boat registration - Coast Guard vessel documentation - yacht registry

Boat Title & History Research

Searching boat liens, encumbrances, mortgages, ownership, and historical backgrounds.
Information and resources for everything from ski-boats to mega-yachts.
Featuring the internet's foremost boat history search database.


Boat title searches, how to verify ownership, and where to find recorded liens, encumbrances, and mortgages.


The nation's premier boat history database with a full compliment of title search resources. Includes eight maritime databases all rolled into one convenient interface. A must-have service for any prospective buyer, marine lender, or maritime professional.


A must-have for anyone involved with the purchase or financing of a documented vessel. Shows all ownership and lien recordings.


Over 500,000 vessel documentation records. Searchable by various criteria with reports and mailing lists.

Documentation Database


An informative article about the various methods in which vessels become titled and how this relates to boat title research.


Great resource for any buyer, marine lender, yacht broker, boat dealer, or attorney. Covers historical, ownership, and lien research.


Procedures and resources for checking on stolen boats. Reveals the scope of online database searches and background checks.


How Coast Guard vessel documentation abstracts are organized with a description of various recordings.


Answers about researching boat titles for everything from ski-boats to mega-yachts. Check ownership, liens, and historical backgrounds.


Overview what boat liens are all about, how they are created, and various methods of foreclosure. Learn about hidden or undisclosed liens.


Explore the various aspects of a boat history reports, their data elements, and the manner in which results are typically portrayed.


Overview of what vessel abstracts are all about, why they are created, and how they relate to boat titling in general.


A gathering of forms related to Coast Guard vessel documentation, boat registrtation, and lien searches. Covers all types of watercraft.

About Boat Title Searches

An overview of boat title, lien, and ownership research.

          It would seem that checking on a boat's title status should be as easy as inspecting the owner's certificate of title, registration, or documentation. However, this is only the starting point in what could become a rather complex investigative effort. The extent of all this will of course depend on the boat's size and operational background. The important thing to remember here is what you see is not always what you get when it comes to representations of title.

          In order to determine what is really going on behind the scenes, you will need an understanding of the various ways in which ownership can be recorded and how liens or encumbrances become attached to a boat's title. Unfortunately, this is where things can start getting complicated.  A particular boat may in its lifetime have been alternately titled or registered with the U.S. Coast guard, any number of states, and perhaps even a foreign government.

          As for liens and encumbrances, this is another area where there is no real consistency. In most cases, a loan security interest, mortgage, or claim of lien will be recorded according to how the a boat is titled and registered. In the realm of maritime law however, there is nothing that says a lien must be recorded at all in order to be effective against the boat. In fact, such liens can follow a boat through subsequent owners even with out their knowledge.

          If all of this is not confounding enough, let's add the lack of accord among boat recording agencies to the mix. There is no common exchange of information or data whatsoever among various state and federal  jurisdictions. Each does things their own way and some are extremely retentive about providing boat, ownership, and lien data to the general public. This creates a great deal of hardship for those in need of such information, especially to any degree of urgency.

          Given these circumstances, it becomes obvious that conducting a thorough boat title search is as much of an art as logical science. This is not to say that a layman can not perform such a task, but it's going to require a lot of homework and endurance. Boat title research is an absolute necessity however, as there is no other way to protect against misrepresentations. Boat title insurance is non-existent in the marine industry.

          Our web site is dedicated in no small part to assisting those in need of boat title research. Whether you intend to do this yourself or require professional assistance, we have all of the resources you are going to need. In addition to a wealth of information, you will find specialized services, search forms, and best of all... our BoatScope database. This offers the internet's largest gathering of boat records and is designed exclusively for boat title research.


Visit our database page for the nation's premier boat history report with a full compliment of title search resources. Includes eight maritime databases all rolled into one convenient interface. A must-have service for any prospective buyer, marine lender, or maritime professional.


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State of Washington  USA
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