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Old 11-01-2018, 00:51   #1
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Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

One of the boats I am considering buying is lying and registered in Spain. Is it possible to check that there are no liens/debts/etc on it, that we don't end up like this poor folks?
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Old 11-01-2018, 15:01   #2
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pirate Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

A Spanish lawyer.. but even that's no sure thing as many Brit house buyers have found to their cost.. when they discovered one of the part owners/family had been 'Missed' on the sale contract.
The Spanish tend to divide ownership up and if just 4 shares of the 64 have not been signed off by the holder your screwed.
Boats/ships have 64 shares.. at least in UK Maritime Law they do.
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Old 11-01-2018, 17:11   #3
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

I'll definitely hire someone to help with the transaction, my Spanish is 0, and the seller seems struggling with English

If anyone has suggestions names/agencies for Galicia, don't hold it back

The good thing is as I've read, the Spanish registry is an ordinary Part 1 reg, not an SSR.
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Old 11-01-2018, 17:55   #4
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

Full British registry tells you some things but not others...

Mine does state that I own 64 of the 64 shares....

It also states...

'Important Information

A Certificate of Registry is not proof of ownership

Details of registered mortgages are not shown'

The old form of registration document that was around until about 1990ish did , I think, show mortgage info plus all previous owners etc.

The current 'single A4 sheet' document only lasts for 5 years and doesn't.
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Old 11-01-2018, 22:50   #5
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

A Spanish reg would miss a second owner/let mortgages hidden? I am not interested in "details", if I see any sign of a mortgage I walk away.
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Old 11-01-2018, 23:12   #6
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

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A Spanish reg would miss a second owner/let mortgages hidden? I am not interested in "details", if I see any sign of a mortgage I walk away.
I think when the UK form says "Details of registered mortgages are not shown'' it simply means that it gives you ZERO info about any mortgages...

I honestly don't know how you do a title search on a yacht.... in any country.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:04   #7
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

Listen my friend, I am a native spanish speaker and I still would be very weary of buying a spanish flagged vessel. Sure, people do it all the time I am sure but the level of bureaucracy is ridiculous. Not only in terms of protecting the transaction (i.e. no liens etc as others have already mentioned) . You really need someone to navigate that for you. The way it was explained to me by the selling broker of a yacht I was considering (not under spanish flag) was, that the whole process of "dar de baja al barco" i.e. deregister the vessel can take really long.. hey don't quote me on this but this guy said even years. Now the spanish can be prone to exaggerating, it is embedded in our culture but you know.. even if it takes months, during this time you are not supposed to even move the boat!! (now people just say heck with it and sail around etc). He said at least in theory, during this time you need a special permit if you will be moving the yacht from one port to another etc. Ridiculous. Anyhow.. just reporting how it was explained to me, I never did buy a boat in Spain.

Like I said.. everything I have always heard is .. stay away from anything spanish flagged. There is a reason why the spanish register their boats in belgium etc.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:44   #8
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

Tough decision, I am reluctant myself, mostly because of the bureaucracy. I have significantly more expensive (10-15%) offers from UK & Ireland on boats in worse condition, have to do the maths. True, it's a lot easier to predict the cost of a new engine than an unknown bag of bureaucracy...
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Old 14-01-2018, 17:30   #9
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

As I am doing my homework I realized the UK with 90% of the boats ssr "registered" isn't an easy place to establish clear title either. Are there means to keep a lid on this? There are lawyers offering "HPI tests" for boats, no idea how much that is worth.
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Old 15-01-2018, 00:09   #10
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

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Originally Posted by GTom View Post
As I am doing my homework I realized the UK with 90% of the boats ssr "registered" isn't an easy place to establish clear title either. Are there means to keep a lid on this? There are lawyers offering "HPI tests" for boats, no idea how much that is worth.
Oh dear God, reading that thread gave me a stomach ache .. given that I am considering a purchase direct from owner etc.... Using a broker is not going to add much protection either. "HPI checks" whatever those are, are useless...

Makes one reconsider a used boat purchase... do I have to save until I can afford a new boat sometime in 2050? :-/
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Old 15-01-2018, 01:28   #11
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

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Oh dear God, reading that thread gave me a stomach ache .. given that I am considering a purchase direct from owner etc.... Using a broker is not going to add much protection either. "HPI checks" whatever those are, are useless...

Makes one reconsider a used boat purchase... do I have to save until I can afford a new boat sometime in 2050? :-/
That was one case, probably handled not professionally. As I comprehend the situation, even buying a boat under SSR, you have some protection if:

- Hire a specialist for an HPI-check
- The previous owner, declares in the bill of sale that the boat is free of any mortgages/dues/etc. Question here: do sleeping claims expire in the UK, if yes, after how many years? Because if the boat exchanged owners within this timeframe, a declaration from the previous owner becomes necessary
- Buy from established owners, who has more to loose on a fraud charge (=lying you in their declaration) than the value of the boat. (e.g from people upgrading to larger boats)

Sounds crazy, it would be a lot more simple if legal charges/in rem actions were only allowed/recognized if they were recorded on a public (Part 1) registry... 1-3 lines in the law, no costs to the taxpayer.
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Old 15-01-2018, 03:35   #12
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

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Originally Posted by GTom View Post
That was one case, probably handled not professionally. As I comprehend the situation, even buying a boat under SSR, you have some protection if:

- Hire a specialist for an HPI-check
- The previous owner, declares in the bill of sale that the boat is free of any mortgages/dues/etc. Question here: do sleeping claims expire in the UK, if yes, after how many years? Because if the boat exchanged owners within this timeframe, a declaration from the previous owner becomes necessary
- Buy from established owners, who has more to loose on a fraud charge (=lying you in their declaration) than the value of the boat. (e.g from people upgrading to larger boats)

Sounds crazy, it would be a lot more simple if legal charges/in rem actions were only allowed/recognized if they were recorded on a public (Part 1) registry... 1-3 lines in the law, no costs to the taxpayer.
This boatshed purchase service might just be what I need!.. thanks GTom!!

Sounds reasonably priced and if they are established I think it is worth a good look. Are they well known in the UK?
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Old 15-01-2018, 03:45   #13
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pirate Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

Go through the sellers bank.. get the manger to witness and stamp the bill of sale in the presence of both seller and buyer.. transaction completed in his office.
If anyone is going to be aware of mortgages he is.. also he has nothing to gain financially and a reputation/job to lose.
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Old 15-01-2018, 04:15   #14
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Re: Clear title on a Spanish flagged boat?

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Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
This boatshed purchase service might just be what I need!.. thanks GTom!!

Sounds reasonably priced and if they are established I think it is worth a good look. Are they well known in the UK?
720£ is not quite cheap, but certainly better than a 50k£ fraud. I don't know if it comes with some sort of liability from their site. As I read from the Shizelle case, the brokered deal at least reduced the liability of the buyer to one third.

Boatman: good idea, however, the seller may have different bank accounts.
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