How to claim abandoned boats?

copperatsea

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if i no for certain that an old boat has been abandoned and an owner can not be sourced (i've been trying for 12 months now). how do i go about trying to own it? it is moored/sunk on public land! so nobody can claim it though unpaid fees (which is quite common these days). The Truro & Penryn harbour master Capt Andy Brigden advised me in September 06 to report it as abandoned property with the local police which i did but does this give me a legal right to the boat as nobody has claimed it? To save the boat from deteriating any more, a team of us raised it, patched the holes in the side and secured it with new ropes. that was in august 06, i then nailed a 4' square notice to the mast in the hope of someone passing knowing something about it. Now i dont know what else to do. Nobody knows who owns this boat! I would be grateful of any advise.
 

bdsweeting

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Interesting...

Quick look around with Google and although this relates to Club mooring etc there are some legal bits which may be of use..

http://www.rya.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/FEED2867-91B3-4133-AFF7-2562BD4262BA/0/ABANDONEDBOATS.pdf


and some descriptions of what 'state' the boat may be in...

http://www.plimsoll.org/WrecksAndAccidents/WhyAccidentsHappen/WhatCanHappen/default.asp

but ultimately it is a wreck and this is your best bet...

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga-enviro..._row_report.htm
 

burgundyben

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There is an offence of 'stealing by finding'.

I found (!) a camper van that took my fancy, quite clearly abandoned outside a scrapyard to be towed in on monday morning when they opened.

I spoke to a police friend, she told me about stealing by finding, you need to make sure that have made reasonable efforts to trace the owner and can demonstrate the fact, this would become your defence if someone tried to claim it.

I'd reccomend posting an advert in the local paper and maybe the Times, keep a copy, take photos of the notice you posted to the mast, record letters you sent to the HM, register it in your name!

Good luck.
 

billskip

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If it is now floatin.... and it just appens to break loose from the old lines... and you just appen to be around ...cant you claim salvage?? /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

Seagreen

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Can you post a picture of her up here? As for stealing by finding, that only applies if you don't tell anyone you've got her, and it sounds though you've already registered your interest with the authorities, so that cannot apply.

Ad in the local paper. Or you may get any sob turning up just to spoil your day. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

oldharry

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[ QUOTE ]
There is an offence of 'stealing by finding'.

I found (!) a camper van that took my fancy, quite clearly abandoned outside a scrapyard to be towed in on monday morning when they opened.



[/ QUOTE ] I would have thought that was quite clearly the property of the scrapyard: surely the previous owner had left it there for them to collect when it suited them.

'Abandoned' is not the same as 'left for a specified person to collect' . How did you know they had not pre-arranged it with the yard, and maybe even paid them to break it?

The obvious thing to do there if you fancied it was to turn up when they opened and make an offer.

Not the same at all as an abandoned boat. Would the Receiver of Wreck not be involved?
 

nashynet

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I once lost a model R/C aircraft, someone found it and I got to hear about it through a 3rd party. I contacted the finder and he denied all knowledge. I reported it to the police and the 3rd party acted as a witness. The finder ended up in court and ended up paying a fine, costs and compensation to me, he also earned himself a criminal record. The police informed me that if he had reported the find and I had not turned up inside 6 months the aircraft would have become legally his. If I was you I would return to the police or even speak to citizens advice bureau. - good luck.
 

nashynet

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Just another thought, if the boat was sunk, then surely it must be classed as a wreck. Does the wreckers rights law still exist?
 

Keith 66

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Very dodgy situation, firstly is she registered second does she owe berthing fees, you would need to advertise for her owner to show all reasonable steps had been taken to find him.
The harbour authority are probably the best people to dispose of the boat legally.
Alternatively try putting a coat of paint on her the owner will most certainly pop up out a hole in the ground, good luck!
 

stephenm01

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Hi again
I thought I would drop by and see how the reclamation project was progressing on the old boat.
I have some thoughts arising from the current thread. One main one actually: and that is that the boat, having sunk, and not been refloated, might be claimable as salvage?
...just a thought
Further to that thought - Generally Harbour Masters have powers to claim a boat if it has been proved to be abandoned, either under city by-laws or the Port Authority under which they work, if so however - they also have right s to sieze and sell the abandoned or derelict vessel, so tread warily.
In any such case though - it seems there is a requirement to post notices to try to establish prior ownership, and hence liability.
In the event that no owner(s) come forward I don't know what process should be followed, which is where salvage comes to mind - you refloated an abandoned vessel, ensured it was no longer a hazard, and might therefore reasonably be allowed to claim the vessel itself as the salvage fee?
Not sure - but a maritime lawyer may be able to give some guidance.
Hope it all turns out well for you - I would love to know that Dad's old boat was about and sailing again, as would my brothers.
regards
Stephen
 
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