rebuild it in the adjacent bay starting from the keel using all new material and then reinstall all the original fittings, hardware, etc, etc, off the original boat.

So yeah, you're "supposed" to re-title the boat with a new title in the same way that you're "supposed" to drive 55mph on a four lane interstate highway. In my observation the fraction of people who do what they're "supposed" to is about similar and those people tend to be motivated by special circumstances.

I assume commercial vessels follow the letter of the law but you don't exactly see a lot of commercial vessels getting keel repairs short of scrapping the vessel (or selling it overseas) and buying a new one.


Is this a western or US based law?

I would like to know too. Maritime law is fascinating. It's by nature an international affair, yet it still manages to be convoluted by borders.



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