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Old 04-04-2009, 14:17   #16
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Go to the USCG National Vessel Documentation Center website, click on "Forms", and download "Bill Of Sale (CG-1340)". They also have an Instructions page which should clear up any questions. Or you could contact them directly, and get it straight from the horse's mouth.

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Old 04-04-2009, 15:39   #17
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Title for buyers...

Having built, brought and sold a few boats a few comments :-
1) The builder should supply a builder's certificate.
2) Each time a boat is sold a receipt should be issued by the seller. When a boat has been brought and sold a few times a series of receipts (or photocopies of receipts) should provide an audit trail back to the builder (and/or dealer). If the sellers name, address and phone number are on the receipt the audit trail is even stronger.
A bill of sale and a receipt may be the same thing.
3) As a boat ages a series of major upgrades and additions are made. I believe that the receipts for these should be kept in a file.
4) To me, the title of a boat lies in these receipts, audit trail and builder's certificate.
5) Registration is not the same as title. A boat can be registered in the name of an agent, or part owner. Registration simply tells the government who is responsible for the boat, not who owns it.

Every time I buy a boat I look for the receipt from the previous owner(s). Initially I was astonished to find there was none in some cases. Now I am just saddened to think of someone owning a boat worth possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars having no receipt saying that they own it.

If I make an offer on a boat where there is no audit trail through previous owners I make it a great deal lower, if I offer at all.

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Old 04-04-2009, 23:03   #18
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For Australians reading this thread. For Australia proof of ownership is in the Australian Registration (not state). So if you are a registered ship you own your boat. If you buy one thats registered the title is secure

Its a great system.

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Old 06-04-2009, 21:01   #19
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When we purchased our used boat, there was a slight fee to transfer the documentation. Check it out online at: USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page
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Old 06-04-2009, 21:35   #20
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My understanding is that a documented boat cannot be titled by a state, on the back of the documentation certificate it states "the certificate on the face of this document is not conclusive evidence of title in any proceeding where ownership is in issue. Complete records are on file at the NVDC"
A documented vessel can be registered by a state. Louisiana only started to register documented boats last year, I believe some state still do not register them. I recently purchased a boat with no mortgage and a mortgage was not required for documentation in my case.

Complete information is available at the National Vessel Documentation Center of the USCG website USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:13   #21
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How do you verify title?

I'm about to wade into the US market, and I don't really understand how the registration works - although this thread is (sort of) helping.

How do you ensure that there isn't a bank somewhere that thinks it owns the boat that you are buying, rather than the guy who is selling it?
What about the simpler case that the boat is stolen?

Is it merely throught he copies of receipts from previous owners? Pretty easy to dummy those up.

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Old 09-04-2009, 08:03   #22
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Louisiana recently passed a law requiring all documented vessels to be state registered also and to display numbers on the bow. They have since found that same is illegal and are in the process of removing the law from the books. Its all about the money!

As a result, we have removed our LA number plates from display and hope to be stopped as I will challenge their authority, just to test the waters.
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Old 19-05-2009, 09:46   #23
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Originally Posted by stevensc View Post
My understanding is that a documented boat cannot be titled by a state
That's what I thought, until I was forced to title in NJ.

The paperwork that came with the document has big bold letters that read, "A documented vessel may not be titled by a state." Really makes it sound official, but the key word is "may not", not "can not" or "must not".

Which was the manager at DMV's answer, when I tried to tell her a documented vessel can't be titled.

I called the documentation office after I got out of DMV, and the guy I talked to was under the impression that it can't be titled either, but after talking to a supervisor, this is the answer I got.

USCG prefers to not document a titled vessel, but they technically have no jurisdiction over the state, and can't control what each individual state does for tax purposes. In NJ anything over 12' must be titled.

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