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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 05-30-2011
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Abandoned boat disposal

What are the legalities of a boatyard disposing of an abandoned boat? I am mostly interested in what, if any, rights the previous owner has? Also are there ways around registering a boat that was abandoned when no title is present?

I am looking at an abandoned boat, the storage facility has been unable to contact the owner and is basically giving the boat to the first person who can make arrangements to have it moved. Seems like a good way to get a good boat cheap, but I want to be well informed before I drop any money on moving the boat.

If registration is going to be impossible I have thought about cutting her up on location and scrapping everything out. Would the value of the engine, electronics, sails, and scrap aluminum/lead make it worth my time to cut up and dispose of a 37ft boat?
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Old 05-31-2011
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This depends a lot on your state laws. In maryland the marina has to file a lean then foreclose. then auction it off to the highest bidder.

check your state laws before going any further.
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Old 05-31-2011
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The law here states that they have to advertise that the goods are going to be disposed of to give the owner chance to pay the storage fees and claim the property, there is no legal lean filed even though the state calls it a lean.

My issue mostly is about the title which they do not have. Here you need a title or a bill of sale from every owner since the boat was last registered. Without either I am assuming it could be trhe greatest boat in the world and still just be a yard ornament.
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Old 05-31-2011
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If the boat was documented you may be able to reach the owner by looking it up on the USCG website. Perhaps they will sign it over to you.


Good luck
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Old 05-31-2011
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Not sure, but one would think, if a marina has foreclosed, and the marina is a government agency, that 'SHOULD" clear the title right there and then, no different than a bank foreclosing on a home, car etc. Any previous owner(s) lose any and all interest in the boat in this instance. My marina sells one or two boats a year. Some look reasonable, others......

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Old 05-31-2011
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I looked at the boat today and am going to leave it where it is. It is a very good hull, but not much else. It is also very large, 40 plus ft easy. I could not find any hull ID or data plates on it at all, the mast was stored on the ground next to it and in the last few weeks was stolen as was most of the exterior metal fixtures including the prop. The interior was completely gutted. Somebody has put some work into the hull itself, it had all fresh paint.
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