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Old 02-19-2013, 06:17 PM   #1
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Title question

Hello all,

I have finally gotten the answer that I needed to sort out the power issue, thanks to whomever it was that suggested that I speak with an electrician in Florida. Smart idea. That did it.

Now I am on to the next learning piece. Can someone explain to me me if boats are like cars in that they have a paper title and if the seller has the title in their possession, would that be evidence that the boat is lien free? If not, then were would I go to check for clear title? Where does title get recorded? How about for a vessel not in the States?

What are the components to acceptance in terms of paperwork? Title, bill of sale, anything else?

Seller does not have a broker. I am going to hire a lawyer, but I would still like to be informed about the process myself.

Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:15 PM   #2
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Depends greatly on if it is USCG documented or state registered. Documented you would contact the CG for what they call an Abstract of Title. I have mine and it tracks every lien on my boat since delivery in 1975.

Also here is a very good FAQ.
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/nvdcfaq.asp#21
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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A USCG document is a title and is the best as it takes precedence over any state title. But many states do title boats and if it isn't documented a state title is suitable evidence of ownership.

But don't ever think that the lack of recorded liens with the USCG means that the boat is free of liens. Boats, at least USCG documented ones are unique in that any yard or mechanic that wasn't paid for their work has an automatic lien that lasts forever (until paid or vacated by a court of law).

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:15 PM   #4
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I suggest you employ a broker as buyers agent. Someone where the boat is located. Bill of Sale should be minimum, but there might be other documents.

They can manage the funds transfer with less risk for you than dealing direct with the owner, perhaps assist with negotiating the final price, ensure your purchase contract has 'outs' for survey and sea trial completions and walk you through the normal process in that jurisdiction. If they cant handle the title aspects directly then they will have contacts with a business that does do it. And that business will handle funds for settlement. In Seattle I found Pacific Maritime Title to be excellent, but not sure if they would do an international settlement. A lawyer who is not familiar with boat transactions wont add much value.

On return to the US get it USCG documented. Check the steps involved with that now so that you get all you need from the seller at the time of settlement.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:17 PM   #5
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No piece of paper can verify a boat is lien free...just impossible. See

Vessel Title Insurance

If you have a documented boat I believe the USCG states on the documentation papers that a state connot title a documented vessel...though NJ just sent me mine...guess I have to surrender it according to what I have read.

State titled boats must carry an external number marking and an annual validation sticker (in most states). For example, if a boat is registered in Maryland and carries Maryland markings, it can be moved to another state by the current owner or sold to a new owner and then registered in a different state. It would then have to carry that stateís numbering requirements. A boat that has been previously documented can be deleted from US documentation and titled in a state. A boat that has been state titled can apply for US documentation. Upon acceptance by the Coast Guard into documentation, the title is then returned to the issuing state.

USCG Documentation
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:41 PM   #6
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We used a marine title company that handled the funds and title.

My advice is use a finance company and let them handle the transaction. Also they have a preferred list of surveyors. They take most of the concerns away.

Finance and insurance company can also help with value the boat as they will only finance and isure what they figure its worth.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:36 PM   #7
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Awesome info from everyone!!!

Geez, I had no idea that there were title companies for boats. I actually spoke with a buyer's broker today. I will call Pacific Maritime tomorrow and see if they can do an international transaction, and, if not, maybe they can recommend another company.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:46 PM   #8
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Awesome info from everyone!!!

Geez, I had no idea that there were actually title companies for boats. I actually spoke with a buyer's broker today. I will call Pacific Maritime tomorrow and see if they can do an international transaction, and, if not, maybe they can recommend another company.

Thanks for the help.
FOUL

So its not fair to take our help information and Not tell us your findings and decision.

So tell us about the electrical.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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FOUL

So its not fair to take our help information and Not tell us your findings and decision.

So tell us about the electrical.
Sorry Phil, wasn't holding out, just trying to avoid such a "heated" topic.

I spoke to a very experienced marine electrician in Florida. (The New Englanders didn't have a clue.) He said that there are 2 ways of dealing with it.

1. Change out all the equipment and appliances etc. to 60hz friendly stuff

2. Add a frequency converter
There were basically 2 choices both made by Aspea. The larger version would run between 25-27k installed and the smaller would run between 23-25k. Both would allow travel anywhere. The larger would give slightly better power when in Europe. His explanation was very technical, but this was the general jist of it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:40 PM   #10
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Sorry Phil, wasn't holding out, just trying to avoid such a "heated" topic.

I spoke to a very experienced marine electrician in Florida. (The New Englanders didn't have a clue.) He said that there are 2 ways of dealing with it.

1. Change out all the equipment and appliances etc. to 60hz friendly stuff

2. Add a frequency converter
There were basically 2 choices both made by Aspea. The larger version would run between 25-27k installed and the smaller would run between 23-25k. Both would allow travel anywhere. The larger would give slightly better power when in Europe. His explanation was very technical, but this was the general jist of it.

So... you passed on that boat?
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
Sorry Phil, wasn't holding out, just trying to avoid such a "heated" topic.

I spoke to a very experienced marine electrician in Florida. (The New Englanders didn't have a clue.) He said that there are 2 ways of dealing with it.

1. Change out all the equipment and appliances etc. to 60hz friendly stuff

2. Add a frequency converter
There were basically 2 choices both made by Aspea. The larger version would run between 25-27k installed and the smaller would run between 23-25k. Both would allow travel anywhere. The larger would give slightly better power when in Europe. His explanation was very technical, but this was the general jist of it.
Adding a frequency converter is an option for sure. But it will keep your boat systems 220V/50Hz and you wont be able to add US 110V toasters, coffee makers etc.

You will have to do more if you want that flexibility. But if you sit with the guy and run through what you want I'm sure he can deliver for you. I suggest you budget $50-75,000 to get electrics done with good flexibility. Cheaper if you are happy to import 220V small appliances as required. TV's, phone chargers etc are usually multi-voltage so not a problem.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:09 AM   #12
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If you haven't already I'd check out the 48 LRC in the classifieds. Looks like more your speed plus the adventure of a lifetime getting it home.Larry
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Sorry Phil, wasn't holding out, just trying to avoid such a "heated" topic.

I spoke to a very experienced marine electrician in Florida. (The New Englanders didn't have a clue.) He said that there are 2 ways of dealing with it.

1. Change out all the equipment and appliances etc. to 60hz friendly stuff

2. Add a frequency converter
There were basically 2 choices both made by Aspea. The larger version would run between 25-27k installed and the smaller would run between 23-25k. Both would allow travel anywhere. The larger would give slightly better power when in Europe. His explanation was very technical, but this was the general jist of it.
The following is probably what the Florida electrician was recommending:

Economical Adjustable Frequency Converters
Solid state converson costs some what less than motor-generator listed below unless inductive load starting is needed like for a compressor with large current in rush. Parts and repair hard to come by in a foreign country

http://www.georator.com/ProductRotaryMotorGeneratorLineIsolators.html
115 Volt 60 Hertz electrical motor driving 50 Hertz 220 volt generator. An example was given for boats. Easily repaired in a foreign country. Weight might be an issue. There are numerous sizes, single and 3 phase, 50 Hertz and 60 Hertz and voltages available.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:57 AM   #14
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BoatUS has a service for buying/selling without a broker that might be helpful.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:39 AM   #15
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Galaxygirl this one is easy and cheap.

Hire a marine title company to take care of your paperwork.

They will make sure your boat is lein free (as best as anyone can)
They will properly transfer ownership documents to your name.
They will act as an escrow agent for the transaction.

All this for if memory serves correctly in the $500 range.

Marine title companies are one of the best values in the marine industry.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:44 PM   #16
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The following is probably what the Florida electrician was recommending:
Quote:
Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
Economical Adjustable Frequency Converters
Solid-state conversion costs somewhat less than motor-generator listed below unless inductive load starting is needed like for a compressor with large current in rush. Parts and repair hard to come by in a foreign country
http://www.georator.com/ProductRotaryMotorGeneratorLineIsolators.html
115 Volt 60 Hertz electrical motor driving 50 Hertz 220 volt generator. An example was given for boats. Easily repaired in a foreign country. Weight might be an issue. There are numerous sizes, single and 3 phase, 50 Hertz and 60 Hertz and voltages available.

If you go with a 50-amp 115-volt shore power, a solid-state adjustable frequency converter would be the T3FC-11-8K and the motor generator would be 65C1K8.0 or maybe the smaller 65C1K6.0. Checking on the web site under surplus equipment, it looks like the equipment is about 20% of the cost of the installation, the rest is labor. I did not actually call for prices, but it seems to me it might be prudent to get several bids on this installation. $27,000 seems excessive to me unless there is some big labor cost I am not aware of like completely re-wiring the boat. There would also be a little cost for automatic or manual switch over when motor generator or power conditioner is turned on. I did not see anything about low voltage input for this equipment. Many marinas have low voltage, as low as 90 volts, so this equipment must handle that. The maximum temperature is 104 degrees Fahrenheit for the solid-state adjustable frequency converter. The engine room can exceed that.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:25 AM   #17
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By the time you have dealt with the electrical issue, stabilizers, foreign (lack of) title, foreign transaction issues, transportation costs and who knows what else, you are probably better off buying in the USA. There is reason it looks like a deal!!
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:52 AM   #18
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By the time you have dealt with the electrical issue, stabilizers, foreign (lack of) title, foreign transaction issues, transportation costs and who knows what else, you are probably better off buying in the USA. There is reason it looks like a deal!!
I think there is much truth in that statement......

If you were to buy a boat overseas....bring it back to the US.... without a title/properly authenticated documents attesting to the sale...it is highly unlikely that you would ever be able to register or document the boat. Additionally, you may wish to find out what the import duties on the vessel would be...

Buying an already US documented boat, in the US....makes a lot of sense.

IMHO
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:37 PM   #19
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If you go with a 50-amp 115-volt shore power, a solid-state adjustable frequency converter would be the T3FC-11-8K and the motor generator would be 65C1K8.0 or maybe the smaller 65C1K6.0. Checking on the web site under surplus equipment, it looks like the equipment is about 20% of the cost of the installation, the rest is labor. I did not actually call for prices, but it seems to me it might be prudent to get several bids on this installation. $27,000 seems excessive to me unless there is some big labor cost I am not aware of like completely re-wiring the boat. There would also be a little cost for automatic or manual switch over when motor generator or power conditioner is turned on. I did not see anything about low voltage input for this equipment. Many marinas have low voltage, as low as 90 volts, so this equipment must handle that. The maximum temperature is 104 degrees Fahrenheit for the solid-state adjustable frequency converter. The engine room can exceed that.
27 grand is high, but at least I would be able to use shore power anywhere at that point.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #20
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60 Hz 115 Volts 50 amp to 50 Hz 220 volt is $5450

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27 grand is high, but at least I would be able to use shore power anywhere at that point.
What I was thinking was that 27 grand to install a device that costs five times less ($5450 FOB) is a steep markup. There is a little more cost in hooking it up to the existing wiring and running a new 115 Volt 50 amp power service connector to the dock, say 60 feet plus manual switch over. You are not going to change the voltage and frequency very often, say after going across an ocean so an automatic switch seems more to fail to my way of thinking than manual. I called Visecomm Industries at 262-767-9032, told them you needed 220 volts 50 hertz on the trawler and the dock supplied 50 amps at 115 volts 60 hertz, all single phase. What you want is a KSS6050 (solid state, no moving parts). It is 7.5 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 21 inches high with a weight of 140 pounds. Shipping weight is about 200 pounds from Wisconsin. This equipment can handle a 20% variation in input voltage so that's also good considering how bad voltage at a dock can vary. Also, check on this, but I believe this device also functions like an isolation transformer so you to not have that horrendous problem of electrolysis that can eat up the metal in a boat.
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