How To Find The Owner Of A Boat
There are many reasons you might want to know who owns a boat.
Maybe you found a boat adrift, maybe you would like to speak with a current owner of a boat that you are considering, or maybe a boat has been damaged and you need to speak to the owner.
Whatever the reason, finding the owner of a boat is fairly straight forward if you use some common sense and know a few identifying features.
In this article, we will look at a few ways of finding a boats owner and point you in the right direction:
Save Time By Qualifying Your Search Results
Finding cheap boats for sale on Craigslist is a volume game more than anything. If youre not carefully managing your time, its easy to burn out. If youve ever shown up to view a boat only to realize that the photos you saw online were 10 years old, then you know what Im talking about! Here are a few ways weve cut down on time wasting:
Avoid scams by looking for classic warning signs: typos, generic images, and sellers who dont want to meet in person. If an ad looks suspicious try googling the ad text to see if it shows up in multiples. If it does, its a good sign that something is up.
Make a must-have list
Write up your list of must-haves and run through your checklist every time you find a good candidate. Ask the owner to fill in the missing information.
Ask for additional photos
Ask for photos before you spend 8 hours of your weekend driving to view a boat. Owners should be willing to send you photos because in the long term it saves their time as well as yours.
Take a sneak peek
If the boat is local, swing by the marina and quickly view the boat from the outside. This will give you a sense for how upfront the seller has been in their advertisement.
Pro tip: Craigslist can be a weird place, so remember than sellers are qualifying you too! Most people want to see their boat going to a good home. Weve both gotten and given great deals simply because we were honest, upfront, friendly, and didnt waste time.
Performing A Documented Vessel Search By Name
Making any large purchase in life always requires great thought on your part. You never just jump into buying a house or a car without looking everything over, performing inspections, and doing research on the home or car you want to buy. If you are considering purchasing a commercial boat or large recreational vessel, you should be willing to do the same homework to make sure you have the background of the boat before you buy it. There is information out there that you can get that can help you, and if you perform a documented vessel search by name you can get some of what you need for your investigation.
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Selling/buying A Used Boat: What Documents Do I Give The Buyer/receive From The Seller
The documents that will later be used to transfer or register a boat in Georgia from a private sale may vary, depending if the boat is already registered in Georgia, if the boat has a paper title issued, if the boat has been reported sold, and if the seller is the owner of record in the Georgia registration system. There are many possible scenarios, but these below are the most common.
A Bill of Sale for a boat must have adequate information to positively link the BOS to the boat.
Set The Right Price Limits
Look above certain price thresholds
When people are looking for boats online they usually search for certain sticky numbers . Common thresholds include $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $25,000, $50,000.
For example, lets say Im looking for boats for sale near me under $5,000. If I search just above that threshold Im more likely to see cheap boats that other buyers wont.
Set your max price at 30% above your budget
While it depends on the boat and how the owner has priced it, weve found that as a general rule of thumb, sellers will come down by about 30%.
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Finding The Right Information
Find the HIN on the boat. It has twelve characters and can be found on the right side rear of the vessel, and it should also be available on the boat’s registration documentation. The first two characters of the HIN indicate the country in which the boat is registered. The number as a whole is unique to each boat, and it’s important to run a search on this number to ensure that it’s valid before committing to buying a boat.
Once you’ve tracked down the HIN, make sure to write it down so you have it for future reference.
Registering Or Purchasing An Inherited Boat
When a person dies, title to their property, including any vessels they owned, becomes vested in another person. A formal legal process guides this action. Legal documents may be available to show who gained ownership of a vessel from the estate, or who has legal authority, such as an Executor or Administrator of an estate, to dispose of a vessel.
To transfer registration, the Department of Natural Resources must have a legal document reflecting the change in ownership of the vessel. We have past instances where we learn ownership of a vessel is in dispute. For example, someone may have sold a deceased’s vessel to a third party and others in the family or spouse claim the seller had no ownership claim to legally sell the vessel. Therefore, the person that sold the boat was not the owner and the buyer is unable to legally transfer registration.
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Where The Vessel Information Comes From
When you are performing a search like this, the information is going to come from United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard keeps a registry of all the boats that are documented federally, and this database is available for searching. All you need to have to perform the search is other the vessel documentation number or the name of the ship, and you can perform the search at any one of the many websites on the Internet that have the database search function available.
How To Find Out If A Person Owns A Boat
Every state requires that boat owners register their vessels in order to operate them, just like every state requires that car owners register their vehicles. However, not every state uses the Department of Motor Vehicles as the boat registration office. Some states use their Department of Recreation or Department of Fish and Wildlife as the repository for boat registration. The state’s boat registration records are the key to finding out whether someone owns a boat.
Determine which state office registers boats in the state where you think the person lives. Start by calling the local Department of Motor Vehicles or the county tax commissioner’s office if you need direction.
If you know the person’s name and state of residence, contact the state’s office that registers boats. Give them the full first and last name of the person you are investigating. Ask for a listing of all vehicles and vessels listed under that name.
If you don’t have the person’s name, but you can view the boat, look for the boat’s registration ID number. It will be printed or painted on the rear or side of the boat. The registration ID will also indicate the state of registration. Contact that state’s boat registration office and ask for ownership information related to that ID number.
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Use Search Functions To Get Really Specific
Learn a few of these search tricks and youll save tons of time.
Search multiple keywords at the same time by using the | key
For example, if you searched sail boat | sailboat youll get all the search results for both terms.
Exclude keywords from your search by using – key.
For example, sailboats ferrocement youll get all the search results for sailboats except for those that mention ferrocement .
Get specific by combining search functions using parenthesis
For example, Home built ferrocement would search for posts with the terms home built and sailboat or sail boat but not ferrocement.
How To Find Boat Owner By Registration Number
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What Are The Advantages Of Data Resulting From Hin Verification
Using HIN verification information, you can get the full history of the boat you are considering buying. That information will help you gauge the boat’s state and whether it is the one you want to buy. You can check if any of the following has damaged your watercraft:
Boat owners can carry out an automotive repair after hurricane damage without leaving any trace that anything ever happened to the boat. Buying such a vessel will expose you to problems as you may spend much more money on frequent repairs. Obtaining the verification report will help you know the boat’s true history. It will give you everything on record about what happened to the boat. Avoid buying damaged vessels to avoid unnecessary expenditure.
It is not easy to identify a boat that has been damaged through an accident. It is easy to repair the boat, especially if it is a fibreglass vessel in a way that you can notice. You can end up buying a vessel that has been involved in an accident and has been damaged and repaired. That can shorten the boat’s life and land you in problems you never expected.
You may not notice the boat has run aground, and that can land you into a vessel with a damaged engine or gear. You can avoid dealing with boat engine issues if you have a history report of the boat before committing yourself. Avoid being trapped in a boat with engine issues by looking at the HIN verification report.
Tips For Finding A Boat Owner By Hull #
- Ask the marina owner and neighboring boat owners if they know who owns the boat. If they do not know, perhaps they can pass along a message for you.
- Post a notice at the site where the boat is located, stating that you are searching for the owner of a specific boat. In addition to your contact information, you may wish to include a picture of the boat.
- Use Facebook lost and found groups
- Enter the name of the boat into an Internet search engine like Google to see if there is a website that mentions the boat and its owner. This is a good way to track an owner of a boat that is linked to a business with its own website.
- Post an ad with a picture of the boat in the local newspaper or on a website with a Lost and Found section.
- Visit the Vessel Registration of your State or province
- Contact the secretary of state
Since states require the HIN to appear on registration certificates, you can find the boats owner by purchasing a boat history report online and paying with a credit card. Not all States will disclose this information so it is not guaranteed in the Boat Alert report.
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What Is A Hin Decoder
HIN decoder stands for boat hull identification number decoder. The HIN decoder is an online tool that gives you everything you need to know about the boat when you use the HIN.
It uses the boat serial number to obtain certain information about the boat. Decoding the HIN can give you information like when the boat was manufactured, constructed, rebuilt, or imported. It gives everything you want to know about the vessel.
Registering Your Boat In Ohio
Registrations are required for every recreational boat in Ohio, including powerboats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, and inflatable boats. NOTE: Kiteboards, paddleboards, and belly boats do NOT have to be registered as boats in Ohio.
Boat registrations are good for three years and expire on March 1. There is no late fee for renewing after March 1.
What you need to get a boat registered depends on what type of boat it is. Generally you need proof of ownership, some detailed information on the boat, some detailed information on you , a drivers license or ID, and the registration fee.
Renewing a RegistrationBoat registrations come up for renewal every three years. We mail you a notice a few months before your registration expires. This is why it is important that you keep your mailing address updated with us.
- You can renew an existing boat registration at any Boat Registration Agent if you bring your renewal notice with an ID and payment. Call ahead to make sure they are open and have decals available.
- You can renew your existing boat registration online as long as you have a PIN and all information on the boat AND owner is up-to-date. NOTE: Online renewal begins January and ends October 31.
If you did not receive your renewal notice, or if you need to change your address with us, please contact the Division of Parks and Watercraft for assistance.
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What You Can Get From The Search
When you do a documented vessel search by name, you will get information back from the Coast Guard that can be useful to you. Some of the information includes ownership information, including the current owner and previous owners, the age of the boat, the registered hailing port of the boat, and other characteristics of the boat itself. You can also see when the boat was last documented so you will know if the documentation has expired or not. The information can be useful to you and provide you with a background on the boat that can let you see if this is a vessel you want to purchase.
Where to do a Documented Vessel Search by Name
If you are looking for a place to perform a documented vessel search by name, here at Maritime Documentation Center, we can assist you. We have a vessel search function that you can find here on our website so you can quickly plug in the vessel name and get the information you want. We can also help you with several documenting and application services with the Coast Guard. Check the listings here on our site so you can find the applications you may need so you can file easily with us and have it sent on to the Coast Guard.
You Can Make Your Own
If you cant find an owners manual for your boat, we suggest you assemble your own. Start with the motor manufacturers website to source a motor manual. Most times, the motor manufacturer also supplies the shifts and gauges. If not, in your case, source the manufacturer of those as well.
Manufacturers like Searay and Bayliner, have owners manuals on their websites for download, while other sites have a list of owners manuals like this. Some of the information in these manuals would be interchangeable from boat brand to boat brand, so you could use an owners manual from a different brand for information on gauges, pumps, blowers, plumbing, engine start procedures etc.
Check each and every one of your accessories and/or electronics for the make and model number and source them on the internet. For example, VHF radio, Depth Finder, Bilge Pump, etc.
We made our own owners manual as above and put the information in clear plastic protector sheets in a binder. It works well.
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Spring: Boat Dumping Season
Smugglers often use stolen boats and, in the U.S., you never know if someone is armed. If you want to find the owner yourself, then you can try an online search of the HIN. You can also try the state office responsible for issuing registration numbers, but they are unlikely to give out personal contact information.
Potential Boat Buyers Marketing List
A study sponsored by the USGC show that each year 17,000,000+ Americans rent or borrow a boat. These boating enthusiasts are perfect for new boat owner offers and/or boating travel offers. So, how do we create a potential new boat owner lead list? Cloning is the answer. Through lifestyle and demographic modeling of our boat owner lists, we generated a profile of the average boat owner and then used this custom demographic lifestyle profile to identify potential boat owners.
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Can You Find Out Who Owns A Boat By Hull Number
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