The mechanics of buying a used boat, cash, check, deposits, transportation?

MAArcher

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If you're buying a boat where the sum is a bit more than you'd do a cash deal for, and the boat will have to sit where it is until transportation can be arraigned, how do you set up the deal so both parties are protected? The only cars and boats I've ever purchased are ones where I forked over cash and drove/towed away. Any issues I should be aware of, particularly boat related?
 

WoundUpMarine

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Genius

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Escrow company is the safest way to handle monies. I used a marine documentation company as an escrow/closing agent once. Small associated fee of course. The buyer was on the west coast, so it kinda made sense. Other sales I've done bank checks, but from what I understand these can even be somewhat of a risk.

As for the physical boat, you don't own it till it's in your possession. Best to make payment and transport the same day IMO.
 

WoundUpMarine

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I purchased a FSBO boat this summer using an Escrow/Document company with a sales agreement here on the west coast. Once we had an agreed upon sales agreement/contract we set up an escrow account and funded the deposit. We then secured a survey and transportation/storage. Once these were signed off, we funded escrow with the remaining funds and took possession of the boat. All went very smooth and secure.
 

Kailua Kid

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If you're buying a boat where the sum is a bit more than you'd do a cash deal for, and the boat will have to sit where it is until transportation can be arraigned, how do you set up the deal so both parties are protected? The only cars and boats I've ever purchased are ones where I forked over cash and drove/towed away. Any issues I should be aware of, particularly boat related?
The advice to use an escrow is spot on. Make sure the agreed escrow instructions are not just easy to understand, but are impossible to misunderstand and that they address all contingencies and possibilities. (Don’t just use some template or form- think it through and make sure it will be abundantly clear what happens with title and money and by when that happens, who does what, etc.)
If the boat is US Documented, order an Abstract from NVDC before closing and study it carefully to make sure you know and understand what is of record. Realize however that whether or not the boat is US Documented, liens and encumbrances on boats do not have to be recorded anywhere; I.e., they can be enforced under admiralty law in an in rem action (against the vessel herself) in federal court even against a good faith purchaser for value so long as the suit to enforce the claimed lien is filed timely, i e before the lien has expired — again, even if the boat is not US documented (or if it is, even if a Notice of Claim of Lien was never recorded with the NVDC, because maritime liens arise automatically as a matter of law and require no recording or other notice, until/except for the filing of suit in federal court to enforce them). Consequently, it is very important to require in the purchase and sale agreement an express warranty that there are no liens or encumbrances against the vessel (other than ones disclosed, in which case they should be listed specifically in the agreement), and an indemnity and hold harmless from the seller as to any such undisclosed liens or encumbrances. If the seller balks, run don’t walk to the nearest exit.
 

Snake8

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Arrange for the closing the same day its going to be hauled away. As a seller I wouldnt want the liability of a boat sitting in my yard that was not mine. As a buyer, I wouldnt want the risk. Boat transpo companies are fairly slow right now, so call around, see if you can get a deal. And I do mean call around, my estimates to move boats from 30-36' varied so much I was amazed. Like thousands of dollars difference. What are you getting?
 

Kailua Kid

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Arrange for the closing the same day its going to be hauled away. As a seller I wouldnt want the liability of a boat sitting in my yard that was not mine. As a buyer, I wouldnt want the risk. Boat transpo companies are fairly slow right now, so call around, see if you can get a deal. And I do mean call around, my estimates to move boats from 30-36' varied so much I was amazed. Like thousands of dollars difference. What are you getting?
Quotes on moving my GM26 from mid-coast Maine to Puget Sound varied from just over $12,000 to just over $4,000. (Although, in the interest of full disclosure, that lower figure was through an on-line facility and I was probably lucky it worked out for me.)
 

MAArcher

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Arrange for the closing the same day its going to be hauled away. As a seller I wouldnt want the liability of a boat sitting in my yard that was not mine. As a buyer, I wouldnt want the risk. Boat transpo companies are fairly slow right now, so call around, see if you can get a deal. And I do mean call around, my estimates to move boats from 30-36' varied so much I was amazed. Like thousands of dollars difference. What are you getting?
I don’t have a a deal yet, I just want to be prepared. Lots of boats seem like they don’t have trailers so I’m anticipating having to leave a deposit and then buying a trailer.
 

Kailua Kid

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I don’t have a a deal yet, I just want to be prepared. Lots of boats seem like they don’t have trailers so I’m anticipating having to leave a deposit and then buying a trailer.
Glad you mentioned the trailer. Several thousand dollars of the difference between the highest and lowest bids I got would be attributable to the fact that I bought a trailer after getting the $12k bid. The trailer was new and cost 6k. So even with buying the trailer I saved money over the initial bid, because the bids were so much lower for hauling the boat on its own trailer. And of course now I have a trailer to use for haul outs (with resulting annual savings) and for taking the boat to distant fishing areas behind my pickup truck, a trailer that will add to the resale value when the time comes.
 
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Nickh

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As soon as the seller gives you a verbal agreement call a shipping company and get to the seller ASAP. Shipping companies can get you a driver in 2 days.
Pay for the boat, get it on the trailer. Done.
 

Nickh

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They pay off the lien. You don’t want to take on someone else’s debt.
 

K/A

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I would make sure of insurance on both ends until the deal is finalized. And review in detail the transporters insurance. Every detail have in writing especially transporting/ permits/escorts and so on.
 

CaptMD

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Genius

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Think it was around $300-$500 for the escrow service. I can look it up if it's really important.

These pictures are from there website. Anything marine especially with commercial ops almost certainly needs their paperwork quota

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