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Old 18-06-2008, 15:45   #1
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Clear title

Getting ready to do a purchase contract will probably use a lawyer. Its in Florida. The boat is a documented vessel. How do you find liens on the boat or if there is a clear title. Is there such as title insurance for boats. This a large purchase comparable to a house. If the seller has a broker that I have no contact with, can the broker lien against me after the sale or does he go after his client.

Guess I better get that Lawyer.
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Old 18-06-2008, 15:57   #2
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call jan saxton at saxton documentation,inc 954 764 7602 they do all the research and paperwork good luck with your new boat....jt
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Old 18-06-2008, 17:11   #3
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I've never bought a documented boat second-hand. Is there such thing as "Title Insurance", like you can buy when you purchase a house?
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Old 18-06-2008, 21:07   #4
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Thanks gonna check with Saxon Inc. Then go from there.
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Old 18-06-2008, 21:18   #5
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Most if not all Documentation services will perform a title search, actually I believe the USCG documentation office will not release or transfer documentation until liens are cleared.
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Old 18-06-2008, 21:28   #6
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I'm sure this is not as scary as it seems, but i believe the transfer would begin after you paid for the boat. Does anyone know about a USCG bill of sale. Maybe escrow is involved.
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Old 18-06-2008, 21:36   #7
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I just completed my boat purchase in Tortola, BVI

I decided to document and register my Cheoy Lee offshore 41 Richards under my BVI corporation and of course under British Flag.

Captain Alan Stowel from AYS Inc., recommended my Jan Saxton in Fort Lauderdale, she is one of the top yacth documentation specialists in Florida, very affordable and extremely professional. The duo AYS Inc - Saxton Inc will work beautifully to anybody looking for a great boat and well documented.

Please pvt me if you want me to give you her email, you can also fill the contact form at my boat's site and I will respond promptly.

Soft Air - Contact

Best

JC
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Old 18-06-2008, 23:12   #8
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Research the US Coast Guard web site. They provide all the information you need to document your vessel. When we purchased our boat last year, my wife researched the site and did most of the work. Basically it involved using a Coast Guard Bill of Sale Form, filing it and paying certain fees to the Coast Guard. I have heard of people paying as much as $600 to get documented. That is not necessary, you can do it yourself.

If the boat you are purchasing is presently documented, you can also get a history/title search from the coast guard. If I remember correctly it costs about $35 and service is quite quick. Our broker paid that for us. You can research that on the CG web page as well. That should show if the title is clear.

All that said, we did have one problem with ours. We documented ours in the name of a revocable trust and although we listed the name of the trust as owner, we did not include our names as trustees. The coast guard sent it back and wanted a new bill of sale filled out with our names added as trustees. Unfortunately, the former owner was a jerk. Even though we prepared the new bill of sale and enclosed a small check to cover notary fees and etc. he would not sign the form. After several attempts by the broker to get him to cooporate, we contacted the Coast Guard and sent them a copy of our trust documents. With that, they accepted our application and completed the process for us.
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Old 19-06-2008, 14:07   #9
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As usual all good info! Thanks for that.
So its my understanding, if there was a lien on a documented boat the USCG knows.
Anyone have a definition of abstract title and how it applys to a boat?

so here we go
We do a purchasers agreement.
Check for liens.
Get satisfactory survey.
Seatrial and delivery to our satisfaction. these are contingencies in purchasers agreement.
Do a USCG bill of sale since this is a federally docuemented boat.
Hand over the money and take ownership.
What wrong with that?
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Old 19-06-2008, 14:23   #10
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What wrong with that?
Not much. Get the title history from the USCG. An abstract of title shows the history of who owned the boat when. It also shows liens applied and cleared. This is in my opinion better than title insurance since it proves the history of the boat. One thing about the USCG they do a serious job of it and if they give you title you can be sure it's yours unless you were to be fraudulent in the application.

The bill of sale warrants clear title. Should the title not be clear between the time you get the history and the time you close the seller is in default. For title the USCG is the king. Only they can encumber the title or transfer it. It is however easy for some marina or mechanic to attach a lien to the title but if it's not registered with the USCG it's not a real lien.

If you fill out the USCG bill of sale you need to include the original document papers from the current owner. Make to original copies of the bill of sale both notarized. I emphasize original. The USCG will gladly take ONLY originals thank you very much. Copies you make are cute but mean almost nothing. You also fill out a transfer form and on that you can rename the boat and change the port if you desire. It's best not to mail both the bill of sale and the original in the same envelope. If that gets lost you are pretty much into a long process. It's common to send them in different envelopes. The broker can help handle the details and advice. If the broker does not know how then call the USCG and they will help you too.

There are places that will do all this for you but it's a rip off. If you get the forms from the USCG web site you can easily do it yourself. If you have a question you call the center in WV and they are pretty nice on the phone and helpful.
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Old 19-06-2008, 14:42   #11
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The reason "Sparty" brought up is good enough for me to have a service do the work for you..
In our case, Marine Documentation Services in Washington State handled the paperwork and ALL paperwork was completed BEFORE the seller was paid in full.
This ensures that everything is done right, all the "T"s are crossed and the "I"s are dotted...
If I was dealing with a couple thousand, I might not worry, but I had sent them a certified check for 100K. I want my money represented by those that know what there doing and not me just guessing that I'm doing it right.
The total bill from the service was less than 500 dollars... pretty cheep insurance in my books..........
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Old 19-06-2008, 16:39   #12
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I think Pblis covered it pretty good. As for the "problem" I mentioned in my previous post, given all that, I would still do it myself. Wasn't that much trouble to save $500.
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Old 20-06-2008, 10:15   #13
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I bought a used documented boat through a broker a few years back. The boat had been run aground on its first trip in the entrance to Government Cut in Miami. A salvage claim was palced on the boat by the towing service that pulled the boat off. At my closing that claim was still active BUT there was no waver from the insurance company assuming liability for tha claim. This was dispite all the usual searches and paper work done prior to the closing. Lucky for me, I knew about the salvage claim 0r I would have bought a boat with a $500,000 claim pending. 24 hours later we completed the closing after the insurance company produced the paperwork needed to assure me and the lender.
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Old 14-08-2008, 22:13   #14
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I realize this is slightly off topic, but what if the boat is not documented with the coast guard, but is only registered with the state. Is it as easy to get the title/lien history?
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Old 14-08-2008, 22:20   #15
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I realize this is slightly off topic, but what if the boat is not documented with the coast guard, but is only registered with the state. Is it as easy to get the title/lien history?
Yes the state is much easier and faster than the CG.

I bought a documented boat that was no longer documented. The previous owner had not renewed it. I had it redocumented with CG and it cost me $89. Don't pay for other to do your documentation, do it your self and save.
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