Frank's Corner: Buying a Boat

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    Great Boat For Sale – Easy to get title

    As spring rolls around, ads like this become more numerous.

    14 foot boat - $100 (New Braunfels)
    Date: 2010-01-12, 10:29AM CST
    Reply to: see below
    14 foot green fiberglass fishing boat.
    This is just the hull.
    There are no seats or motor.
    Very heavy, and very strong with plenty of life waiting to be floated on.
    I do not know where the title is, but the ID numbers are still on the boat to replace it.
    Call me, xxxxxx, at 830-###-#### for more info or to claim this excellent deal.
    Asking $100 FIRM.

    There is a great misunderstanding about what is required to transfer title of boats in Texas and get boats registered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). First, let’s look at what boats are required to be registered with TPWD. Boats required to have current Texas registration, including when docked, moored, or stored are (1) All motorized boats, regardless of length, (2) All sailboats 14 feet in length or longer or any sailboat with an auxiliary engine(s); and (3) USCG Documented vessels. The following vessels are exempt from registration (1) All (non-motorized) canoes, (2) kayaks, (3) punts, (4) rowboats, or rubber rafts (regardless of length) when paddled, poled, or oared, and (5) and sailboats under 14 feet in length when windblown.

    In order to register your boat with TPWD, you must have a valid title in possession, or you must have a valid title signed by the seller, on both sides, whose name is printed on the title, designating you as the buyer. You must also have a PWD 143 Tax affidavit form signed by the seller. A Bill of Sale can replace the PWD 143 form if certain requirements are met, but a Bill of Sale NEVER replaces the title.

    The point of this article is that if a seller doesn’t have a title in his name to boat you are interested in buying, you might not be able to get the title in your name. You can get more detailed information on boat registration and titles from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department located at Texas Parks and Wildlife

    About the author: Randle Moore sails on Canyon Lake and is dedicated to boater education. More information can be obtained at South Texas Sailing

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