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Old 08-24-2010, 11:45 AM
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Default Boats without a title

What's the procedure for buying a boat without a title?

I ask, because the Formula I am buying has no title. I asked the seller to see if could track one down, but I haven't heard back. It's from 1972 and doesn't even have a VIN (which isn't a big deal, as I understand it). The boat's in MA and I'm in VA, if that makes a difference.

Also, I see that BoatHaus was giving away a V20 without a title.

Is there just some paperwork that need to be filled out, or is there a legitimate chance that the boat may not be legally usable or can't be registered?
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:51 AM
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Some states require a bill of sale. Some a title.

Your state may vary...

I'd call your DMV and get the straight scoop right from the source.

And then hope and pray that the gov't employee isn't pizzed off that day...

Good luck!
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:07 PM
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Figure out what has to be done first, because you don't want to own a boat that you can't use.

I went online and both Va and Ma are titling states. That means that you must have a title from Ma to transfer to Va. I went through this last year on a boat in NY. The guy had taken the boat for lack of payment. He wanted me to buy the boat with no title. I said No! I told him to go through the right channels and get a title and then call me! He got the title in about 3 weeks.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:16 PM
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As stated, if your state requires a title, don't even consider buying one without a title. Check with your DVM to get the info and ask what year, titles started. 72 may be earlier than title were required. That said, I don't think I've see a boat without a HIN.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:24 PM
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Just hire someone in your state that specializes in acquireing titles, ask around at your local street rod club. I spent around $200.00 in SC to get a 1953 chevy pickup titled. The guy who did it was a retired police officer and our local Judge gave me his number after getting the run around multiple times at DMV. Also a boat business should be able to file a lean on repairs and get a title to recoup lost funds, if boat is left for so many days after repair. Also tow companies can acquire titles fairly easily in SC and some will for a fee. No hull ID may be a problem.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:59 PM
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I'm less worried about the hin. There's a form to get one in VA: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/forms/BOAT/BOAT-014.pdf And a process to get one in MA: http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dle/boatregfaq.htm#BOAT1 That seems like a pretty straightforward thing. Based on the reading I've done online, it looks like hulls built prior to 11/1972 didnt' require a hin. Or maybe I'm being naive and it's really going to come back to bite me. Hopefully the former.

It seems like there are ways to get a title. One would be to just bring it to my place and claim it as abandoned. There's a form for that one: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/forms/BOAT/BOAT-001.pdf

There's got to be some legal way to do this by email, web forms, or phone. I hope??
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostsinker View Post
That said, I don't think I've see a boat without a HIN.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikem View Post
No hull ID may be a problem.









Boats without HIN's should have a placard with a serial number stamped on it.

Heck, even my 15' Montgomery Wards Sea King tri-hull and our 1967 Kayot pontoon boat had plates with a serial #'s on them.

Now if someone took off the serial # placard/plate, you might have a problem...

You can always call it "home-built"!
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:03 PM
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In Florida, Forget it. I would never buy a boat without a title, you take a big risk as it is much easier to buy a stolen boat (a general rule).. I realize a 72 formula is probably not stolen but I would not spend any money of it at all till you know what hoops you have to jump thru or even if the state will give you one at all.

"Boats without HIN's should have a placard with a serial number stamped on it." They should but sometimes boats sit for a long time and the owners dont etch the serial numbers in... Most states will give you a decal or placard for the transom of older boats.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:14 PM
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The hin number on my 1970 formula is stamped in the FG right under the rub rail on the transom.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
The hin number on my 1970 formula is stamped in the FG right under the rub rail on the transom.
Hmmmmm... seller said no hin. I'll ask him to check again. What a pita.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:45 PM
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If you have to deal with the Massachusetts folk, it's the Division of Fish and Wildlife Office of LAw Enforcement that deals with boats, not the RMV. I STRONGLY recommend calling the Hyannis branch office instead of the main number in Boston - the folks in the Hyannis office seem to not realize they work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They're kind, and patient, and polite, and eager to go out of their way to help. Almost makes you think you dialed the wrong number, but no - on the phone or in person, that office is amazingly helpful.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostsinker View Post
As stated, if your state requires a title, don't even consider buying one without a title. Check with your DVM to get the info and ask what year, titles started. 72 may be earlier than title were required. That said, I don't think I've see a boat without a HIN.
sinker

There are a huge number of older boats with no HIN. The system came in sometime in the late 70's, early 80's, don't remember exactly. Before that there was no system, and any given boat had only what its maker chose to use. Lots used just a serial #, or sometimes nothing at all. This is one reason the new system got implemented.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:16 PM
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I remember that boat. It's the one your buddy asked you to tune up and he never came back. I think he went to Iowa or Iraq. By now the storage charge is very high. I would file on him.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:18 PM
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:23 PM
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Sent you a PM
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:08 PM
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Cooper

Don't know what's in Nitz' PM, but probably some good info. This no-title problem, on the very old boats, usually turns out in real life to be way easier to deal with than it gets made to sound like on THT.

Just start with a call to your state office. They see this all the time on the old hulks.
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