Chris Edmonston: It's a great day to be out in the water. Hi! I'm Chris Edmonston, President of the BoatUS foundation. So you found yourself a boat you like; well, the first thing you are going to need as a strong written agreement that will help eliminate or minimize questions or problems that could turn a sweet deal at the dock into a sour one in court.
By spelling out the obligations of both fire and the dealer as well as the timeframe in which the sell has to take place, you have a legally binding written document of the party's intentions. It's not necessary to have a lawyer write the contract, although this should be considered especially if you're buying a higher-end boat or having one custom boat for you. Most dealers use contracts printed with their name and address, but fill in the blank contract forms found in stationery stores or even online will often suffice. Make sure you use a contract that's valid in your state. Even a hand-written agreement may also serve the purpose.
Regardless of the form, both parties must sign the contract. If the sales agreement requires a signature of both the salesperson and an officer of the dealership, make sure both spaces are signed. The terms of the sale agreement or contract should include the following minimum informations: you want complete names and addresses of buyer and dealer. You want a complete description of boat and engine including make, model year and whole identification as well as engine serial numbers. A complete equipment list is a must.
The contract should list the purchase price including a description of any deposit paid by the buyer and how the balance will be paid. It should also describe the trade-in boat if any and its exact value.
You'll also want a firm delivery date describing when and where the boat will be delivered and the deal finalized. The boat's condition at the time of delivery including a complete list of the accessorius and item that convey with boat. You'll also want a full description of any warranty from the dealer or manufacturer. If you're buying a used boat and it is sold in as is or where is condition, recourse may be impossible where problems arise.
An appropriate buyer's contingency includes the spelling out that the sale hinges on a satisfactory survey in sea trial and also the ability to obtain acceptable financing and marine insurance.
You'll also want a statement that the boat is free of all liens and encumbrances. You want to get the dealer or the previous owner to assume all responsibility for deaths incurred during his ownership.
So you just bought a boat and we know you want to get out in the water, but you'll save yourself a lot of time and trouble if make sure you have a solid contract before you sign on the dotted line.