Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-05-2022, 07:12   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 11
USCG Transfer: $700?

Hi folks!
We're about to buy our first boat. Survey is complete and the sellers are fixing EVERYTHING so we're really happy. The closing broker asked if we are using a Documentation Company to transfer the USCG documentation. That seems pretty steep.
Is this normal? Do I have other options?
Many thanks
Matt
OTWMedia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2022, 07:27   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NYC
Boat: Adams 45
Posts: 161
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

NOT normal. Go directly to the USCG documentation center where you can do it yourself. Not much work, and avoids the outrageous 3rd-party service fees. If the previous owner has a filed lien, you'll need that cleared before you can document in your name. Paperwork is the same whether you use a 3rd party or not.
pjShap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2022, 08:34   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 11
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

Thanks so much for the quick response!
I said I'd do it myself and they came back with "No problem! Here are the links!"
"Exit through the gift shop" scenario I guess.
All the best and thanks!
OTWMedia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2022, 14:20   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Bay Area, CA
Boat: Nor'West 33
Posts: 28
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

Did it myself recently, not bad at all and I hate paperwork!

Services are a scam, as said make sure to go to the official CG website and do it yourself.
__________________
1970 Columbia 28 (sold); 1978 Nor’West 33 "Prancing Cloud"
shrspeedblade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2022, 16:28   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 128
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

You can easily transfer the documentation yourself. It's easy and cheap. I have done it when transferring a boat of know provenance between people known to each other. But...

What you are REALLY paying a good documentation agent for is to find those awful things that ALMOST never happen. For example, you buy a boat that has a mechanic's lien against it. If you transfer the title yourself without a full lien search, you would never know. Now YOU own that debt. Good luck in getting it removed by the court since you have no idea about the circumstances involved.

Just an example, but a complete title search can save you a world of hurt. I know of at least one case where the agent found the boat had been illegally imported, no duty paid, and without proper environmental approvals for the engine. Killed a deal that could have eventually gone very badly for the new owner.

How about it? You feeling lucky?

An Edit to clear up confusion: Several posters are confusing the work that a documentation agent does with the assorted scammers who overcharge dramatically for renewal of a USCG document. Thay are not the same thing AT ALL.
ItDepends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2022, 18:00   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southport CT
Boat: Sabre 402
Posts: 2,201
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

Definitely DIY. It can take a while, since the USCG National Vessel Documentation Center has quite a backlog. Keep copies of everything you send them and present them if anyone asks for your paperwork. Officials can call the NVDC if they need to verify anything. Transfer cost us $75 iirc.
psk125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2022, 05:26   #7
Registered User
 
CaptTom's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Boat: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Posts: 2,463
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

Interesting comment about the title search. I've never heard of anyone doing that, but then again, I don't know anyone trading in multi-million-dollar yachts.

Is this something one could do themselves? I think for $700 I'd be willing to learn. I know for houses it used to be somewhat of a cottage industry, individuals going to the county seat to do the title research, for a fee. I imagine it's all on line now. Or is there some guild of title searchers one needs to join in order to access this lien information?
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2022, 06:06   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 128
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Interesting comment about the title search. I've never heard of anyone doing that, but then again, I don't know anyone trading in multi-million-dollar yachts.

Is this something one could do themselves? I think for $700 I'd be willing to learn. I know for houses it used to be somewhat of a cottage industry, individuals going to the county seat to do the title research, for a fee. I imagine it's all on line now. Or is there some guild of title searchers one needs to join in order to access this lien information?
CaptTom,

Unlike buying a house, as far as I know, there is no such thing as "title insurance" for a boat, at least short of a superyacht. It's all on you to do your due diligence to be sure that the seller has clear title and there are no claims outstanding.

My understanding is that is is almost impossible to do yourself in any kind of timely manner. You absolutely can submit a request for title search to the USCG on paper or by email. Find the right form on-line and it is cheap and easy, but it takes FOREVER (surprise!). Longer than a pending sale can stay pending.

To get these done in the time frame of a pending sale you need somebody with the secret handshake--as far as I know. All this is the way things are done in the USA, in the EU it is different, as it likely is in the UK, the Caribbean, etc, etc,

If I was spending $5k on a boat, a documentation agent would be silly. For $250K? I would (and did!) have a professional review the title. Now... $700 seems a bit steep. Last I looked the going rate in South Florida for a simple transaction is about half that. But the price depends on local competition, and there are a LOT of hungry documentation agents in the MIA-FLL area.

Nobody says you HAVE to use the agent recommended by your broker, although he might be unhappy if he doesn't get his kickback....maybe that where part of the $700 is going?
ItDepends is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2022, 06:56   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 198
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

A title search on a US-documented vessel looking for liens is a fruitless endeavor. Unlike mechanic's liens and real estate liens on land, a maritime lien does not need to be recorded anywhere in order to be perfected. If the boat is documented it may be recorded with the NVDC if the lienholder so desires. Otherwise, the lien simply exists and the only evidence may be in the files of the lienholder. They are known as "secret liens" in the industry, are perfectly enforceable, and can be completely unknown to anyone but the lienholder. To enforce the lien the lienholder files against the vessel in federal court, and the first notice the vessel owner may get is the marshals showing up to arrest the boat.

For liens recorded with the USCG there is no secret handshake, and no extra-speedy service, you go online, submit a request for an Abstract of Title and pay your $25, and select e-mail delivery. It will come shortly, the current processing time for AoTs is 4 days or so.

The only saving grace in all of this is that filing in federal court is expensive and time consuming, so doesn't hold a lot of value for a small lien.

https://www.thelog.com/news-departme...n-on-a-vessel/

https://www.marlinmag.com/maritime-liens/
PippaB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2022, 13:19   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,986
Re: USCG Transfer: $700?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PippaB View Post
A title search on a US-documented vessel looking for liens is a fruitless endeavor. Unlike mechanic's liens and real estate liens on land, a maritime lien does not need to be recorded anywhere in order to be perfected. If the boat is documented it may be recorded with the NVDC if the lienholder so desires. Otherwise, the lien simply exists and the only evidence may be in the files of the lienholder. They are known as "secret liens" in the industry, are perfectly enforceable, and can be completely unknown to anyone but the lienholder. To enforce the lien the lienholder files against the vessel in federal court, and the first notice the vessel owner may get is the marshals showing up to arrest the boat.

For liens recorded with the USCG there is no secret handshake, and no extra-speedy service, you go online, submit a request for an Abstract of Title and pay your $25, and select e-mail delivery. It will come shortly, the current processing time for AoTs is 4 days or so.

The only saving grace in all of this is that filing in federal court is expensive and time consuming, so doesn't hold a lot of value for a small lien.

https://www.thelog.com/news-departme...n-on-a-vessel/

https://www.marlinmag.com/maritime-liens/
Title search on a US documented vessel is a USEFUL endeavor because any recorded lien will need to be released before documentation can be transferred by sale of the boat. Prioritization of liens and securitized asset loans are a primary purpose of Federal documentation processes and of State Titling.

If the vessel is not documented, but is registered with a titling State then obtaining a title search of the State's records is appropriate. Ditto for foreign flag registries.

But indeed non-recorded maritime liens are a risk that one assumes and why free and clear title representations and warrant clauses are required of the seller to the buyer in properly executed sales transactions.

Knowing what is known is very beneficial and thus worth obtaining.

Finding out about a lien or imperfection in title after the sale has occurred can become a buyer's nightmare come true, with great remorse and financial hazard.
Montanan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crew Available: Two men available to transfer, assist in transfer, your vessel. August West Crew Archives 0 30-05-2012 08:23

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:08.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.