When you are buying a boat from a broker or personal owner, you want to do all you can to make sure the transaction goes smoothly and that you have all the information you need regarding the boat so you know you are making a sound purchase. A large vessel is a significant investment for you and for the financial institution that may be assisting with the financing, so having a complete background regarding the vessel is important. You want to know about liens, the bill of sale, and any mortgages taken on the boat, so you have the history and know what to expect. Much of the information you are seeking can be found when you request an abstract of title from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Different Than a Property Title Search
You may be familiar with a title search if you have purchased property or a house, but the title search for boats is a bit different. While the title for a house is generally filed in the state and county of the residence, because of the mobile nature of vessels, there is no central location to find a title. With vessels, the Coast Guard comes into play since they will have a registry listing of any vessel that is documented with the Coast Guard.
Information on the Abstract
The information you find on an abstract of title from the Coast Guard can be helpful to you. You will find a record of all the documents that were submitted to the Coast Guard regarding the boat in question. While the information on the abstract is not definitive since it only lists what has been submitted, it can provide details that you need to know. There will be records of any liens or mortgages submitted so that you are aware that they have been satisfied or if there are any that remain open. Open liens will become your responsibility when you take ownership, so you want to know what to expect.
Requesting an Abstract of Title
You can request an abstract of title directly from the Coast Guard, but the process can be long and confusing to you. You are better off seeking the help of a documentation service like ours at Maritime Documentation Center, so you are sure the request is filed properly and diligently. You can get the process started easily by filling out the forms on our website, and if you have any questions, you can call us at 1-800-535-8570 for assistance. Get Your request in right away so you can be sure that this purchase is the best one for you.