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Old 07-25-2007, 04:47 PM   #1
Swamp Puppy
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Default Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

So,

I am buying a boat in the (hopefully) near future. One in particular that i am interested in has a lost title. I am a little uneasy, for obvious reasons, about puchasing a boat and not having the title signed over and in hand.

some helpfull advice would be greatly appreciated.

here are the parameters and what i know (or can reasonably assume) to be true.

The seller owns the boat. He has the registration, it is in his name, and is current through 2008.

The seller was more than willing to provide me with the Hull# and OR # from the boat. I called the state marine board and they confirmed that: A) he is the registered owner B) there are no liens on the title C) the registration is current

having exercised about as much due diligence as i feel i could have to this point to ensure that the boat was not stolen nor encumbered by any liens..i feel it is safe to assume that his story of losing the title as a result of a few moves is, for the most part, valid.

here are the kickers..

he is moving (locally) again and needs the money soon. (not a problem..i have the cash)

the boat is priced to sell NOW and will probably not last a week.

i have an appointment with him to see the boat, put it in the water, and..if everything checks out to my expectations, buy the boat.

there is no time for him to get a duplicate title..but we will be going to Fisherman's to do the registration/ownership transfer on saturday.

so, here is the worst possible case scenario i can see from this. after he get'sthe money he suddenly loses all motivation to jump through the necessary hoops to obtain a duplicate title, sign off on it, and mail it to me. he moves..which leaves me with no way to contact him. so now i have a boat, but no title.

what would i do at that point? can i file for a lost title and get it if he has never signed it off? the boat registration will be in my name. i plan on having a signed (homemade) bill of sale with his, mine, and a 3rd person witness signatures indicating the sale and his release of all interest.

i guess this is a long enough post...anyone care to shed some light on the grey areas of this for me?

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Old 07-25-2007, 05:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

Xerox copies of his driver's license, his new address, a term in the bil of sale that if title fails to prove out or transfer he owes a full cash refund within 30 days. I'd still be really suspicious about the deal ... I would be reluctant to let his life situation accelerate your purchase. How do you know there is no lien on the boat? No other private party contract on it? Boats are enough trouble without a cloud on the title. I think I'd walk away and save the potential headache.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

Good advise Pete. If you do decide to go forward, I would at minimum, agree to withhold a substancial chunk of money until you have the new title in hand.

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Old 07-25-2007, 05:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

the state marine board has confirmed that there is no lien on the title. i am not well versed in these matters, but i would assume that they are the "authority". as for a private party contract on it...yes, that is a possibility.

i have been in auto sales for years (been out of it for awhile now)...i have a pretty good nose for sniffing out problems with sales deals (after having been burned a few times) and my gut tells me that this is up and up.

my real issue would be what happens if he never delivers the title to me? what process is there (if any) for me to obtain a title in my name? is it even possible or will i just be the owner of a boat with no title?

freakwater - just saw your post. good idea. in this case, a substantial chunk wouldn't be all that much. we are talking only about 3k for the boat. but still....a good idea.

Last edited by Swamp Puppy; 07-25-2007 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

It can be done, but if you smell a rat.....back away from the deal.

You would need to go to the Marine Board with the seller, you can fill out the proper paper work (lost title application) and such. With that the Marine Board, they will build a new replacement title, you will use a one time mailing address for the new title to be mailed, this will be your mail drop box. You will need to get a power of attorney for the boat/seller listing you as the new owner, and him as the seller transffering ownership to you.

When the new title comes to you, with the sellers name on it, you can go back to the marine board with power of attorney and transfer the the title into your name. It is pretty easy to do, it happens often with cars. The marine board can also tell you if there is a lien on the boat. You both will need to take about 1 hour to get this done, with all I.D's they will help you. As for a title to a trailer, you can do the same with thing with DMV.

It sould take about 6-8 weeks before you have YOUR title.

Good luck.

If you have anymore Q's PM me if you like.
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

I bought mine the same way this yr....he was registered owner but state hold lien/ownership until "oct 09"

I ran hull ID #'s and all was confirmed as laid out.

I got a bill of sale and a notorized copy of transaction and the signed off transfer of ownership.

I made out about $1300 in savings do to the hassle and no one else was interested in the headache....so far the headache was a couple $100 to put in my name and I am more than happy with results.

Good luck!!
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

When I bought my boat it was under similar circumstances, they had the registration but not the title. At the time the OSMB told me to get a notarized handwritten bill of sale and then take it to an authorized OSMB representative(like Joe's) and apply for a lost title at the same time I transfered the title. You might end up doing a little bit more legwork if you do it this way but you wouldn't have to worry about the seller not following through on their promise.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

I sold a boat that I had lost the title for. I would have the seller fillout the lost title form, have evey notorized and have a check for you for the replacement title fee. Here is the form you need for lost title/new ower transfer.

http://www.marinebd.osmb.state.or.us...itleApp-04.pdf


Notice of sales
http://www.marinebd.osmb.state.or.us...ticeofsale.pdf

Bill of Sale

http://www.marinebd.osmb.state.or.us...BillofSale.pdf
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:47 PM   #9
namu mac
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

I think OSMB has a form to transfer ownership and apply for a lost title all at one time but the owner and seller must fill it out. Do this at a marine licensing agent.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

A year ago, I bought an old Karmann Ghia from a friend in northern California. She said she would mail the title. Later, she tells me she was unable to find the title but said she would get a replacement. I'm still waiting. She has a myriad of excuses why the title hasn't arrived.

Like an idiot, I went ahead with restoration on the car. I am preparing to part the car out now as I'm giving up on ever seeing a title.

Anyone needing new 74 Karmann Ghia parts on the cheap, call me!

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Old 07-26-2007, 09:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

You can always do what I did last year, I sent in the bill of sale and the paper work to register and title the boat. The OSMB sent me a nice letter saying that I needed to send them the title (which I didn't have since the son didn't know his dad had ever title the row boat). A quick call to the OSMB explaining what happened resulted in them explaining the following process to me.

You need to send a certified letter with proof of delivery requested to the titled owner with a letter explaining what you are trying to do, a copy of the letter from the OSMB, and a lost title form. If they refuse delivery of the letter, the OSMB accepts the unopened certified letter as proof they relinquish ownership. If they accept the letter and you don't hear back within 30 days, then they accept the proof of delivery (with signature).

In my case it took a couple of weeks after sending the certified letter for the original title to show up in my mailbox meaning that by the time it made it to the OSMB the second time, I had passed the 30 day window to register. Yep, even though I applied for title and registration within a week of buying it, they still tried to get me to pay the penalty!
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:34 AM   #12
Swamp Puppy
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

thanks Nomad. exactly the info i needed. the penalty is 25 bucks..so i guess i could swallow that if i had to.

also, thanks to whoever posted the links to the sales docs! got 'em printed up and ready to go.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

I bought a car with a lost title, no big deal in WA. The seller came with me to DMV signed the title application and the new transferred title was sent directly to me. I wouldn't think OR would be much different. Sounds like the guy really owns the boat, so should be no problem.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:54 PM   #14
Swamp Puppy
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

yeah, i know getting the lost title isn't normally an issue. the issue is going to be whether or not the seller follows through on his part and submits the forms for it. since the form needs to be notarized, it's slightly more complicated than just filling it out. (for him)

my concern is what can i do IF i buy the boat and the guy disappears without ever turning in the paperwork. Nomad got that answered for me...so i am all good. lol.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:25 PM   #15
robert york
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

i bought a boat from a friend,he mailed me the title which i havent received yet.since than he has passed away.what do i do about getting a title for the boat?
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

He should be able to get another title. If he cannot, then dont buy the boat.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:33 AM   #17
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

Something similar happened to me. There is a form the DMV has that will help you. Just go down and tell them the circumstances.
They helped me out.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:34 AM   #18
hey you! Get workn
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Default Re: Buying A Boat With No (lost) Title

I *Just* did something like this!

Just use this form: And besure to check the box: "Title with a change of ownership"

http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/BoatReg/d...App09_2009.pdf
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