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A focus on liveaboard rights

I had the surprise of my life a few nights ago when two United States Marshals boarded my boat while it was in its slip and instructed me to leave. They handed me some paperwork and told me that I had 5 minutes to gather my belongings and get off the boat. I told them that I lived aboard the boat but they ignored that fact and repeated their demand for me to get off the boat. Then a Vessel Assist boat arrived and towed my boat away. The paperwork included a complaint that was filed in federal court by my former business partner, claiming that I had defaulted on a loan that had been secured by a mortgage on the boat. I was in fact a couple of months past due on the loan but I never expected to be tossed out of my home in the middle of the night with no warning. What are my rights in a case like this?


Can I use a foreign-built boat in a charter fishing business?

I own a foreign-built motor yacht that I would like to use in a charter fishing business, and I have a few questions about some of the legal issues I ...

Distinguishing Authority

Last summer, I participated in a vessel safety check conducted by members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The men who conducted the inspection were very ...

Sunken boat liability — who’s responsible for its removal?

I recently lost my boat in a marina fire in Northern California. The fire started aboard a boat in a neighboring slip and my boat was one of four that ...

Concerns about buying a yacht from a private party without a broker

I am buying a yacht in California from a private party without a broker, and the seller’s attorney drafted a two-page purchase agreement. I am a ...

Concerns about buying a yacht from a private party without a broker

I am buying a yacht in California from a private party without a broker, and the seller’s attorney drafted a two-page purchase agreement. I am a ...

What Consequences Are There in Failing to Record a Bill of Sale?

I sold my boat almost a year ago. I signed and notarized a bill of sale on the official Coast Guard form and exchanged the bill of sale for a cashier& ...

What Consequences Are There in Failing to Record a Bill of Sale?

I sold my boat almost a year ago. I signed and notarized a bill of sale on the official Coast Guard form and exchanged the bill of sale for a cashier& ...

How do the U.S. Coast Guard, SeaTow and Vessel Assist respond to distress calls?

I am researching the services offered by commercial assistance towing companies (such as SeaTow or Vessel Assist), and I am a little confused about th ...

Can ignoring equipment failures become a problem for marine insurance coverage?

My boat was out of the water last week for some bottom work and an insurance survey. My marine surveyor told me something about marine insurance cover ...

Shedding some light on the maritime title search process

I am buying a boat through a yacht broker and the sea trial and survey will be completed next week. In the interim I asked my broker and the documenta ...

Shipyard liability release

My boat is listed for sale through a California broker and I recently accepted an offer from a prospective buyer.  The offer is contingent on a s ...

Using a California broker

I am interested in purchasing a yacht through a California broker. This is my first California purchase but I have bought several boats over the years ...

Purchasing a bank repo boat

I am in the process of buying a 40 foot motor yacht that was a bank repo. The broker disclosed that the previous owner was a couple years behind on hi ...

How to start a charter business

We are interested in starting a charter business with the purchase of a 50 foot sportfishing yacht that is currently located and registered in Mexico. ...