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Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

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  • 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
    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.
    FLORIDA GATORS
    TEBOW Country



    Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        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!"

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        • #5
          Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

          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)

          Comment



          • #6
            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

            Comment



            • #7
              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

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

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

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

                  Apply for a bonded title. The Texas Parks and Wildlife website has some info.
                  Thanks to all who share their experience and knowledge with those who seek it.

                  Be Prepared and Do a Good Turn Daily

                  Comment



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

                    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.

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      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.
                      ********
                      2007 Starcraft Limited 1900 RE
                      Mercruiser 4.3L MPI w/ Aplha

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                      • #12
                        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.
                        1965 20' Texas Maid Electra

                        http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=261511

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Any Way to Title an Abandoned Boat in Texas?

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

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              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.
                              1965 20' Texas Maid Electra

                              http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=261511

                              sigpic

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