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Old 07-24-2011, 08:18 PM
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Default Florida: project boat with no title

Got a 13' fiberglass project from a buddy. I really don't think it is/was stolen, but you never know. Anyhow, was planning on just getting a homemade title, but noticed it has hull numbers! So, the question is, would it be easier and cheaper to just grind them off and forget about them or is the process pretty easy if I just give the numbers and get the title for the boat (assuming it isn't hot). I am thinking of selling it as a project instead of doing it myself and I know it will be easier to sell if I have a title. Any advise?
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:24 PM
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homemade titles are easy to get in florida. they never even look at the boat,trailer,or even custom cars
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:57 AM
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So if I just go in and ask for a homemade boat title, fill out some paperwork and pay, that will be it? I also have to do the same with the trailer. Just want to make sure I do it the best way. Thanks. Any other opinions?
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:05 AM
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A person trying to get a title for a stolen boat would grind the numbers off and apply for a title as a home made boat. Just sayin'.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:34 AM
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A person trying to get a title for a stolen boat would grind the numbers off and apply for a title as a home made boat. Just sayin'.
I'm really not trying to do that, honestly! I am pretty comfortable giving the numbers to motor vehicles, HOWEVER, I guess if it is stolen they take it!

I guess I could do an "anonymous" call to them and just ask.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:13 AM
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So if I just go in and ask for a homemade boat title, fill out some paperwork and pay, that will be it? I also have to do the same with the trailer. Just want to make sure I do it the best way. Thanks. Any other opinions?
I got a 'homebuilt' title for the 14 Skiff I restored a few years ago. There was no HIN or Reg numbers on my boat though. The DMV may ask you for receipts to prove it was homebuilt. There's a form you fill out as well. I kept all the receipts from the materials I used in the restoration and that was apparently enough. They will issue you a homebuilt HIN number. I stamped mine into the Aluminum Transom scuff plate.

The trailer is easy, it doesnt need a title. DMV does not care. Pull the numbers (if any) off the trailer and make/model.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:40 AM
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I'm really not trying to do that, honestly! I am pretty comfortable giving the numbers to motor vehicles, HOWEVER, I guess if it is stolen they take it!

I guess I could do an "anonymous" call to them and just ask.

If it was stolen, would you really want to keep it?
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:45 AM
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in Florida, to get a homemade boat title, the FWC will come inpsect the vessel before issuance af a title or HIN. If there is a HIN and you grind it off, that is a felony. What will happen is the FWC office will run the HIN and notice will be sent to the last registered owner to verify they sold it. If they did and you have a bill of sale then you will get a new clear title. If they say it was stolen, you may lose the boat so I would contact FWC before you invest any time or $$
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:04 AM
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The boat may or may not be stolen, but the legitimate owner should have a title to prove ownership. In this case, the "buddy" should have signed the title over to the OP. If he doesn't have a title, he probably doesn't legally own the boat and has no right to sell it.

There are posts on THT from time to time about boat thieves, and sometimes, people get really upset, suggesting that boat thieves should be shot on site, etc.

Remember, there would be few, if any boat thieves if other people weren't willing to buy stolen boats or boat parts. If anyone is willing to buy boats or parts of questionable origin, they are part of the boat theft problem.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:02 AM
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I called and they said I just have to come in and fill out a form and they will contact the person that the title is in. Then that person will have to go to motor vehicles and sign something and then I will be good to go. However, if they don't do anything, then I am in the same boat! They may have moved or who knows, I will do it because it is the right thing to do. The boat right now is probably worth $100 if that. I just hope they respond, because they have nothing to gain from it and will have to waste their own time to do it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:27 PM
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in Florida, to get a homemade boat title, the FWC will come inpsect the vessel before issuance af a title or HIN. If there is a HIN and you grind it off, that is a felony. What will happen is the FWC office will run the HIN and notice will be sent to the last registered owner to verify they sold it. If they did and you have a bill of sale then you will get a new clear title. If they say it was stolen, you may lose the boat so I would contact FWC before you invest any time or $$
FWC didn't come out and inspect both airboats I built and 1 shrimp boat hull. No questions asked , no receipts asked for . just filled out the paper work.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:27 PM
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I would not mess with it for a $100 skiff. It will cost you more than that to title and register it

Fwc does not inspect fl homemade boats, however they will inspect out of state boat without title if you want to register it in fl
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:26 PM
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If you make a boat out of wood, metal, fiberglass, etc. and title it as a "home made boat", that's fine. If you take a boat that's been made in a factory, grind off the hull ID numbers, and claim it's a "home made boat", that's fraud.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:46 PM
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This story just got worse: Went to motor vehicles after calling and the HIN does not match the "FL" registration numbers! The FL numbers are registered to a "homemade vessel" I also found out that if I go through with the paperwork (which I decided not to) the person with the title in their name would have to pay $9.00 and sign some papers at their local motor vehicles office. I just don't think anyone is going to do that when they have nothing to gain for it. I know someone is thinking "that's what you get for buying a boat with no title", but I got it from a close friend that I trust and he got it from someone as a project (the boat had saturated foam and rotten wood all over). They didn't have a title and he took it knowing he would have to completely re-do everything. He put a fair amount of work into it cutting out all the rot and then lost interest. He was just going to give it to me, but I felt like I should give him something, so I gave him $100. which is what he bought it for. It is just a small 13' boat, but I like the hull design and the hull is pretty solid. I am just not going to do any work to it until I get this title thing figured out. Sometimes the laws make us do things that aren't right. I mean what's the point in taking it to the dump and throwing it away? I don't think that is an option I want to do. I think I would like to go the homemade hull route, I'm just worried that they will want to inspect it and there will be a problem. If/when I do the fiberglass repair it will require the HIN to be ground down and covered to re-do the transom anyhow. Trying to do this right is getting complicated!
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:58 PM
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Why not try the right way first, that is try to have DMV get in touch with the registered owner, or if they give you the information you try to get in touch with them. I agree it is unlikely to work, but this is the right way.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:06 PM
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FWC didn't come out and inspect both airboats I built and 1 shrimp boat hull. No questions asked , no receipts asked for . just filled out the paper work.

i have gone thru this on two boats in the past few years. FWC is in my shop all the time and they inspected both boats so who knows??
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:08 PM
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Out of curiosity; I was recently told there is a landfill in Tampa (I have no idea where) that will take old hulls as long as you remove it from the trailer.

Anyone here have any personal experience doing so? If so, do they require that you have a title?

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Old 07-25-2011, 03:16 PM
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Out of curiosity; I was recently told there is a landfill in Tampa (I have no idea where) that will take old hulls as long as you remove it from the trailer.

Anyone here have any personal experience doing so? If so, do they require that you have a title?

Tipsy
I know the pinellas county landfill will take boats. Not sure about the title though.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:19 PM
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manatee county will also take them with no title as long as the fuel and oil tanks are removed
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:21 PM
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Why not try the right way first, that is try to have DMV get in touch with the registered owner, or if they give you the information you try to get in touch with them. I agree it is unlikely to work, but this is the right way.
They won't release the information to me, so I have to fill out the paperwork and then they try to contact the title holder. That person then will need to go visit their local motor vehicle location AND PAY $9.00! I just don't see why someone would do this. I was thinking about asking if I can pay the $9.00 for them, but I will have to wait until tomorrow to find out. Evidently they didn't title the boat the right way either! At this point I have 3 options: try to get previous title holder to sign off; try to title as homemade; or scrap it. I don't like the last option.
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