The Boat is now named C’est la Vie.
As I mentioned in an earlier blogs, it is much better if the boat is officially registered before we take it to France and Germany. European waterways police apparently love official paperwork and will stop you travelling if you don’t have it. So as of yesterday we are official, as C’est la Vie is listed on the Register of Shipping in Dublin.
Some other boat owners said I was mad to bother going through the registry process, but to tell you the truth I enjoyed it. It was like old times at work, figuring out what needed to be done – finding the good people in government departments or in companies that were willing to help and working my way through the system to get the end result.
To be honest I did not think it would take so long, I started the process in December and only made it with 13 days to spare ! That was far to close for comfort. An unregistered boat could not have gone to Europe.
The process involved finding the paperwork for the boat over the last 18 years to prove who owned it and when-, getting the boat surveyed and fitting the correct names and marking on the boat.
Two government departments are involved in the process, The Department of Transport Tourism and Sport and The Revenue Commissioners. All the staff have been very helpful, efficient and have done their best to help me, but it all takes time. I have to say a particular thank you to the Register of Ships in Dublin, Bernard Boyle and Eoin Leahy Naval Architect who carried out the survey.
Also thank you to De Heer Veenje the manager of Smelne in Holland (original builders of the boat). When I first rang the staff told me it was impossible to find the old paperwork. I kept ringing and finally got talking to him. He listened to my story, looked at the blog and said he would see what he could do. He literally trawled back through the company records to find copies of the missing documents. Without his help it would have been impossible to register the boat. Smelne build great boats and I have told him what a great after sales service to give to a customer (19 years after they built and sold the boat!)
Also a big thank you to Bronwyn O’ Donnell of Boat Registration Ltd who is a professional register of ships and arranging finance for pleasure boats. She arranged the carving and marking sign for me within 24 hours and would only take a small fee to cover her costs when she had looked at the blog and saw what we were doing. All she asked was that I let people know that she had finally found a bank who will once again lend people money to buy boats!
So now we are official – boat registered – skipper licences in order- radio operator’s licence- boat radio licence and official call sign. We should be ready for anything (at least on the official paperwork side!!)