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Old 08-26-2018, 03:44 PM   #1
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selling documented boat without a broker..

Hi there-


My husband and I live in Washington State, and are in the process of selling our 37 foot motor yacht which is documented with USCG.

What is the procedure for selling our boat *without* using a broker?
We have received an acceptable offer.
Will a yacht broker handle the all the paperwork for a flat fee?

Thank you so much in advance!
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:50 PM   #2
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We’ve used Marine Documention Service Inc., Anacortes, WA twice. When we bought Hobo, they held the money, did the final distribution (seller had a loan) and re-documented Hobo. No brokers were involved. We split the cost between the seller and us, $250 each. Might be worth a call.

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Old 08-26-2018, 03:53 PM   #3
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Follow Larry's Advise

Follow Larry M's advise.

That is the way to go.

Good luck.

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Old 08-26-2018, 04:13 PM   #4
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In Seattle you can use Pacific Maritime Title.

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Old 08-26-2018, 04:19 PM   #5
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Summary of the procedure:

1. Put your deal in the form of a contract. ABYC has one that works, they will also handle the escrow of the deposit. You can also use one of the document agencies who will hold your hand a bit more. Atlantic Yacht Documentation is one. They will also get the document abstract for you. They charge a couple of hundred bucks in addition to the USCG document transfer fee.

2. After the contract is signed the buyer has x days to do a survey (inspection) and sea trial. Anything he finds wrong is grounds for terminating the contract. Often the two parties negotiate a financial resolution.

3. The buyer should obtain an abstract of title from the USCG. This tells (although it is rather obtuse to read) if there is a lien on the boat.

4. Then you close. The buyer sends the escrow agent the balance of the funds and the escrow agent pays off any loan and the balance goes to the seller. The seller signs a bill of sale for the boat (the USCG has a mandated form) and also signs the back of his USCG document. I believe either is adequate to transfer the title, but it is best to have both.

5. The buyer or the document agency sends the bill of sale and the sellers document to the USCG with the filing fee, about $150 as I recall. A few months later the buyer will get his own document of title from the USCG.

If the buyer is borrowing money to buy the boat, then his lender will probably insist on using one of the document agencies.


If the boat is kept in a state that requires registration (and probably payment of sales tax) you bring your bill of sale (unlike the USCG bill of sale it requires the sales amount- taxes!) and a copy of the old document and any prior state registration to the state's DMV or similar office. You pay your taxes and get your registration sticker.



Most brokers won't bother doing the closing for you and many will not file for the USCG document even if they are the broker getting 10%, so you will have to use a document agency or DIY, so why bother. Use BoatUS or a document agency instead.

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Old 08-26-2018, 07:01 PM   #6
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Larry M
Thank you so much for the information. We will call them tomorrow!
We are new to this so this will help us a lot!!!

MizGiz
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:04 PM   #7
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djmarchand

Thank you so much for all of the information. We really appreciate and hopefully we will be able to get everything done on the sale of the boat without too much hassle!!

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Old 08-27-2018, 09:42 AM   #8
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A boat sale without a broker is like a fish without a bicycle.
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Old 08-28-2018, 02:03 AM   #9
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:13 PM   #10
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selling documented boat without a broker..

If youíre the owner then you fill out the back of your COD paper, on the back where it says transfer to.

And you fill out this form https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/D...-09-113141-317 where you need to and the buyer fills out their needed info. Done. Saved you both $$$. Oh yeah. Notory also.

The purchaser has to then file for transfer of documentation. And submit the BOS, the old documentation, and the new application. This can ALL be done online. Unfortunately, thereís a heck of a back log Which takes approximately 6 months at present. Itís a risky thing. Unless they register the boat in state itís something like $1,000 a day fine for operating a documented vessel with out proper paperwork. I havenít heard of anyone getting slapped with this, But thatís on the buyer.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:31 PM   #11
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Easy process buyer and seller can do without help. Gather and execute CG and state forms and file them as directed. Instructions and forms easily obtained.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:47 PM   #12
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Depending on the situation (no mortgage, cash sale, surveys done) you can walk into a USCG office and do it all for under $100.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:38 PM   #13
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Easy process buyer and seller can do without help. Gather and execute CG and state forms and file them as directed. Instructions and forms easily obtained.
I highly recommend having a Purchase and Sale Agreement. That will probably cost an hour or two of an attorneys time if you hand over something well drafted. As a buyer, I'd also want an escrow agent to hold funds until free and clear title is handed over. Attorneys can act as escrow agent or you can use a service or even yachtcloser.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:21 PM   #14
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One can easily do the paperwork themselves.

The BIGGEST risk is that the seller doesn't get the check prior to signing the title or the buyer won't write the check until he's assured of a good title, free and clear boat as represented.

So... have a GOOD contract and agree on everything. Buyer does his due diligence and when he's satisfied, he trades the check for the keys and the title and floats away.

The big issue is escrow. I'd argue to just not have it, or if you're the buyer, have your attorney or representative hold it with instructions on how to disburse. Make the transaction go fast... don't dilly dally around. I really like to go see the boat, make a decision right on the spot, give the guy the money and get the boat NOW. Sellers react better to "quick". However, if there's a survey involved, you need to get a surveyor light up in advance, perhaps pay them to stand by.

Sellers should spend a bit of time sizing each other a bit, so you each feel comfortable.
If you hate each other, then get someone to represent you. Doesn't have to be licensed, just on your side.

I've bought/sold some 20 boats, all without brokers, most with no escrows and did things quick. No problems. I just try to treat the seller/buyer like I'd like to be treated.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:32 PM   #15
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A boat sale without a broker is like a fish without a bicycle.
I bought my boat thru a broker ( Curtis Stokes). They "washed their hands-did nothing" towards validating the owners documents or anything remotely concerning the legal transfer. They told me to go hire a Documentation Service. The boat owner and myself worked it out- fortunately he was OK.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:36 PM   #16
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Is it a boat Brokers responsibility to validate that the boat owner he is representing actually owns the boat and that there are no liens or mortgages on it??
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:05 AM   #17
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Is it a boat Brokers responsibility to validate that the boat owner he is representing actually owns the boat and that there are no liens or mortgages on it??

Nope. Most broker's contracts specifically waive that liability.


But if it is USCG documented, then it is easy to get an abstract of title which tells you who owns it and if there are any liens.


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Old 12-31-2018, 08:50 AM   #18
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Curtis Stokes represented the seller of the boat we bought, no help to the seller at all.

Our broker did set us up with a marine documentation service out of Kemah, she was a flake, waste of money.

Do it yourself if your comfortable, not that big a deal if both sides honest.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:32 AM   #19
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Curtis Stokes represented the seller of the boat we bought, no help to the seller at all.

Our broker did set us up with a marine documentation service out of Kemah, she was a flake, waste of money.

Do it yourself if your comfortable, not that big a deal if both sides honest.
Brokers can represent both sides and the contract would state how that would work and their responsibilities to either side. In those cases, I have been successful in getting them to reduce their brokers fee from 10% down to 4-5% and applying that savings to bridge a gap in my offer amount. It makes complete sense because they don't have to split their commission and I think its less work for them since there is not an additional middle man involved. You can negotiate this the same way on house purchases.

Yes, most maritime documentation services don't add much value. Doing it yourself is easier than going to the DMV to register a boat/vehicle/trailer. They will charge you $4-800 to file an initial registration or ownership change which one could do for $100 or less. If you are getting a loan, most lenders require you use a service and not do it yourself. Just remember you can shop around and negotiate the documentation service fees. I typically get recommended someone that is $750 and end up using someone that is $400.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:04 AM   #20
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Easy to check a documented boat for valid ownership yourself. No need to pay others unless you just don't want to DIY. Some buyers won't accept a check... even a bank check. I've used a wire transfer w/o need for escrow and it worked great... smooth and secure.
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