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Shedding some light on the maritime title search process

I am buying a boat through a yacht broker and the sea trial and survey will be completed next week. In the interim I asked my broker and the documentation company to start the title search, but I quickly learned that the title search process for a yacht is a lot different than it is for a house. For example, the documentation service has ordered an Abstract of Title from the Coast Guard, but they advised that they cannot confirm that the boat has a clear title even after reviewing the Abstract. Can you shed some light on the maritime title search process and the role of a vessel documentation service?


Shipyard liability release

My boat is listed for sale through a California broker and I recently accepted an offer from a prospective buyer.  The offer is contingent on a s ...

Using a California broker

I am interested in purchasing a yacht through a California broker. This is my first California purchase but I have bought several boats over the years ...

Purchasing a bank repo boat

I am in the process of buying a 40 foot motor yacht that was a bank repo. The broker disclosed that the previous owner was a couple years behind on hi ...

How to start a charter business

We are interested in starting a charter business with the purchase of a 50 foot sportfishing yacht that is currently located and registered in Mexico. ...

Should I trust my boss?

I work as a chef aboard large motor yachts, mostly in the Caribbean. I have a job lined up for three months aboard an American flagged yacht, but I am ...

The seller defaulted, now what?

I made an offer to buy a boat several months ago but we had to back out of the deal before closing. My mortgage broker conducted a title search and de ...

How do I pursue a lawsuit vs. a boat mechanic?

My boat sank a couple of months ago due to the negligence of boat mechanic and I’m looking for advice on how to recover at least a part of my lo ...

How to repossess a boat

I have read a couple of your articles in recent issues of The Log about the private  repossession and sale of boats, where the procedur ...

When friendly arrangements turn sour

 I bought a 41 foot power boat two years ago with the help of a friend who loaned me the money for 80 percent of the purchase price. He funded th ...

What are my legal obligations if my boat runs aground?

 I own a deep draft racing sailboat and several weeks ago the boat ran aground at high speed in shallow water near a harbor entrance. The force o ...

How to proceed with a lien sale

I bought a 40 foot motor yacht at a lien sale at a marina in Northern California. The lien sale company provided all the paperwork, including a copy o ...

Do I need workers compensation insurance?

I own a construction company that is performing seismic upgrades and electrical work on a fuel dock at a marina in the Bay area. I have workers compe ...

Hire Reputable Boat Surveyors

I was horrified to learn last month that my boat had sunk while it was tied up in its slip. Now I am having a dispute with my insurance company becaus ...

Where Do I Begin to Prepare for the Purchase of My First Boat?

I am considering the purchase of an extremely well maintained late-model motoryacht that is Coast Guard documented. This is my first boat purchase, so ...

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