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Old 11-25-2018, 08:59 AM   #1
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Purchase

Purchasing a 1981 GB for big bucks to me having never owned anything more than a 24í Outboard. What are the legal/purchase issues? Is an Attorney needed? What are the registration and title issues?
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:19 AM   #2
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I can't help you out too much but, Would you consider getting a buyers broker to help you out? That may help you sleep at night.
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:27 AM   #3
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Are you buying through a broker or is this a person to person deal?


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Old 11-25-2018, 09:38 AM   #4
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Purchase

Buying from Individual and/or his corporation (not a Broker or Dealer)
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:41 AM   #5
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Go through a vessel title agency...it will cost you but they cover most or all your questions.

http://www.maritimelawcenter.com/htm...insurance.html
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:56 AM   #6
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OK, thanks.

If you are a first time buyer and are nervous/unsure about the buying process then a buyers broker is probably a good idea. Boat brokers are located at or near marinas so go out and look. Or go to Yachtworld which lists major brokers by area. Call them up and ask if they would represent you in a person to person deal and ask what they would charge. I would expect 5% or less of the purchase price.

Also contact a vessel title service as suggested above. I don't know if they do contracts, probably not, but they do everything with regard to titling. Atlantic Yacht Documentation in Glen Burnie, Md is one I have used.

If you want to go it your own you can. First read this discussion of the sales contract by BoatUS: https://www.boatus.com/buyer/guide/buyer/contracts.asp. Also read some of the sections in the index to the left, particularly the survey.

Basically you both sign a contract usually with a deposit, do a survey, negotiate any survey defects and then close by paying the balance. The buyer gives you a bill of sale and if the title is federally documented he signs the back of the Document and you have to send that in with your transfer fee to the USCG. If state titled he signs the title over to you and you go to that states title office to have it transferred. Don't forget insuring the boat before you close.

Here is a sample contract from the Florida Yacht Brokers Association that you can use as well as a simple one I used on a previous sale:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Purch_Sale_ Agree.pdf (126.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: doc Boat sales agreement.doc (12.5 KB, 8 views)
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Old 11-25-2018, 11:10 AM   #7
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A buyer's broker does not do much for you particularly since you are buying from an individual and there is no broker's commission to share. What you want is an escrow / title company.
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Old 11-25-2018, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Go through a vessel title agency...it will cost you but they cover most or all your questions.

Vessel Title Insurance
I am of this mindset also. The title/closing company will check for outstanding liens and execute movement of funds. They can be very helpful with sourcing insurance, taxes, and money matters. The buyers of our previous two boats, both first-time buyers, used vessel title agenciesfor the transaction.

To me, the purpose of a buyer's broker is to narrow down the boat choices for your mission, then bring the buyer and seller together. Further, they can assist with obstacles and get the deal executed.

It appears that you have selected the boat and have an agreement, so maybe you don't need those services. Keep that brokerage commission in your pocket for the myriad projects that we all have.

An attorney is also unnecessary for a standard transaction.

Best Wishes
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:46 PM   #9
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You can negotiate and complete a private sale safely. It's not that complicated, and there are documents and how-to guides online and many threads here on the topic. If you've found a boat and started working with the seller on a private sale, don't call in a broker at this point to do essentially nothing or darn little. Do a little research - something you should have done already, but there's time to catch up - and you'll get through the process confidently.
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:49 PM   #10
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Mr. Clark, I don't have any advice to add about the legal issues beyond what is listed above, but let me make a suggestion that has been lightly touched on:


"Purchasing a 1981 GB for big bucks to me having never owned anything more than a 24’ Outboard."


You're getting into a territory you have no experience in, with a boat that's 37 years old and has many systems you're not familiar with. You probably don't have the experience to do a thorough check of all the boat's systems.


Now those statements are not meant to shame you, but rather to point a few of the reasons why you really need to find a surveyor to look at the boat before you sign papers and take delivery. Before I bought my boat I had two surveyors (1 for engines and 1 for all the other "stuff") signed up to do complete surveys.


I knew I was totally lacking the experience and knowledge to check out the boat so I met with both of them over breakfast and told them I was counting on them to keep me from making a big mistake. They did, and we bought a great boat.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:00 PM   #11
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Person to person is almost like buying an auto privately.
If you have concerns about the condition of the boat get a survey.
Contact your states boat registration agency to see what they require.
Or if it's documented the Coast Guard website will be helpful.
Clear title and a bill of sale will go a long way.
Get the insurance lined up.
You'll probably want to do a money transfer thru a bank and have proof of it. Need account numbers from the seller to do that.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:02 PM   #12
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Without a professional, there are many pitfalls. Yards often have liens against boat titles and creative owners re-register documented vessels as state registered before the lien in order to sell. Some later owner gets stuck with the yard bill and interest when trying to sell. Once I got paid 15 years later for yard work.

Big boats can have problems new owners are unaware of. Survey is mandatory if you don't know and required for finance and insurance, too.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:16 PM   #13
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"Is an attorney needed?"


Hell yes...always.. for every transaction you can think of...we need the money!!!

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Old 11-25-2018, 04:28 PM   #14
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Here’s what we did. We sold our sailboat in New Bern, NC with no brokers. The buyers were from Colorado and were a little nervous about the money end. We found a local attorney that dealt with maritime law. She looked over our our contract, held the money and did the final distribution. The cost was $500 which we split.

When we bought Hobo, again with no brokers, we used a marine title company. They did the same thing. The cost was $500 and we split that with the seller.

Good luck with your new boat.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:43 PM   #15
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Make sure that you can get insurance on the boat since you donít have any experience with a larger boat. Some companies make have extra hurdles for you to get over not having owned a boat in that size. I would also use a title company to do the research about leins as has been noted above.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:08 AM   #16
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I've never used a title company or a lawyer for any boat purchase or sale. This is like a bride choosing to hire a service company to go through a name change. You can do it yourself, however, there is some due diligence required.

1) If there is a title, request that you be allowed to inspect it for any lien holders

2) If it's registered, request that you be allowed to inspect the registration for any lien holders (some no-title states list the lien holders on the registration).

3) Consider contacting the state about listed lienholders (this will not protect you from liens in other states, however, it is unlikely the vessel title or registration was moved with previous outstanding liens).

4) Talk to the marina where the boat is stored about unpaid bills or liens.

5) Include verbiage regarding the seller being responsible for any and all outstanding debts and liens.

If it failsafe? Absolutely not. I've been lucky.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:30 AM   #17
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Re-read the first post guys. GFC nailed it - this is a newbie who is asking for help. The personal experience from a total stranger no matter how well stated, has little bearing on what should be done. A 37 year old boat should be considered old and tired. Add to that ownership or title questions.

Now this from a total stranger with unknown knowledge :
Whether a house, car airplane or boat certain rules do indeed apply, or you'll likely get burned. There are a few basics - one get a survey by a recognized surveyor. two, engage a title company, three get the name of a good attorney as suggested by Larry M and four check with your marine insurer.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:38 AM   #18
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Please be aware that insurance companies will not insure the boat without a proper survey. And most if not all marinas will not lease you a slip without insurance. It is also possible they may not insure you without having some experience operating a bigger boat but you can probable get around that by taking some training classes. Just don't want these little things to ruin your boat purchase.
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