What Should You Do if You Want to Claim an Abandoned US Vessel?

Have you been interested in getting a vessel that’s been abandoned in your area? As you might imagine, this can be a delicate matter. In today’s economy, unfortunately, many vessels have been abandoned and simply left in marinas. When vessel owners can’t pay the fees, taxes, and everything else, they may just leave their vessels there. Different states have different laws, but there are some things to keep in mind if you’re interested in claiming an abandoned US vessel

Abandoned US Vessel Laws in General 

The laws change from state to state in terms of claiming any abandoned or derelict vessel. For the most part, a majority of states have laws that favor the owner of the facilities where the vessel has been abandoned. For example, if a vessel were left at a marina, then the owner of the marina is allowed to attach a lien to the boat. This lien would be for an unpaid fee. In some states, the owner of the facility is the one who can make a claim for the title and then sell the abandoned vessel. 

US Vessel

An Analogy 

For a better understanding of how this works, it may be beneficial to think of abandoned housing storage units. When someone can’t pay for their storage space, then the contents inside the storage space are claimed by the owners of the storage space. Then, they have the right to sell those when the renters don’t pay their bills. Again, as with so many similar situations, the laws may differ from state to state. If nothing else, this shows how important it is to keep up with your vessel’s fees. 

Examples from Florida 

Florida, as some of you may know, tends to rank in the top three in terms of boat registrations. If a vessel is abandoned in a marina in Florida, then the marina shall have “a possessory lien upon any vessel for storage fees, dockage fees, repairs, improvements or other work-related storage charges,” as well as “a possessory lien upon any vessel in a wrecked, junked, or substantially dismantled condition which has been left abandoned at a marina.” If you’re looking to purchase one of these vessels, bear in mind that “the marina shall first publish an advertisement of the sale or other disposition once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the marina is located.”

A Better Way to Handle Vessel Documentation 

Whether you find the vessel of your dreams through one of those sales, or if you’ve found it through some other method, then we can help you to register it. Should it measure more than five net tons in volume and you’re an American citizen, you can register it through our site. Here, you can also renew that documentation, apply for a Preferred Ship’s Mortgage, and anything else you could need vessel documentation for. You can see all that we offer right here.