What you should know about boat title and history searches!
⚫ There is no such thing as boat title insurance in the marine industry. Yacht brokers, documentation companies, and attorneys do not
guarantee titles. There is accordingly no substitute for a title, lien, and history search when it comes to any boat transaction.
⚫ What you see isn't always what you get with boat title certificates. They may not always show full ownership, certain liens, and deficiencies or may have been superseded. Boat title and registration information should always be verified with the issuing agency.
⚫ Boat ownership, liens, and mortgages can be recorded in different ways. It all depends on where the boat is located and whether used for recreational or commercial purposes. Boat liens and claims can in fact exist even without having ever become formalized.
⚫ A particular boat may have been subject to numerous titling and registration jurisdictions during its lifetime. These may include USCG vessel documentation, state registration, and foreign yacht registry. All of which can still impact the most current title's veracity.
⚫ Title branding for boats or reporting requirements for salvage and insurance companies is minimal at best. Although such information is available from within our databases, coverage for all damaged boats is not attainable. A hull inspection should be implemented before closing any boat transaction.
⚫ Errors and omissions are commonplace in boat title recordings. Hull numbers can be easily misread, obscured, or altered. It is important to ensure that the boat's title documents match up exactly with the numbers affixed to the boat itself. Our website also provides a free hull number check service to determine whether the assigned number is formatted correctly.
⚫ Boat ownership data is becoming ever more difficult to obtain due to strict privacy laws in many jurisdictions. It may therefore take some effort and time in checking this out. Don't wait until the last minute to initiate a thorough ownership, title, and lien search.
⚫ When all is said and done, the boat's owner is your only recourse in case of title deficiencies. Of course this doesn't matter if such party becomes insolvent, unavailable, or non-cooperative. You should run a background check on all owners unless you have supreme confidence in their wherewithal to stand behind any representations of title.