What You Need to Know When Buying a Used Boat
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Or similar advertisements?
boat,trailer,motor no titles $300 obo - $300 (east
Date: 2010-01-20, 8:46AM CST
Reply to: sale-3tcmg-#########@craigslist.org
1975 sunedance boat and a 80hp mercury motor
and trailer the motor does work been sitting 10
text me at 210-###-### to leave an offer i will get
back to the best offer or call for info ask for XXXXX

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.
It does not come with a trailer, so have
on ready when you come to pick it up. I can deliver
it to you for an additional cost depending on how
far away from me you are. Local would be no
problem. Call me, xxxxxx, at 830-###-#### for
more info or to claim this excellent deal. Asking
$100 FIRM.
At best, these may be cases of an owner having
misplaced the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
(TPWD) issued titles. Frequently, a seller will tell you
how easy it is to replace a missing title.
question to you is, if it is so easy, why hasn’t
the seller replaced the title before offering the
boat for sale?

If you are in the market to buy a used
boat, here is what you need to know.

Boats, when on Texas public water are required to
have current Texas registration,
including when
docked, moored, or stored.
  • All motorized boats, regardless of length
  • All sailboats 14 feet in length or longer or any
    sailboat with an auxiliary engine(s); and
  • USCG Documented vessels
The following vessels are exempt from
  • All (non-motorized) canoes,
  • kayaks,
  • punts,
  • rowboats, or
  • rubber rafts (regardless of length) when
    paddled, poled, or oared
  • and sailboats under 14 feet in length when
**Link to TPWD**

Some people have contacted me to say that
they've had a boat since before the boat title
laws went into effect in 1994 and they don't
have to have a title to the boat. The following
is what
TPWD says verbatim
"Vessels that are currently registered and not
titled must be titled at the time of transfer.
Sailboats 14 feet and over will be registered
and titled as owners become aware of these
requirements. Currently owned untitled
outboard motors must be titled when

If the boat is required to have current Texas
registration then the seller MUST have a title in the
seller’s name to convey title to you.
If the seller
does not have a title, then in the eyes of the
state, the seller is not the owner.
Effective January 1, 1994, all motorboats and all
outboard motors must be titled. Also sailboats
14 feet and over in length must be titled.
  • All motorized boats, regardless of length;
  • All sailboats 14 feet in length or longer or any
    sailboat with an auxiliary engine(s); and
  • All internal combustion (gasoline/diesel
    powered) outboard motors must be titled.
**Link to TPWD**

In a private sale, whenever possible, both the seller
and buyer should go to the
nearest participating
to transfer the boat title and registration and
outboard motor title into the name of the purchaser.
Seller – by accompanying the buyer to the local
office you are assured that the record is transferred
out of your name and future liability for the vessel
eliminated. The vessel and outboard motor title will
remain in your name until a new title is applied for
and processed by the local office or through the mail.
Purchaser – you can avoid unwanted surprises
about your purchase by having the seller
accompany you to the local office. If there are any
problems with the title, they can be resolved by the
seller [sic] at that time.
**Link to TPWD**

The seller must:
Complete the tax affidavit portion of the Vessel
Application form
PWD 143 (PDF 509.5 KB) and/or
Outboard Motor Application form
PWD 144 (PDF
390 KB), sign and date each form; and
If the boat or outboard motor is required to be
titled, the seller must provide one of the
following in their name:
  • MSO (if brand new); or
  • Texas title; or
  • Out of state title/registration (which ever is
    required by the previous state)
  • On the back of the MSO, title or out of state
    title/registration, the seller must print the name
    of the purchaser, sign, and date.
If a hand written bill of sale is provided instead
of the signed tax affidavit
portion on the PWD
143 (PDF 509.5 KB) and/or PWD 144 (PDF 390
KB), list the price of the trailer separately from the
price of the boat and outboard motor.
A valid bill of
sale must contain the date of sale, sales price
(excluding trailer), description of the boat and
outboard motor (make, year, and TX or serial
number), purchaser(s) name and seller(s)
[Note a bill of sale only can
replace the PWD 143 form. A bill of sale CAN
NOT replace the title.]

The purchaser must:
Complete the rest of the application in the new
owner's name, sign and date; and
If coming from out of state or not previously titled,
verify the serial number (HIN/MIN) by completing
PWD 504 (PDF 241.8 KB) (pencil tracing of the
boat hull/identification AND/OR motor
identification/serial number); and
Submit application(s), assigned title(s), supporting
documents, required fees and tax within 20 working
days to
Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters in
Austin, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement
field office or a participating County Tax Assessor-
Collector office.
Applications for transfer of title and ownership must
be filed not later than 20 working days from date of
purchase, or tax penalties and interest will be
**Link to TPWD**

A title printed in the seller's name is required
to transfer ownership of a previously owned
and/or outboard motor titled in Texas. Check
the Certificate of Number card. If there is a title on
the boat, it will be designated "TITLED" on the card.
The following forms may be used to replace a lost or
destroyed Texas title.
  • To replace a lost or destroyed Texas title for a
    vessel/boat, submit form PWD 143M (PDF
    405.1 KB).
  • To replace a lost or destroyed Texas title for
    an outboard motor, submit form PWD 144M
    (PDF 335.8 KB).
  • The owner of record must apply if there is no
    lien. If there is a lien on our [TPWD] record
    and the lien has not been paid, the lien holder
    must apply. If there is a lien on our [TPWD]
    record and the lien has been paid, the owner
    of record may apply for a replacement title
    with the lien released by submitting form PWD
    403 (PDF 298.2 KB), and one of the following:
  • Section N – Release a Lien on the form PWD
    403 (PDF 298.2 KB) completed by the lien
    holder and notarized; or
  • Separate notarized Release of Lien provided
    by the lien holder.
The seller(s) must sign the title on both the
front and the back of the title. Old titles
required the seller to sign in the presence of a
notary, but this is no longer true.

In addition, to the seller(s) signing the title
over to you, the seller must also sign a PWD-
143 form.

There are procedures for assuming ownership
and gaining title of boats with cloudy or
missing titles,
but it can be costly, time
consuming, and fruitless.
Contact TPWD for
this situation.
**Link to TPWD**

Remember, when a seller has a boat on his
property and he doesn’t have title to the boat,
HE HAS A PROBLEM. If you give the seller
money and he gives you a boat without a title
and a PWD-143 form, YOU THEN HAVE A
A summary of buying a used
boat follows. Look below the
sample ads for detailed

When you go look at the boat, take a PWD –
143 form with you. If it has an outboard motor,
also take a
PWD – 144 form with you.

  • Have the seller show you the title to the
    boat and if the boat has an outboard
    motor, its title, too.
  • Match the registration number and the
    hull number with the numbers on the
    boat. The registration number will be on
    both sides of the bow and will look like
    this “TX 1234 CW”. The hull number will
    be on the outside right side of the
    transom if the boat was manufactured
    after 1972. Boat manufactured before
    1973 were not required to have hull
  • If the owner does not have a title to show
  1.        Give the owner a PWD-143M form
    to send to TPWD to get a replacement
    for lost boat title. If the owner does not
    have a title to the outboard motor, give
    the owner a PWD-144M form.
    Remember, without a valid title,
    ownership cannot easily or inexpensively
    be transferred.
  2.        Copy the registration number or
    hull number onto a piece of paper. If the
    hull number is difficult to read, lay the
    paper on the hull number and rub your
    pencil across it to get a rubbing image.
  3.        Go to the TPWD website link to find
    out who is the owner of record.
  • If the name of your seller matches with
    the official record, then all you have to
    do is wait for the seller to obtain a valid
    copy of the title to complete the
  • If the name of your seller doesn’t match
    with the official record, start searching
    the classifieds for another boat. Let the
    current possessor of the boat solve his

Helpful links:

PWD – 143 form  to buy or sell a boat

PWD – 144 form  to buy or sell an outboard

PWD-143M form to order a replacement for
lost title for a boat.

PWD-144M form to order a replacement for a
lost title for an outboard motor.

Owner of record of a boat or outboard motor

Source of all information: Texas Parks and
Wildlife Department, 2010,

Links to good sites for used
Sailboats for Sale

Sailing Texas– International, not just Texas

Sailboat Listings– extensive national database

Personal Water Craft
PWC Texas -  PWC

Power Boats for Sale
PWC Texas – Power Boats

General Boat for Sale Sites

Craigs List Austin

Craigs List Beaumont

Craigs List Brownsville

Craigs List College Station

Craigs List Corpus Christi

Craigs List Dallas - Ft Worth

Craigs List Galveston

Craigs List Houston

Craigs List Killeen/ Ft Hood

Craigs List San Antonio

Craigs List San Marcos

Craigs List Temple/Belton

Craigs List Victoria

Craigs List Waco
South Texas Sailing
Copyright 2010-12 Randle B Moore,      
All Rights Reserved     
Terms of Use
Source: Craigslist.org, San Antonio, TX
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