Today, I decided to review of four different websites that provide Boat Abstract services. Recall, Boat Abstracts are a report on a boat’s ownership and history from the United States Coast Guard. Beginners can read more about it HERE.
The Coast Guard Abstract of Title is a record of all the documents submitted to the Coast Guard for a specific boat. Abstract of Title is an important document a boat buyer needs to get when he or she wants to purchase a boat. The Abstract is specific to each boat.
So, which service should you hire to obtain the Title Abstract for you?
The 4 websites reviewed today are:
Review criteria I will be using include: professionalism, website, mistakes, prices, payment method, and contact info. Disclaimer: This article was written by a hired neutral third party and then I proof read it before posting it online.
- Vessel Title Services
It’s a full-service documentation company. The website is designed with a very simple template which makes it a bit dry and not attractive. The website looks old and as you can see there is no https SSL certificate so I would not enter my credit card on this site. It’s just a single page with links to make an order or contact. Not informative as a new user would want it to be but the steps are laid out with regards to the order process and the checks they will perform on the report. It doesn’t have any ads on the page. The order process is relatively long as you have to enter your boat information and email then proceed to enter your credit card information on another page for 79 USD. Since the website is from 2009, we can conclude that they are the first to offer this service compared to the newer companies below. There is no satisfaction guarantee or mention of refund policy other than that they won’t refund you if the boat is not documented!
- Maritime Documentation
This full-service website does it all but for a high price as well. It is probably the nicest looking site of the bunch. It’s an all-encompassing website as it fully lists various services and relevant information about what the company can do for you (renewals, address change, abstracts..etc.). A new user can get as much information as he or she needs as there is an FAQ section where you can get answers to all the questions you may probably have. The visual appeal is great. No Ads. The website also has a blog/news section where you can read about all the recent happenings in the industry. Contact information is well displayed; Email, Telephone number, and Live Chat. It looks genuine and the payment method is by credit card (website is encrypted by SSL). The price is $75 for a single Abstract Title and the form is a bit long to fill out when really all they need is the ID of the boat and your contact info! It is full-service but complicated for someone that just needs an abstract of title quickly.
- Yacht Docs Online
This website loads a little slowly and seems to use a template for its pages and blog. The blog only has a few articles. It has various sections, so, you can navigate to find relevant info that you need. A blend of just a few colors; mostly white and blue with a little touch of yellow and black. It’s an ad-free website and payment methods are through PayPal and credit cards. The price is also $75 for a single Abstract Title with a much simpler form than the previous two sites above. Contents are well written with no errors but the layout can be improved if they use a different template. Contact information available are: Live chat popup, Email & Phone number. I like that they offer PayPal as it means you only have to fill in one form instead of two.
An aesthetically pleasing website that is very easy to use. Can be regarded as simple & classic. The website looks genuine & convincing. It is the only one that provides a Sample Report of how an Abstract Title looks like! Boat-Abstract.com doesn’t have much content other than two excellent articles about title abstracts and the order page. They are focused on simplicity and fast order process with an SSL encryption for security and PayPal payments for 50$. As a matter of fact, the website only offers the service of Boat Abstract of Title so, all you have to do is to enter your USCG official number and pay $50. This is the lowest price available for the same product the others are offering! The only contact info available is via Email and there is neither FAQ nor any ads on the home page.
The website maritimedocumentation.us has the most investment in looks and services available but if you only need an abstract of title, then you can save $25-$30 and use boat-abstract.com instead. The other two sites reviewed come in third and fourth place in my opinion.