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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Default How to find owner of an old boat?

    I was at a campground near Brookville, Indiana over the weekend and at the end of the storage lot there was a junked Montgomery Ward fiberglass runabout off the trailer and full of garbage. It would remind one of a '57 Chevy car and was left hand drive. It's totally wasted but might be possible to restore with a ton of work. There was also a 1968 or 1969 Glastron GT160 ( thats the open bow version). It was on a trailer and it too was fill;ed with water and debris but could be a possible restoration project. How can I find these owners? There are old watercraft registrations on the boat. Can these be looked up publicly? Our aircraft can so I would assume watercraft can too?

  2. #2
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Jacksonville, Florida

    Default Re: How to find owner of an old boat?

    take the #'s to the registration people.
    TEBOW Country

    Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
    That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

  3. #3
    Senior Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    May 2008
    james island, sc

    Default Re: How to find owner of an old boat?

    In SC in order to get a title on a lost/no title boat. you have to bring pictures of the transom #'s to the DNR and state it was abandoned.

    then they will charge you $30 (or 60, cant remember) to do a past owner search on the boat.

    then you have to FIND the last registered owner of the boat and physically go to them with pictures of the boat so they can confirm it and then have a notarized bill of sale from them to you for it...if they decide they dont want it back regardless of what shape its in.

    If they want it back and its been on your property for X amount of time (abandoned) you can then file for storage fees and if they dont want to pay it, then you can file for a title and the boat is yours.

    If they do the bill of sale, you simply take that to DNR and get a title made up and the boat is yours.

    If the last registered owner is dead, you are SOL. time to cut it up. SC DNR will not transfer a boat title to a new owner if the previous one is dead which I think is stupid as hell but oh well.

    not sure if this applies to you in your state though but should be about generalized for titling states.

  4. #4
    Lieutenant Junior Grade eavega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Alpharetta, GA

    Default Re: How to find owner of an old boat?

    Check for regulations in your state. I purchased a boat in NC whose previous owner was deceased. In NC, all you have to do is make a "reasonable effort" to contact the previous owner. In my case I sent a letter certified mail, return receipt requested to the owners last known address. When I got back the letter as undeliverable, that was proof enough that I made a reasonable effort to contact him, I filled out a form for salvage of an abandoned vessel, and the boat was now registered to me.


  5. #5

    Default Re: How to find owner of an old boat?

    If the boat still has a visible Hull ID# (HIN) on the rear starboard side, you can use your state's Fish and Wildlife website to attempt to locate any title/registration information.

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