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  1. #1
    Cadet
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    Default Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    I found an abandoned boat in a parking lot here in Houston, TX. It will be towed by the city very soon. I checked with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and they have no record of the boat ever being registered in Texas. I'd like to keep the boat and rebuild it (it's a real junker now). I found the 'owner' but he wants nothing to do with the boat. He bought it cheap with the intent to rebuild it but lost interest. Unfortunately, the person he bought it from wasn't the owner either. In Texas this is called a skip transfer, and although it's common enough to have its own name, there doesn't seem to be any way to resolve the fact that an ownership trail does not exist. The boat is now in limbo. The boat can't be bought or sold because it doesn't have a title.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to legally take posession of the boat? I read the Transportation Code on abandoned vehicles, and there appears to be no way to swing this. The only one who can move the vessel is the City of Houston, and then it will be sold at public auction. The storage and processing fee charged by the city will be more than the vessel is worth. I could tell a few lies, falsify some documents, etc. but I'm not willing to do that. I'm looking for a legal way to demonstrate that the boat is abandoned and to take posession of it. Finders Keepers...

  2. #2
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    in Fl we register them as home made. it's a little white lie. it gets a new id number. and hull number.
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  3. #3
    Fleet Admiral Texasmark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    I had an alum fishing boat sitting around the place for 25 years. A guy wanted it and I gave it to him. PWD has the forms and the process for doing it whether it's abandoned, or the title is lost, or the registration is long expired.

    The forms are on the www.

    HTH

    Mark
    If you are new to boating or have a new boat, a knowledgeable friend could show you how to operate your boat and save you a lot of grief, maybe some money, and maybe your life.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    I told TPWD that I had a 91 motor in the family since it was new on my grandpa's place and was privately used, so there was never a reason to get a title.

    The ran the numbers and found that it was never registered as I stated so they had me do a couple of documents and a pencil tracings of the serial number. That was good enough for them and they did the deal.

    I would stay away form the word "ABANDONED" and go with something like, "been in the family before titles were needed. If I can get a good title then I will fix her up other wise why don't you (TPWD) run by the house and haul her off for me!"

  5. #5
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by rsteaples
    I found an abandoned boat in a parking lot here in Houston, TX. It will be towed by the city very soon. I checked with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and they have no record of the boat ever being registered in Texas. I'd like to keep the boat and rebuild it (it's a real junker now). I found the 'owner' but he wants nothing to do with the boat. He bought it cheap with the intent to rebuild it but lost interest. Unfortunately, the person he bought it from wasn't the owner either. In Texas this is called a skip transfer, and although it's common enough to have its own name, there doesn't seem to be any way to resolve the fact that an ownership trail does not exist. The boat is now in limbo. The boat can't be bought or sold because it doesn't have a title.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to legally take posession of the boat? I read the Transportation Code on abandoned vehicles, and there appears to be no way to swing this. The only one who can move the vessel is the City of Houston, and then it will be sold at public auction. The storage and processing fee charged by the city will be more than the vessel is worth. I could tell a few lies, falsify some documents, etc. but I'm not willing to do that. I'm looking for a legal way to demonstrate that the boat is abandoned and to take posession of it. Finders Keepers...
    ok dude might not be too hard.
    1. You need a signed bill of sale (handwritten is fine) from the person who currently owns or possesses the craft.
    2. houston does not care about the boat .seriously they would be fine if it disappeared. SO once you have a legal bill of sale or gift(if the guy just wants it gone). Once that is in your possession borrow a dealer tag (legal) or a valid trailer plate(not so legal but very common). pick that sob up and drive it home.
    3. If the title search is a bust. you can do a few things. Like the man says do a little chop work to make it your own and register as home built. or you can contact the manufacturer with the vin # and they will tell you what state the boat originally went to. You can also have a nationwide title search conducted for you by an outside agency. It sounds like the boat probably was not registered in TX.
    anyway once the boat is in your yard that opens up time and options.
    well good luck and if you have more questions write back.
    L8R
    8)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    here in Oklahoma, I am going through a title company right now to get mine and they deal with abandoned vehicles/boats. maybe someone like that could help you.
    1947 Alumacraft Model A

  7. #7

    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    go to this address http://www.broadwaytitle.com/PDF_Forms/boats.pdf


    or http://www.broadwaytitle.com

    and they can help with getting title in ur name

    thanks

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 1st Class lifeisfun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Wow, I hope he got it by now ...2 years later

  9. #9
    Cadet
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Apply for a bonded title. The Texas Parks and Wildlife website has some info.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by billdivins View Post
    Apply for a bonded title. The Texas Parks and Wildlife website has some info.
    That's what I'd do.

  11. #11
    Ensign bhammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Maybe by now, 2 years later, he has the title issue worked out. Heck, the boat may be seaworthy now.
    ********
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  12. #12
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    Smile Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    I have a similar problem. I bought a boat a few years ago and since lost the title that was not in my name. We did not have a bill of sale. I sent the returned certified letter to our wonderful state for a bonded title and was refused. I am not sure what to do. Let me know what works.

  13. #13
    Petty Officer 1st Class cdnfthree2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    All this info is really interesting. When I was given an aluminum 14' boat in Rockport, TX. , TPW told me that there was no way to title it again without contacting the owner and since there was Zero info on the boat(no TX numbers or anything) they said the only way that boat could be used is with a paddle! I do recall though that they said if I were to go further inland, I might have a chance. Something about too many abandoned boats down there whose owner's magically pop up after being retitled.

    Anyways, I have a 16 1/2 ' boat whose previous owner had lost title. The 70hp motor blew and the transom was rebuilt to accomodate a 90hp. That made it a homeade boat and was retitled as homemade.

  14. #14
    Petty Officer 1st Class hubbard53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    heh, nice necro post (reviving a long dead thread)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    I was under the impression a state inspector had to look at the boat to make sure it was indeed a homemade boat. How did you get by that process? Has anyone experienced the company from ARK that will buy your boat and then sell it to you to get a title?

    FYI with the wonderful state employees we have this will be a popular post.

  16. #16
    Commander Nandy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by hubbard53 View Post
    heh, nice necro post (reviving a long dead thread)
    I agree, however, some of the new information can help some future member or reader.
    1975 Cobia Tradewinds SS-170
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    Yes, I could google it, but I rather get advise from my Iboats fellow members...

  17. #17
    Petty Officer 1st Class cdnfthree2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    The guy I bought it from didn't give too many details other than it had been an 18'boat with a 70hp and finally it was a 16.5' boat with a 90hp. There is no possible way that this boat was actually home made-It was a very professional job and one of the best wide bow hulls I've ever seen. I tried to identify it for two whole years with no luck. Finally, I found a few shops that suspected it to be a WellCraft and a few others that swore it was manufatured by an older company in Victoria,Texas. To this day, No hull id, no known manufactuer. But this '72 is definately not home made. One mechanic said that the hull could be shot several time with a large caliber rifle and still not sink. Said the hull was worth more than the motor. I'd love to know what it actually is. As soon as I figure out how to post a pic I'm gonna find out.

  18. #18
    Seaman Apprentice
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    I see this is an old thread, maybe someone out there still reads/responds to these!
    I have a boat that I picked up for parts, but I'd like to get it registered in texas. I have the title id card with the origional owners name and address on it, but I think I have a slimm chance of contacting him to get the title. the transom needs to be replaced and it also needs other fiberglass work. if that work is done and the transom beefed up, can I title it as a homemade boat? even though it was a manufactured boat?

    also do I need a title for the motor? or can I run any motor on it?

  19. #19
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    I work for a Texas state government agency and one of my co-worker's wives works for TPWD. I was talking to her about this very subject when I got my new boat registered and she said one reason Texas has gotten more stringent on non-titled or abandoned boats is that there have been numerous incidents of abandoned boats after the hurricanes of the past few years. That is more than likely why one poster was told to "try further inland". And as also posted, there have been incidents where someone abandoned a boat, someone else got it titled, and then a relative of the "abandoner" surfaced wanting "Dad's boat" and it was a legal mess. This also happens with trailers and motor vehicles and Texas has made changes with that regard as well.
    Doug
    Midland, TX
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    GO K-STATE Wildcats!
    Hook 'em HORNS!

  20. #20
    Seaman 62larkowner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Texasmark View Post
    I had an alum fishing boat sitting around the place for 25 years. A guy wanted it and I gave it to him. PWD has the forms and the process for doing it whether it's abandoned, or the title is lost, or the registration is long expired.

    The forms are on the www.

    HTH

    Mark
    i'm curious what that web sight is i have a 12 ft aluminum delhi it shows regesterd but never titled,last taged in 1989 , uncle bought it from a garage sale for 20 bucks did some glasswork to repair it ( he used it in a private pond )then recently gave it to me and i want to get tags so i can use it with a motor,

    ne ideals ? tpwd is givin me a run around

  21. #21
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by 62larkowner View Post
    i'm curious what that web sight is i have a 12 ft aluminum delhi it shows regesterd but never titled,last taged in 1989 , uncle bought it from a garage sale for 20 bucks did some glasswork to repair it ( he used it in a private pond )then recently gave it to me and i want to get tags so i can use it with a motor,
    Quote Originally Posted by 62larkowner View Post


    ne ideals ? tpwd is givin me a run around

    If you'll look at the date of Texasmark's post about his situation it was in 2006. The law has changed in Texas since then and TPWD is much more stringent about non-titled boats. I understand your position about being given the run around, but the changes came out of necessity caused by people that did things illegally or dishonestly in the past. It makes situations like yours tougher.
    Doug
    Midland, TX
    2009 Tracker Pro 16 Bass Tracker
    Mercury 30HP EFIPT

    GO K-STATE Wildcats!
    Hook 'em HORNS!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Indeed...you may be toast unless you have a friend/relative in a non-titling state that you can sell it to, then pay for registration there, then have your friend/relative sell it back to you...all so TPWD will recognize it as out-of-state boat needing a title. That's simpler than trying to register an abandoned boat. The other half of the reason for all this current rigamaroll surrounding titles in Tejas is an agency jacking all its fees to maximize income and pass more laws requiring enforcment and, surprise!, more fees and personnel. We need a new Guv, but that's hard to do when only 30% of registered voters turn out for elections...I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  23. #23
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    I must say I was fortunate to get the title. I had to talk to a manager.......someone who could think. You may want to try that. If the boat has not been titled in a long time they understand.

  24. #24
    Seaman 62larkowner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    actualy had some one tel me just toss the numbers , tell 'em found it on grandpas property with transom rotten and redo it then see bout gettin new hin n stuff
    "Grounds 4 Divorce"

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

    Why do people resurrect old threads? This one has been dug up a few times since 2006.
    Ray

    If you are the smartest person in the room, your in the wrong room.

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