abstract of title

What is an Abstract of Title and Why Do You Need One?

Have you been looking for second-hand vessels but you are not yet sure about buying them? Did you conduct the proper research but you are still uncertain about what you found? Don’t feel bad about it, it happens to everybody. That’s the reason why the United States Coast Guard (USCG) came up with this document: an abstract of title.

Definition of an Abstract of Title

As we were saying, before purchasing a boat you want to make sure to gather as much information about a vessel as possible. That way, you lower the margin of error, by knowing some of the old histories of the ship. The document will contain all of the information from the boat while it was registered with the US Coast Guard.

Formally, the abstract of title is a document that will contain basic details about the boat’s history. As a general rule of thumb, you will be able to find the name of the vessel, its hull identification number (HIN), and its Coast Guard Number. Furthermore, you will get real information about who built the vessel, where it was built, and when. That way you can know the actual age of the boat, despite what the previous owner was telling you.

Furthermore, the document can also include a bill of sale (if one was done at any time) or a notice of satisfaction or claim of lien and a mortgage, that can be satisfied or not as well. If the seller was not telling if the ship had any debts, this may be a way to find out.

Why Can the Abstract Prove to be Important?

As an old phrase says, you don’t buy a lemon. Even something that seems new can end up being broken. So if you have your eye on a vessel that seems perfect, and even if the owner tells you everything has been paid off, you should still get an abstract. If you are lucky, everything the owner told you will be reflected in the document. But if you aren’t, you have avoided a huge problem.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the owner of the boat is lying: maybe when he bought the vessel he didn’t get an abstract of title, so now he just doesn’t know the exact history of the boat. Anyhow, it is better to be safe than sorry.

abstract of title

All of Your Documents in One Place

Let’s be a little bit more optimistic: in almost all of the cases, the abstract of the title verifies what the previous owner has told you about the vessel. Nevertheless, it is always recommended to get one. At this point, you may be wondering how to get it, right? The answer is pretty straightforward.

On the left side of our website, Vessel Documentation Online, you will notice the different types of paperwork you can get with our help. The 10th of them is the abstract of the title. Once there, you will be asked some basic details about yourself and the vessel you intend to buy and that is it. You’ll get the document emailed in no time, without having to print any other forms or send documentation inconveniently by the post office. If there are any other doubts, do not hesitate to contact us!