boat registration - Coast Guard vessel documentation - yacht registry

Boat Ownership & Equity Transactions

Actions and events which may effect boat ownership equity positions.
Escrows, transfers, financing, liens, and mortgage arrangements.
Information and resources for all types of transactions.


Expose a boat lien at no charge to our readers from all over the world. Ideal for boatyards, marinas, suppliers, and tax agencies.


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.


Expose a stolen boat at no charge to our readers from all over the world. Ideal for police agencies, and insurance companies.


Answers to questions about actions, events, and transactions as they relate to ownership and equity positions.

Boat Transactions


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


Ideal for lenders or sellers who wish to record a security interest on any boat. Includes forms, instructions, examples, and resources.


A detailed summary of what boat escrow closing settlements are all about and alternatives for escrow or closing services.


A complete gathering of forms designed for boat title and marine transactions in everything from ski-boats to mega-yachts.


For buyers and sellers who wish to conduct a transaction directly between themselves. Facilitate trade-ins and seller financing.


An overview what boat liens are all about, how they are created, recording options, and various methods of foreclosure.


Record a claim of lien against any Coast Guard documented vessel. Ideal for suppliers, boat yards, and marinas.


Financing forms for sellers and lenders when dealing with vessels. Ideal for recording and releasing boat loans.


Ownership formation packages for boat buyers and owners. Offered through our legal forms associate.

About Boat Transactions

An overview of boat ownership & equity transactions.

          There are a wide range of circumstances in which transactions, events, or activities can affect ownership and equity positions in a particular boat. These may include purchase arrangements, transfers of interest, security agreements, maritime liens, foreclosures, seizures, abandonments, demolitions, environmental casualties, and legal settlements. In most cases, the underlying condition of an existing title will weigh heavily on how such matters are ultimately settled or resolved.

          Purchase and sale arrangements are the most common transactions in which all or part of the boat's ownership is voluntarily transferred. This can also be said for transfers resulting from gifts, asset restructuring, and legal name changes. Such dealings are often accompanied by marine financing where the owners will grant a security interest for the loan amount. This effectively gives the lender an equity position in the boat until the loan is paid off.

          The creation of maritime liens is another way in which certain actions can give rise to equity changes in a boat. These may come about voluntarily when the owner purchases goods and services or involuntarily in the case of operational liabilities. Here again, the claimant  will acquire an equity position in the boat until a debt is settled. One notable thing about maritime liens is that they need not be recorded in order to remain effective, even through subsequent owners.

         Other types of actions which may affect or encumber a boat's title are tax liens, governmental seizures, foreclosures, theft recoveries, and judgment awards. These conditions can result in either a complete or partial forfeiture of the existing owner's equity. Under most circumstances, such changes are brought about as a result of judicial rulings or by summary execution of state and federal regulations.

          Although changes in ownership, equity positions, and lien claims are generally recorded with the appropriate state or federal agency, this is not always the case. In fact, maritime liens do not have to be recorded at all in order to remain effective. The same applies to instruments of transfer and security agreements which may be none the less valid even though not recorded. The absence of proper recordings may however, affect the rank and priority of those claiming an interest in the  boat.

          Equity positions, liens, encumbrances, and other claims of interest are not always self evident from a boat's certificate of  title, documentation, or registration. A thorough boat title and background search should accordingly be implemented in all but the simplest transactions. A check on the owner's personal background is also recommended to make sure such party has the wherewithal to make good on any representations or guarantees of tile.

          Our website offers a wealth of information, tools, and resources for implementing boat transactions and title searches. This includes a complete array of related services, forms, and our exclusive BoatScope database. Be sure to visit our Service, Forms, and Database pages for additional details, examples, pricing, and ordering information.


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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