But lets back-up a moment. What if this outboard did not have the registration decal? What if there was no evidence of it being titled in Missouri or in any other state? If the motor had not been titled in Missouri, and showed no evidence of being stolen or titled in another state, then I COULD get a Missouri title to it. All I would have to do is obtain the necessary forms (3 or 4 of them) from the
department of Motor Vehicles, take the motor and the forms to a Missouri State Water Patrol Officer (who will check to see if the motor has been reported stolen or if it shows signs of having been titled
either in Missouri or in another state), and then take the completed forms back to the Department of Motor Vehicles, where I can pay the customary fees and be issued a title. Yes, it is a royal pain. And can be an even bigger pain if, despite the lack of a registration decal, it turns out the motor WAS in fact already titled. Maybe the previous owner forgot to apply the decal, or maybe it fell off. Or better yet, what if it turns out the motor was reported stolen?
Here’s another complication: I mentioned that I live in Missouri near the Illinois state line. If I have a boat stored in a marina or elsewhere in Illinois, then the boat (and outboard motor) are subject to the registration laws of Illinois, where the boat is kept, and NOT Missouri, my state of residence.
If you have no clue where to find out about outboard motor titling /registration requirements in your area, check with a local boat dealer who can certainly direct you to the correct state agency.
Or do an “on-line” search, as I believe that most states have this information on their web sites now. But don’t believe everything the boat dealer tells you; I have had them give me bad information before. Like telling me that, as a resident of Missouri, I can not register a boat in Illinois. If my boat is stored in Illinois, then I HAVE to register it in Illinois, according to Illinois law.
There is a new legal issue on the horizon (closer than the horizon for people in some areas, such as California) and that is the “bans” on the use of 2-cycle engines on some specific lakes and in some specific areas, Lake Tahoe being the most well-known. It is an undebatable fact that older outboard motors are just not “environmentally friendly.” They dump a considerable portion of the fuel they use into the water, and seeping lower units can add some gear oil as well. Certainly there are those among the readers who’s conscience will not allow them to run any outboard other than the most modern fuel-efficient, environmentally-sound engines, and I commend you for putting your principles above the need for economy. But I will not condemn those who must, because of financial considerations, minimize their expenditure on their outboard motor or do without one. My personal position is that I try to compensate in other areas of my life for whatever environmental damage my all-to-infrequent opportunities to go boating inflict on the waters. I only drive small pickup trucks (and have ever since sitting in the “gas lines” of 1979 in a V8-powered S.U.V. back when no one knew what an S.U.V was) and I take advantage of opportunities to go boating in my home-built sail-, paddle-, and oar- powered boats when an appropriate situation presents itself. I also take some pride in utilizing an existing asset that otherwise might end-up in a trash dump.
Whatever your personal position on old outboards, however, keep in mind that leaving an oil sheen on the water is a direct violation of Federal and some state laws that you can be held accountable for, so it would be in your best interest to replace such leaking hoses and fittings and gaskets as necessary to minimize as much as possible any leakage from your engine, for legal reasons if not for moral ones.
Minimizing fuel leaks will also serve to minimize your use of gasoline, a prudent move in light of recent fuel price trends.