There is not a register to check who legally owns a narrowboat. As an accredited broker and a member of the British Marine Federation we follow a strict code of practice. Every seller signs a listing agreement and amongst many other things it states that they are the sole legal and beneficial owners of the vessel and absolutely entitled to transfer interest in the vessel. It also states that they have to declare if there is any mortgage or finance on the vessel.If there is any outstanding finance we as the broker settle the finance from the proceeds of the sale on behalf of the seller. (There is not a register to check if there is a mortgage or finance on a vessel) There is also a legal binding contract (sales contract) produced between the seller and buyer of every vessel. Amongst many other things the contract states that the seller is sole legal and beneficial owner of the vessel and absolutely entitled to transfer full interest in the vessel. We also require photo identification, a bill with the sellers name and address on it, insurance, boat licence (if applicable), proof of purchase. We also require proof of the sellers bank account, sort code and the funds are paid directly into there account via the clients trust account when the boat has been handed over to the buyer. The seller also signs a bill of sale confirming that they have power to transfer full title of the vessel to the buyer and that the vessel is free from loan,finance or any other incumbrances.The most important documents are the legally binding listing agreement that the seller signs. The sales contract that the seller and buyer signs. The Bill of sale that the seller signs.