irst let’s talk about some boating basics. 20 years ago I bought my first used boat and was represented a great value. In today’s market, there is 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’ll help to make sure the purchase goes as smoothly as possible.  It can be hard to walk away from a boat that pulls 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.

1.)  The Registration

It should be current.  Be aware that a boat that is not located in its state of registration is one indicator that may have tax issues that could hurt a new owner.  

2.) The Title

The information on the title should match the registration.  A title will usually list any liens on the vessel, 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 in the purchase agreement, that requires the seller to pay off the loan within a very limited amount of time after the sale.


3.) Prove the Hull Identification Numbers (HIN)

Whole trace the H.I.N. and what’s called the Hull Identification Number.  Take a pencil and paper to get a rubbing of the boat 12 character serial number – the H.I.N.- and ensure it matches the registration and the title.

If it doesn’t, the seller should correct the problem before the transaction is completed.  

4.) Taxes  

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

5.) 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 see trial

6.) The Bill Of Sale

This document must be prepared with the seller’s name appearing exactly as it is on the title and registration.  

7.) 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, if taken her for a successful see trial and a survey and you’re still in love with her  –  but before you sign 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 boat US a settlement service.


Tips for buying a boat

How do you know if the boat you are looking to buy is a good deal? Let’s guides you through the process of buying and keeping a boat.


Tips on buying a used outboard motor

Prior to buy any used boat, do a complete mechanical inspection of the motor.