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post #1 of 11 Old 08-21-2013 Thread Starter
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ownership and seizure

Has anyone ever heard of a boat being seized in a foreign country because the man (and registered owner) became incapacitated, and the girlfriend was not allowed to take possession of the boat because she was not the registered owner?

My partner and I are debating how to document ownership on my soon-to-be-purchased Tayana to avoid nightmare scenarios.

Any advice?
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-21-2013
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Re: ownership and seizure

If the boat is USCG registered then surely putting both names on the title would fix the problem?
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-21-2013
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Re: ownership and seizure

Perhaps a Power of Attorney would work, but you'd have to find out whether this will be recognized by the laws in other countries.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-21-2013
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Re: ownership and seizure

If you aren't worried about the headache of removing a name if you two should break up, I'd just go ahead and title the boat in both of your names.

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-21-2013
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Re: ownership and seizure

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Originally Posted by kayak1 View Post
Has anyone ever heard of a boat being seized in a foreign country because the man (and registered owner) became incapacitated, and the girlfriend was not allowed to take possession of the boat because she was not the registered owner?

My partner and I are debating how to document ownership on my soon-to-be-purchased Tayana to avoid nightmare scenarios.

Any advice?
Well the French recognize the existence of a 'registered concubine' who can be a stand in for the owner is some circumstances.

In practice I think it is not a problem providing the person who is standing in for the owner has a letter of authority [ notarized ].
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-21-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: ownership and seizure

Thanks, folks. All good advice. Of course we don't expect to break up, but then couples never do, and certainly nobody ever expects to fight over property ...

It might well make the most sense to just list us both as owners on the CG documentation. I wonder what kind of release it would take to get her name off later, if we chose to.

Any idea what a notarized letter of authorization would look like?

I'm not sure how she would react to status as "concubine," although it does have a certain swashbuckling cachet.

I've consulted three attorneys in Seattle, all of which said they had no specific knowledge of such an issue but recommended an LLC to own the boat, which seems needlessly complicated.

Thanks, again.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-21-2013
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Re: ownership and seizure

I don't know that POAs or notarized letters are recognized outside of the US, but I do know that USCG documentation is. I'm sure the CG documentation site has the info to undo it if that should be necessary.

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-21-2013
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Re: ownership and seizure

Yes, and it has been discussed online. There are plenty of places where the boat will not be allowed to sail without the owner or formal owner's representative, and if something happens to you and the gf just says "don't worry, I'll get the boat home"...she won't be allowed to depart, and it will be seized.

So, two names on the title, or other papers appointing her as the owner's representative and authorized etcetera. Notarized papers from the US are not always recognized overseas, but IIRC you can get a 'legat' to certify them, and that certification is recognized in most of the world.

You might want to contact the authorities in your intended destination sites in order to make sure of exactly what they will or will not accept.

BTW the same thing applies to traveling with children these days. More than one divorced parent has found out that without formal paperwork, the children will be stopped at the border, just in case they are being kidnapped. By one parent or not.

The world is becoming stricter about everything to do with borders. Except of course the EU, where they've tried to erase so many of them. Sometimes.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-22-2013
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Re: ownership and seizure

Another way is to make her the "authorized" captain in writing. Then you may keep "her" off your registration/ownership documents.


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post #10 of 11 Old 08-22-2013
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Re: ownership and seizure

How do you think charter boats sail around from country to country? It is not a problem providing there is a letter of authorization.

There is an exception however. In France and the French islands it can be a problem if you change crew without the owner aboard. The odd person is usually no problem but multiple crew on many occasions can get you into trouble. Something to do with protecting their charter industry.
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