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Old 02-03-2007
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History of a Boat

I read somewhere (I think it was Latitude 38) about a couple of companies that provide the complete history of a boat. Of course, I didn't write the information down!

The article dealt with a comparison of these two companies and how much more information one company gave over the other.

Does anyone know anything about this?
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Old 02-03-2007
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Sounds like what the CARFAX people claim to do for cars.

I hope the boating companies do better than CARFAX though. CARFAX told me there had been a duplicate title issued for my car (which neither me nor my state DMV know anything about) and then refused to comment or reply when I questioned the error.
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Old 02-04-2007
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I would take their ability to really provide a solid history of a boat with a large grain of salt. Boats are nowhere near as well documented, in terms of repairs, accidents, etc as are cars, and their ability to do so on cars currently is alarmingly poor.
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Old 02-04-2007
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You can check the ownership and liens recorded against a documented vessel with the CG but it's just the names of owners. There is no reliable way for anyone to track maintenance, accidents, repairs etc for a boat that I'm aware of.
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There's some chance that any accident over a threshold dollar value would be recorded with state DMV's, since boats are usually treated as motor vehicles and many states have laws requiring accident reports at a certain dollar value. Similarly, if a "salvage title" was ever issued, that would be on record. Could be a lot of work for a thin paper trail without any real details...but I suppose if some company was buying national DMV and insurance claim records and compiling them, it might work. Might not accomplish anything that a good survey wouldn't, either.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryLinda
I read somewhere (I think it was Latitude 38) about a couple of companies that provide the complete history of a boat. Of course, I didn't write the information down!
Just in case one of them was BoatHistoryReport.com, first read the BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau's report on them at http://my.boatus.com/consumer/historyhollow.asp

As others have said, very little information is collected or available on boats.

The insurance industry has their Flood Vehicle Database at https://www.nicb.org/cps/rde/xchg/SI.../hs.xsl/79.htm where you can check if a boat was victim of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, but apparently no information is available if it was damaged anywhere else.

I've used a book called "Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats" by Henry C. Mustin. If you're looking at boats, it's worthwhile to learn what to look for so you can reject boats that aren't worth the price of a professional survey.

Good luck!

Tim
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Old 02-04-2007
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I would not expect much from any web sites, this is the first I've seen of such, although i've used CARFAX for a few years. I don't think the boat sites would have much of use.

One suggestions to research a boat, is get the name(s) of prior owner(s) off the documentation, and try calling them to chat about their experience with the boat. Depending on the flavor of their experience with the current seller, there's a chance that they will give you some useful history of the boat. If nothing else, you can verify any info/history given by the seller.

Then again, you might tell the board what it is that you have your eye, and you'll at least get generic comments on known pluses/minuese.
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