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My previous boat...a blessing or a curse?-gctid346999

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  • My previous boat...a blessing or a curse?-gctid346999

    Back in January 2010, I sold my old boat (a 1977 Sea Ray SRV 240). She was beautiful boat; but the new owner neglected and eventually sunk it. The boat was salvaged and re-floated. It was placed back on its trailer and taken to a storage facility. I received a note from the owner of the storage facility indicating the boat had been brought there by the person who purchased it from me and has been sitting there for several months without rent being paid. The note also indicates I am the owner of record on the boat, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Apparently, the person who purchased the boat from me failed to transfer title.As the situation stands, the boat is sitting at the storage yard. The owner intends to place a lien on it and eventually perform a lien sale. Even though I am the owner of record, I have a bill of sale. I am unable to contact the person who purchased the boat from me.To make a long story short, I am more interested in the trailer than the boat. The trailer is a nice EZ Loader galvanized dual axle. I kind of regretted selling the trailer because it would have made a perfect trailer for my current boat.Has anyone gone through a process similar to this? I'm interested in knowing whether I have any rights to the property.Pictures tell a thousand words, so I attached a few.Thanks in advance for any help.

    [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/649755=24151-Sea Ray 1.jpg[/img]

    [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/649755=24152-Sea Ray 2.jpg[/img]

  • #2
    The bill of sale is to protect you. I really don't think you can have a claim on the boat other than the owner of the rental property doing what he needs to do and offering it to you for what is due him once he has done all the necessary paperwork. Being the title hasn't been transfered, it would eventually come to you and you would have to either defend yourself which typically would be the only reason you would have to prove the sale.

    Should be clear sailing once the rental guys does all the necessary stuff. Keep the trailer, sell the boat.

    My 3 cents worth.


    • #3
      In Oz it is the sellers responsibility to make sure the transfer paperwork is complete by both parties and then the seller has to post or visit the offices to submit, the forms. However they also say the registration documents does not mean you own the boat, car or vehicle but bill of sale does. In my opinion it's not your problem but I stand to be corrected.


      • #4
        i had a friend that got a call 4 years after selling a car to come pick it up at an impound yard. it had never been dad got a letter once that a motorcycle he sold was found in another state and he was the last reg. owner, he could have it or sign off and let the place have it.. so im sure you can have the boat if you want it as long as you pay the boat yard fees. it might get into an interesting battle if the new owner then decides to come looking for it and has the notarized title that was never switched out of your name. i think a signed off title is void after a while and the vehicle goes back to the last reg could always buy it back cheap from the auction. i bought a 71 searay srv240 on a trailer once for $71.

        the last thing is, i read that with abandoned boats, the last reg. owner is responsible for any clean up and/or disposal of the boat. the article said if you sell a boat to be sure it is taken out of your name because you could be responsible for thousands in cleanup..

        the best thing t odo if you want it is just pay the lot fees or buy it at the auction if you want it.. i would love to have that boat. i was forced to sell mine to get it out of my inlaws drive before i ever got to use it


        • #5
          Bay Cruise wrote:
          In Oz it is the sellers responsibility to make sure the transfer paperwork is complete by both parties and then the seller has to post or visit the offices to submit, the forms. However they also say the registration documents does not mean you own the boat, car or vehicle but bill of sale does. In my opinion it's not your problem but I stand to be corrected.
          I think you will find that it is the buyers responsibility to carry out the transfer of registration etc in Aust.


          • #6
            Danny wrote:
            I think you will find that it is the buyers responsibility to carry out the transfer of registration etc in Aust.
            Hi Danny, sorry I shouldn't have said it is fact, I should have said "I" do this to protect myself as per the below quote which is off the transfer form.

            "If you reasonably believe the acquirer has not applied for transfer of the vehicle registration within 14 days, you may lodge the sellers copy with the department".

            In my view I don't know the buyer from Adam so to protect myself this is what I always do.


            • #7
              I can only comment on what it would be in NJ, your coast may vary.

              Here you would have signed over a title for the boat. NJ does not title trailers (they do register them w/ plates) you would have given the seller a hand written bill of sale for the trailer.

              Not your problem if he chooses not to title or register in his name, which here in NJ would be illegal.

              The very reason why you would not be responsible is the same reason you have no claim now, you sold it.

              If however you had a lien on it and the buyer defaulted that would be a different story.

              I would be interested in why you would even think you would have some claim to it though.

              I think you would be looking over your shoulder forever if you didn't get it legally.


              • #8
                You may have to do one of these Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) is used to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when you have sold or transferred your vehicle or vessel to another party. It is used only when ownership of the vehicle or vessel has changed. Legal owner transfers (transfers between lenders or removal of a lienholder from the title) do not require an NRL

                Yes. You are required by law to notify DMV within five calendar days from the date you sell or transfer title or interest in and deliver possession of a vehicle to another owner (Vehicle Code §5900).

                The new owner owes use tax

                GO TO THIS LINK BELOW


                After you sell or transfer ownership of a vehicle or vessel to another party, complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL).


                • #9
                  I can't remember the form # but you should record the sale to the DMV relieve yourself of any possible liability. Plus there may be property taxes due on the boat and that may be a pain in the rear to get out of. If you want the trailer, work a deal with the lien holder after he takes possession of the boat. Do you know if there are any pollution fines pending on the sinking. Your buyer owes sales tax on the boat to the state, they'll want a piece of him on that as well. You will have to report the sales value.


                  • #10
                    Do as the above. bring the bill of sale into DMV and get out from under it, legally. CYA

                    This happened to a friend of mine. He had a 19' bowrider, and sold it to spmeone else. he spent a couple of hours with the new owner (NO) showing him how to operate and maintain it.

                    he executed a bill of sale and both signed it in front of a notary public.

                    About a month later, the sheriff and a federal EPA cop are at his front door, wanting to arrest him. Seems the NO sunk the boat in a lake about a mile away, and the gasoline and oils were leaking out. The cops sent a diver down and he recorded the Fl numbers,a nd the NO never registered it, so my friend was owner of record. His notarized bill of sale was what saved him from a $25K fine. the NO got arrested.
                    Captharv 2001 2452
                    "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"


                    • #11
                      I'd call CA DMV and find out where you are from a legal stand point before making any plans/agreements with the storage facility. Last thing you need is to take ownership of the boat again only to find out there is a bill for the salvage of the boat, clean-up etc etc etc.
                      Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
                      1998 3055 Ciera
                      (yes, a 1998)
                      Previous boat: 1993 3055
                      Dream boat: 70' Azimut or Astondoa 72
                      Sea Doo XP
                      Sea Doo GTI SE
                      Life is short. Boats are cool.
                      The family that plays together stays together.
                      Vice Commodore: Bellevue Yacht Club


                      • #12
                        You need to get out from under this responsibility asap. You could be liable for all kinds of charges not the least of which will be the storage charges which certainly won't be covered by the lien sale proceeds. Then there is the salvage charges etc.

                        DMV has a release of ownership and liability form. Fill it out and file it now.

                        Then wait for the lien sale and buy the trailer if you like. But fill out this form now. Run, don't walk...

                        Every time you sell a car or boat it is a good idea to file this form right away. Many people never change ownership and you are liable for parking tickets, towing fees etc etc.


                        • #13
                          Thanks everyone! The information has been very useful. I have both bills of sale for the trailer and the boat. I did send the notice of release of liability form within days after selling the boat. But the title still seems to be under my name. Either the form was not received or not properly recorded. I didn't make a copy of the release, but I can submit a new one.

                          As far as the storage fees go, I called the storage yard owner and left a message. If there is a lien sale, I'm going to request an opportunity to make an offer on the trailer. This is of course with the hope the guy who bought it from me didn't destroy it. Then, the trailer would not be so much of a bargain.

                          The salvage operations were probably paid for because the boat was released to the new owner -- as he was the one who took it to the storage facility. The boat was berthed at Bruno's Island Yacht Harbor (It's hardly a yacht harbor...more like a floating trailer park.) and I called them to see what their insurance requirements are. They affirmed they require $300K of liability coverage and verify policies once a year. The boat sunk only a few months after he purchased it, so hopefully the policy was active back then. If there are monies owed for the salvage operation and a lien is placed, it would come up in the record search that must be performed prior to the execution of a lien sale.


                          • #14
                            Today I decided to call Bruno's Island Yacht Harbor to get the real story on this boat. I did get an ear full. For a detailed account of this story, see a prior thread I posted last year when I learned of this boat's sinking.

                            This boat was owned by a someone who lived aboard a 40 foot Pacemaker. He used the Sea Ray I sold him as a fishing boat and kept it side-tied to the boat he lived on. When I asked the harbor master at Bruno's Island Yacht Harbor about the sunken boat...and mentioned the boat owner's name, he thought I was referring to the Pacemaker he owned. He apparently sunk the Pacemaker as well! Refloating the 40 footer was apparently a huge operation and ended up costing the marina a considerable amount of money for parts of the operation that weren't covered by his insurance. Shortly after the Pacemaker was re-floated, the owner died.

                            So now, we have a deceased boat owner, two sunken boats with liens on them, and a marina and boat storage yard trying to recover what they can from this.

                            Incidentally, I'm not surprised to hear about the boat owner being deceased. His main source of nutrition was cheap beer and vodka and was a chain smoker.

                            I also did learn there are no impending fines or clean up costs from the Sea Ray. Having the bill of sale, I'm in the clear.


                            • #15
                              Funny or odd enough, we have a couple boats in our boat house under similar circumstances. Seems it can take a cpl yrs++ to liquidate a boat for marina fees.

                              We are going to be out sunday, you out and about?