Cruising BOAT Blog Post


  • At risk vessels include large vessels (too large to trailer) that often stay in the water at a marina year round. (In addition to boats, this could also include floating homes and boathouses.)
  • Near the end of the useful life for these vessels, repair costs or disposal costs are more than the vessels are worth.
  • The financial incentive is to sell the vessel (or give the boat away at no cost) rather than repair or dispose of the vessel.
  • Sometimes, this means the vessel is transferred to a person who does not have the financial means to care for the vessel and/or to moor the vessel in a marina, and the vessel becomes a derelict/ abandoned boat that must be removed at the State’s expense.


What would you recommend we do to make vessel owners take responsibility and properly dispose of their vessels (which will cost them $) vs. of selling their vessels to new owners that do not have the means to care for or legally moor the vessel and cannot pay for the removal of the vessel should it become derelict or abandoned?

What Ideas Do Boaters Have about Registration Fees?

In preparation for the 2015 Legislative Session, the agency held public meetings in May and June of 2014 to share the agency’s current budget with boaters and hear what ideas boaters have about the agency’s existing services.  A significant shortfall is on the horizon and the agency has taken measures over the last several years to leverage funding, streamline operations, and eliminate advertising/marketing and producing print publications.  But more steps are needed.  It’s been 12 years since the agency raised fees.  The costs for contracting for law enforcement services, materials for boat ramps, restrooms and other facility improvements is increasing.  Along with inflation and other economic factors, the Marine Board is looking at reducing programs, eliminating positions and raising fees to registered boat owners.

Here’s what’s being presented to boaters during the statewide public meetings, that better describe our existing budget, boating trends, existing services, and a discussion-started for fees.  Director Brewen explains what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and how YOU get to help determine what get’s presented to the Marine Board…and onward to the Legislature.  No decisions have been made…

Marine Board’s Budget Presentation 

Here are some of the comments (summarized) from boaters who’ve attended the Marine Board’s budget discussions:


Members from the Columbia River Yachting Association (CRYA) in Portland:

  • No concerns expressed about a variable fee option;
  • Interested in seeing a non-motorized fee included


  • This is a two-year fee.  When thinking in terms of a boating season, the cost per year, even with a fee increase is still minimal.


  • The Marine Board needs to include non-motorized boaters for fees since they use the boat ramps and restrooms too.
  • Launch fees -there should be a single card or system put in place so you don’t have to pay a different fee to launch from site to site.
  • Suggested a reduced registration option that allows for boaters to purchase a decal for multiple biennia as an incentive to keeping the registration current.
  • Include propulsion as a fee option.  The horse power should be considered.  Higher HP, higher fee.
  • Consider a boat value comparison -excise tax similar to WA.
  • Flat fee…increase the flat fee by a small amount this time around, then include the non-motorized boaters for the next biennium.

Would you like to share your thoughts/ideas with Marine Board via email vs. the blog?  Try the form below and we’ll make sure your comments are added.

Non-Motorized Listening Sessions

Hello Non-Motorized Boaters!

The first listening session to non-motorized boaters in Portland on June 3rd was filled with great dialog and excelleng boater feedback.  Just what agency staff was hoping for.  Twenty-five people attended as well as Marine Board NMPDXMtgmember, Jen Tonneson.  Three Non-Motorized External Advisory Committee Members were there to talk with folks: Travis Williams, Laura Jackson and Sam Drevo.  We also had Chief  Deputy Gates and Lt. Travis Gullberg from MCSO River Patrol who came to listen in on the discussions.

If you didn’t have a chance to fill out the paper meeting evaluations, no worries!  You can still submit your thoughts through an online survey (link below)…and please share this link with other people you know who couldn’t attend the meeting, but still want to comment!

Non-Motorized Boater Listening Session Survey

Also on this page are documents of the work the external advisory committee did over the last year and a half, and the Strategic Plan that started this process in motion.

Let’s keep the dialog going!  Remember, this is the very beginning of the process, and you’re helping shape what may or may not happen in Oregon for boating access, safety, and education for non-motorized boaters.

Keep it clean, productive, and constructive.  Your voice matters…






The Marine Board -A Different Kind of State Agency

…because of how we’re funded.  The Marine Board does not operate with any general fund dollars.Marine Board expenditures and revenues for the 2013-2015 biennium.

The Marine Board is funded entirely by user fees, federal grants and fuel
tax dollars.  The Marine Board does not receive state or federal general fund dollars.
Also, the agency has not raised titling and registration fees since 2003. 

Boat Registration Facts

All motorboats and sailboats greater than 12 feet that are in use (in the water) must be currently registered.  Registration is issued on a two-year calendar basis, with all decals expiring Dec. 31 of the year indicated.  There is no retroactive payment for years the boat was not registered and no late fee for registration.

Registration is $3 per foot based on center length of vessel, bow to stern, rounded up to the nearest foot. There is also a $5 surcharge for the aquatic invasive species fee. For example, the registration fee for a 17’6″ boat is:     18’x $3 = $54 + $5 AIS = $59

Registration Fees                                            Floating Home and Boathouses

Oregon Title –transfer, new boats or out-of-state $30 Initial or replacement Certificate of Title and Identifying Plate $20
Lost Title replacement without change of ownership $15 Late Title Transfer Penalty $25
Lost Title replacement with change of ownership $30 Replacement Identification Plate $20
Duplicate Certificate of Number (registration card) or dealer $10    
Late Title transfer fee (OR boat titles only) $25    

Agency Sections

Director’s Office  -Administration:

  • Develop / modify Oregon  Administrative Rules to boating related to safety, enforcement, access and recreational environment.
  • Marine Board operating budget and fiscal administration.
  • Reporting to the Marine Board and the Governor’s Office.
  • Provide information via social media, agency website, print publications, partnerships, and public awareness campaigns.
  • Works with local governments to produce safety and information signage at launch sites and videos for the agency’s YouTube channel (

Registration Section:              

  •  Issue biennial certificates of number and titles for approximately 177,000 boats.
  • Register 955 outfitters and guides.
  • License 261 licensed ocean charter boats.
  • Register 2,500 floating homes, houseboats and boat houses.
  • Train and work with approximately 80 bonded agents where boaters can register their boats and receive temporary permits. 

Boating Safety Section:

Law Enforcement Program:

  • Contracts with Oregon State Police and 32 counties for services such as; on-water patrol, marine enforcement, investigations, placement of waterway markers, boating safety education, etc.
  • Provide marine related training for deputies, troopers and their managers.
  • Provide boats and associated equipment in support of county service providers.
  • Service providers conduct safety inspections, enforce boating under the influence law, assist boaters, instruct safety programs in schools, and investigate accidents. 

Education/Information Program:

  • Provides low cost, high quality classroom and Internet education programs for boaters.
  • Certifies volunteer instructors and provide approved course materials.
  • Provides the boating public with free publications (brochures, posters, counter cards).
  • Provides materials and training for school education programs.
  • Participate in statewide boat shows to promote boating opportunities, promote agency programs including: mandatory education, clean boater, clean marina, and aquatic invasive species.  

Environmental Program:

  • Aquatic invasive species prevention permit program
  • Certifies marinas with the “Clean Marina Designation for facilities who adopt best management practices
  • Offers voluntary enrollment into the Clean Boater program –with tips, tools and supplies for boaters so they can become stewards of the environment and examples for all boaters to follow.

Facilities Section:

  • Provide grants for boat ramps, boarding floats, transient tie-ups, parking, restrooms, pump-outs and dump stations and maintenance.
  • Provide grant assistance to cities, counties, park districts and ports.
  • Provide engineering assistance and design services for boating facilities.
  • Provide standard designs and specifications.
  • Provide permits for approved flotation (foam encapsulation) for docks and other floating structures.