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Maine Registration??

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Fitz, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I got wind of a Maine canoe and sailboat registration effort. Anyone know anymore about this?
  2. F Harvey Bowley

    F Harvey Bowley Builder 3rd generation

    Maine Registrations

    yes we living in the highest taxed state in the union are going to be hit once again
    for years we have fought off attempts by the state to extort more money from us in form of a registration fee on our canoes now with a 250 million deficit they will most likely push forth again and dont forget the $10.00 milfoil sticker too!
    but dont dispair the local sportsman club i belong to has come up with an alternative solution which is fair to everyone which i just sent to the fish and game commisioner along with other key legislative people
  3. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Just curious, that is required for registration with other boats, ie, motor boats, sail boats, motorized canoes, duck boats?

  4. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

  5. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Not quite what I was looking for but...

    I asked because here in MN we have had to register canoes/boats for many years. As part of the exceptions in the regs, antique craft have the option of displaying the numbers/sticker on a removable plack.

    Due to a high number of re-newales this year, I complained and called my Rep, the result is that there is a bill being proposed to exempt antique paddle/row craft (defined to be older then 1959 and used as a antique) by either just not registering them or by issueing a permit that allows there use without registration. There is a precedent here in MN that owners of antique snowmobiles can get a yearly permit that allows the mach to be used on occasion without registering it.

    Don't if it will go any where this year as time is getting short but maybe next year.

    As for the registering canoes, when I was talking to the DNR guy about it, he made a good case for registering and charging a fee to canoes/paddle craft. They benefit from the DNR activities, ranging from improved waters, improved wildlive habitat, to understanding the numbers of folks using canoes. The jist is that without the registration, canoeists didn't have any "voice" in the DNR planning/activities because they were unknown.

    My complaint isn't with registration, it's with registering 6-10 canoes, some of which haven't seen water sense the last registration. I'd like to not register them and be able to still use them on occasion for specail events.

    Oh, I got side tracked, appearently the "push" to register craft is driven by a federal law and it mainly is for motorized and large craft, but (at least here) the DNR is worried that there is a effort ongoing to change it to cover everything, including canoes and other non-motorized craft. Don't know if this is for real, just that the DNR guy was worried and thought it was coming.

  6. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Sorry Dan, I didn't duck your question. I don't know what the details of the current registration requirements are for motorized craft in Maine.

    Yah, I share your worries about the decals and the fleet of canoes. I would rather see the money go to better resources than to increasing the ranks of the Camoflaged Wardens that sneak up and scare the bejeezus out us law abiding citizens in the woods every year. Sorry Pet Peeve inserted.

    Also part of me thinks that paddle craft should be cut a big break and encouraged because they are non-polluting.
  7. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Paddle-craft also don't polute or erode shorelines, or make noise, with the exception of the occasional drunk expounding expletives on the over-crowded Rifle River. They generally don't use the marinas. Here in Michigan we had a law slipped in before we knew it was coming. One of the legislators had a son who had a sail board. They got exempt. Anyway, we protested. we paddled the Grand River in Lansing and we portaged to the steps of the Capital Building. We got one of the legislators to introduce a bill that made all canoes and kayaks exempt. We lobbied. It passed. that was the year Verlen and Valerie returned from the two Continent Canoe Expedition. We got to see the first presentation they gave\ at Wharton Center.

    If you organize and talk good common sense to your legislator you may succeed in keeping canoes number-free and unregistered.
    That's my story.
  8. mark wismer

    mark wismer WCHA Member

    I'm suprised NJ hasn't added this one to the revenue raising kitty too! Anything under 18 feet w/ out any sort of mechanical propulsion is exempt. Adding an electric troling motor to any craft moves it up to the displayed hull number W anual renewal sticker classification.

    Across the Delaware there is now a $10.00 sticker needed to canoe state owned lakes, etc. :mad:

    It's only a matter of time before we all need to lobby.
  9. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Details of proposed bill..

    Go to and search on 'kayak' to bring up the section of the bill in question. Here is the text from the bill:

    Sec. III-40. 12 MRSA §13056-A is enacted to read:

    §13056-A. Nonmotorized watercraft conservation sticker

    1. Sticker required; fees. Except motorboats subject to section 13056 or as otherwise provided in this section, a person may not place or operate a sailboat, rowboat, canoe or kayak on the inland waters or territorial waters of the State, unless a conservation sticker issued under this section is affixed to the watercraft. This section does not apply to watercraft used primarily in commercial operations that require licensure under Part 9 or to a rowboat used on marine waters for purposes of travel between a moored vessel and the shore. The conservation sticker is nontransferable and the fee is $10, $1 of which is retained by the issuing agent.

    2. Exception. A person who holds a valid Maine fishing license or combination license issued by the department may receive one conservation sticker without a fee that must be affixed to that person's sailboat, rowboat, canoe or kayak.

    3. Revenues. All fees collected by the commissioner from the sale of the conservation sticker must be distributed in accordance with section 10206, subsection 3.

    4. Penalties. The following penalties apply to violations of this section.

    A. A person who violates subsection 1 commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.

    B. A person who violates subsection 1 after having been adjudicated as having committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits a Class E crime.
  10. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Here in MN almost all craft have to be registered, with only a few exceptions.
    Paddle craft have the option of only displaying the sticker, but as soon as a motor is put on, even an electric trolling motor, then the 3" numbers have to go on too.

    They also don't call it a "conservation" sticker. I don't know for sure but I think the funds are put on the DNR general fund.

    When I asked about not registering all canoes, the DNR guy laughed and said not a chance. We'll be lucky to get antique, pre 1959 canoes exempted.

    BTW, if an out-of-state'r brings in a canoe and puts it on MN water, ie, the BW, it also has to be registered. It can be registered in another state or in MN but it has to be registered someplace.

  11. F Harvey Bowley

    F Harvey Bowley Builder 3rd generation

    Maine registrations

    Here is the counterproposal that was entered by the Fin and Feather club and the Katahdin Area Fisheries committee
    one registration number per person for a set fee (say $50.00) then$5.00 for each additional sticker but use the same registration number on all of your watercraft one milfoil sticker when you get your registration number which you carry in your wallet showing that you have been educated in tthe identification of evasive plants. this way everyone pays the big concern here is that propelled watercraft are financing the bulk of the inland fisheries and other wildlife budgets canoes and kayaks who use the same camping areas and boat launch areas pay only camping fees the states proposal would charge each and every watercraft now take me for instance i have 9 canoes in trout ponds they would have to be registered i have 6 boats (3 Wooden) and 3 square stern canoes (yes one is plastic ) registering and milfoiling them comes to $450.00 see the picture now the canoes in ponds are used once or twice a year same with most of the others if it passes i will register the 9 in ponds and one other which still runs $300.00
  12. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2005
  13. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    And I wonder if this will be expected of out of country folks, like us Canadians "next door"? Geez, where will it end?
  14. mark wismer

    mark wismer WCHA Member

    If I want to visit PA to canoe, I need to buy the $10.00 DER sticker. I don't need anything in NJ but I'd gladly buy a PA sticker if I traveled elsewhere. at least they have reciprocity. When I was young I remember a friend who was fishing in the Delaware w/ his father & brother. The dad started the outboard & was knocked in catching a slight hit from the prop so my friend took the boat to the nearest ramp/beach on the NJ side and after his dad was treated the NJ state troopers gave 'em a bunch of static over having PA fishing licenses & PA boat registratiion and landing in NJ even though both states 'share' the river as a boarder...looks like this has gotten better.
  15. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder


    re: Canadians in MN water, you're exempt.

    the statute reads:

    (2) a watercraft from a country other than the United
    States that has not been within this state for more than 90
    consecutive days, which does not include days that a watercraft
    is laid up at dock over winter or for repairs at a Lake Superior
    port or another port in the state;"

    Of course the question of why would a Canadian want to canoe in MN in the first place is another thing, what with all the fine water Canada has. :)

  16. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The following message went out to all of my elected representatives in Maine today. I would encourage all Maine residents to send a similar note to their representatives. You can find out the names and electronic mail addresses by town at if you don't know them already. There is still time to defeat this bill.


    I am strongly opposed to the "§13056-A. Nonmotorized watercraft conservation sticker" tax. Canoeing and kayaking are some of the most healthy forms of recreation with minimal impact on the environment. Maine should be encouraging residents and tourists to paddle here and not discouraging this activity with new taxes. I understand that the state needs money but this seems like a very short sighted approach to solving the budget problem.
    My concern is both philosophical and personal. I am a collector of antique canoes and kayaks so this will cost me nearly $200 annually to register my fleet even though I only use each boat a few times a year. I find it particularly disturbing that these stickers must be "affixed to the watercraft" when some of mine have very fancy paint designs that are nearly a hundred years old. Please let me know if there is anything else that I can do to help defeat this new "Nonmotorized watercraft conservation sticker" tax. Thanks,

    Benson Gray
    Falmouth, Maine
  17. Tom Heys

    Tom Heys Paddler/Downwind Sailer

    Benson, I wondered when you would rise to this. I am discouraged at the prospect of registering my canoe in Maine. I believe I will be inclined to make my canoeing/camping plans in states that don't require registrations. Do you know what I, as a non-resident, might do to combat this legislation. I agree with your nearsightedness comment. Regards, Tom
  18. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I would encourage all non-residents to contact the legislators who represent the towns where you stay in Maine. Let them know how this might change your vacation travel and spending plans. You could also contact any Maine residents who would suffer economic loss if you choose to paddle in other states and encourage them to contact their legislators about this. Thanks,

  19. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood


    I think the latest is that Brannigan(D) Portland amended the budget to remove the fees. However, the amended budget doesn't get approval until next week, so letters definitely can't hurt.

    Based on what I've been hearing from a couple of ornery old Mainers, the legislature has been getting an ear full. :D
  20. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Today's Portland Newspaper ( and responses to my message from a State Representative and Senator have all confirmed that this fee has been removed from the current draft the proposed budget. I agree witrh Fitz that letters at this point may make sure that it doesn't get slipped back into the budget at the last minute. It also turns out that my State Representative has two old wooden kayaks that he would like to give away to a good home. I encouraged him to post them in the WCHA classifieds. Let me know if you are interested.


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