Using a Coast Guard Abstract of Title Before Buying a Ship

You spotted that pleasure boat or luxury vessel as you drove by the marina and it immediately caught your eye. It’s beautiful and it has everything you ever wanted in a ship. And to top it off, it had a “For Sale” posted on it. You may have called the phone number or looked up the sale description online to get more information. Now you are even more intrigued and want to buy the boat. It seems to be in your price range, but before you get too far ahead of yourself with buying, you will want to do some homework first to make sure it is the best option for you. Using a Coast Guard abstract of title before buying a ship makes sense and can help you avoid potential problems.

Information on an Abstract

A Coast Guard abstract contains some primary and secondary information about a vessel that can be useful to you through the purchase and subsequent ownership. The abstract will not only tell you about the dates of documentation of the vessel, but it will also tell you where and when it was first documented and who was the manufacturer. It will give you the Hull Identification Number and the official name of the vessel. You can then compare this information to what you know about the boat to make sure it all matches. Any abnormalities could raise a red flag to you and may indicate that the boat was maybe stolen or acquired by other means. The secondary information, such as the bill of sale, mortgage history, lien notices, and lien claims, can let you know if there are any impending liens that can cause problems for a potential sale.

Caveats about an Abstract

You may think that a Coast Guard abstract of title may be all you need to help you make a decision, but it is essential for you to know about abstracts before you make a final call about a purchase. There can be gaps in abstracts if previous owners did not renew or get proper documentation, so there may be times where there is no information. Also, not all liens may be listed on an abstract since there is no legal requirement to notify the Coast Guard about a lien. The abstract will be very useful to you, but you will also need to perform a further investigation before you buy.

Acquiring an Abstract

If you want to request a Coast Guard abstract of title, the easiest way for you to do so is to come to us at the Maritime Documentation Center. You can make your request online using our portal found on our website. The application is easy to understand and fill out, and we will act on your requests quickly so that we can get you the information you want. If you have any questions regarding an abstract or how to get one, reach out to us by calling (800) 535-8570, and a member of our team will be happy to answer your questions and assist you.