Boating Basics – Used Boat Buying

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,407
    Scott Croft, Director of Public Affairs of BoatUS discusses basic boating tips including tips for buying used boats.

    Scott Croft: Hi! This is Scott Croft, Director of Public Affairs with BoatUS. Today, we are talking about some boating basics.

    20 years ago, I bought my first used boat, it was represented a great value, and today's market, they are still a great value, but buying a boat on your own also means you don't have any help with the paperwork issues.

    Here are some tips that will help you make sure the purchase goes as smoothly as possible. It can be hard to walk away from a boat that pulls out your heartstrings. But keep in mind some boats have skeletons hiding in their closet such as a cloudy title, mechanical or other issues. So check these things out.

    Number one, the registration, it should be current. Be aware that a boat that is not located in its state of registration is one indicator that it may have tax issues that could haunt a new owner.

    The Title: The information on the title should match the registration. A title will usually list any leans on the vessels such as a bank loan that will need to be paid off in order to transfer the title. It's also important to include a statement and the purchase agreement that requires the seller to pay off a loan within a very limited amount of time after the sale.

    Hull Trace the HIN or what's called the Hull Identification Number. Take a pencil and paper to get a rubbing of the boat's 12-character serial number, the HIN and ensure it matches the registration and the title. If it doesn't, the sailor should correct the problem before the transaction is completed.

    Taxes: It's advisable to get a statement from the buyer stating that any state or local taxes on the vessel have been paid. This can be easily included in the purchase agreement.

    The Purchase Agreement: It's smart and a widely acceptable practice to include contingencies for the buyer, such as securing financing and receiving an acceptable survey and sea trial.

    The Bill of Sale: This document must be prepared with the seller's name appearing exactly as it is on the title and registration. The last part, Payment: A cashier's check is the best way to consummate the deal, but the name on the check must match the name on the title and the registration.

    So when you found the boat you want, you have taken err for a successful sea trial and a survey, and you are still in love with it, but before you sign in the dotted line, I hope you follow my seven easy steps.

    If you need a little help, you can also use a Settlement Service such as BoatUS Settlement Service.