Buying a Vessel Abstract of Title (A/T)
Table of Contents
Undoubtedly, many boat buyers would be wondering what the abstract of title is about, where to get one, who gives the abstract of title, what are the requirements, the processes involved, and more. Knowing this and knowing what documented vessels are will clarify how titling of boats works in the USA.
What is the abstract of title for a vessel?
Defining What is an Abstract of Title: The Abstract of title is a report having a record of all information submitted to the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for a given boat during registration and owner changes. An Abstract of Title contains boat owner information and recognizes any kind of mortgages or lien recorded with the USCG. It is a report that you can order using the official boat number. We have a sample here and a full article about it here.
The Boat Abstract of Title is the best report to get all information, history, and background of a given vessel that you intend to buy. It is issued by the NVDC and can be purchased by ordering it from Brokers like us.
Why Is the Abstract of Title So Important for Boat Buyers?
The importance of the Abstract of Title to boating and vessel owners cannot be over-emphasized. Before buying a vessel, it is vital that you see a full and updated abstract of title. There are many reasons why you should buy a Vessel Title Abstract: You don’t want to get stuck with someone else’s problems. Your bank or lender will require to see the report before approving the loan to buy a vessel. This is because you want to know that all liens are paid off.
A buyer should compare the Hull ID Number and Official Number on the Abstract report and make sure they match the numbers affixed or marked on the boat. Any discrepancy may be evidence of a simple typo or maybe a fraud or a crime. Having the abstract report will help you do your research and due diligence.
What Is Coast Guard Documentation?
Not all boats will qualify for a vessel title abstract. Only boats that are documented with the USCG can get one. The vessel documentation process offered by the USCG is the most efficient method of registering boat ownership with the government. It is a national form of titling a boat compared to state titling. It allows you to secure boat financing in the US when your boat is documented.
Easy Online Ordering: Use PayPal to buy the vessel abstract below
The Pros and Cons of Vessel Documentation and how it pertains to title abstracts
Coast Guard Documentation has benefits over state registration. It gives your vessel nationality in international waters among other things discussed here.
It will track information that is sent to the USCG but not all information is going to be required so there could be gaps in the vessel’s history. this is why you should get both the Boat Alert History Report by HIN number and the abstract report by USCG number.
Advantages of Vessel Documentation
Below are some of the pros of having your vessel documented with the USCG;
- Ownership– Getting your boat documentation with the United States Coast Guard proves ownership and it enables buyers and lenders to know about any possible liens.
- Protection Against Theft– Documentation of vessels gives you peace of mind. The official number is permanently affixed to the vessel’s hull so it can help trace the boat’s original owner if there is a dispute or theft.
- Offshore Access– It gives you the ability to travel international waters. You can also trade in foreign waters without breaking the law.
- Boat Financing– Another advantage of having your vessel documented is boat financing. Many lenders rely on a Certificate of Documentation (COD) and Title Abstract before giving you any form of financial assistance. For a boat owner to get a Preferred Mortgage, you need vessel documentation.
The above points are some of the pros of vessel documentation.
Disadvantages of Vessel Documentation
Here, there are not too many disadvantages. It should be understood, that it is more beneficial to document your vessel with the United States Cost Guard, instead of titling it with the local state. The primary disadvantage, of documenting your vessel would be fees. There is an initial documentation fee and a renewal fee every 5 years that a boat owner needs to pay.
What is in a Title Abstract Report for a boat?
The following are included in the Abstract of Title for a Vessel:
- Vessel Name changes.
- Owner Names (where legally possible).
- Mortgage and Lien recordings with Bank names.
- Encumbrances or satisfaction of claim of Lien.
- Synopsis of all historical ownership events (bill of sale).
- Price paid on Boat.
- Supplements (mortgage amendments, assignments, assumptions, or subordinations).
- Location of build and make.
Where do you find the official number on a vessel
The hull identification number is a unique 12-digit number assigned to a boat while the USCG official number is 6 or 7 numbers only starting with N.O. You can find the HIN on the Stern while the Official number will be internal to the vessel on a placard. Learn more about vessel marking requirements in our previous article.
What Are the Benefits Of Ordering The Abstract Of Title?
The benefits of ordering an abstract of title are enormous. Below are some benefits you should know;
Verified Data About the Vessel
By ordering an abstract of title, you get to know all the necessary data concerning a given vessel. Here, you get to know the model, tonnage, or dimensions of the boat. You will also find the year and place the vessel was constructed. Current and previous titles with the USCG are included.
Access To Information Regarding the Owners
You can know all owners of the vessel you are planning to purchase. This includes; the current owner’s name, either individual or corporate entity or partnership. Information about previous ownership transfers and bill of sale are also included.
Mortgages and Liens
The only place to know about vessel mortgages and liens is the abstract of the title. Most importantly, you get a certificate of mortgage satisfaction and a certificate of the claim of lien satisfaction attached to the abstract. This confirms mortgages and liens discharge.
Where to order Vessel Abstract of Title?
Companies that provide this service are considered brokers so their prices vary but the report they get you is the same one! Here is a list of NVDC brokers you can get a vessel abstract from:
- https://boat-abstract.com ($50 USD)
- https://vesseltitleservices.com ($80 USD)
- https://maritimedocumentation.us ($75 USD)
- https://unitedstatesvessel.us/abstract-of-title/ ($75 USD)
- https://www.yachtdocsonline.com/abstract-title ($75 USD)
- https://usvesseldocumentation.center/forms/abstract-of-title/ ($75 USD)
How much is an abstract of title for a boat?
As stated above, each broker has their own price. The cost for an abstract of title for a boat is $50 from boat-abstract.com.
That was a main list of brokers but there could be others. For a full comparison, see the Review of the top 4 Boat-Abstract Service Providers. An abstract can be returned by email, fax or regular mail. We suggest working with us because we make the process super simple. you just enter the official number and pay with PayPal. There are no forms or applications to fill out when working with us!
We have the fastest ordering of boat title abstracts.
Below is a chart comparing these websites
How to read an Abstract of Title Report for a boat
There are three steps of interpreting a documented vessel abstract due to the technical information in the abstract of title. You want to pay attention to the complete vessel lien information on each page in chronological order. This way you can validate any outstanding mortgages.
Interpreting an Abstract Mode– You need a highly skilled decipherer to interpret each entry. Most used vessels tend to have more complicated and confusing transactions. This is why you need professional assistance. Although modern abstract versions are less cryptic, you will still encounter a considerable amount of codes and abbreviations
Summarizing the data– You also need a professional to go through each sheet, since an abstract of title is used to ascertain the ownership of a vessel, also if there are liens or mortgages. Here, you need a professional to find out if these liens and mortgages have been canceled, dismissed, or terminated.
Omissions and Errors– During the process of summarizing and analyzing abstracts, omissions and errors are bound to happen. You will need a skilled decipherer to identify and detect these errors with ease.
Order Vessel Abstract of Title
A lot has been said about why you need to order an abstract of title before you buy a used boat. Now that you have a clear understanding of the abstract of title, its time to get one!
We have helped many boat owners to detect various errors and omissions regarding some vessels by looking at the Coast Guard abstract. Don’t be a victim of some deceptive boat sellers. We will get it for you from the national vessel documentation center.