Originally Posted by Markhumphreys
My question is what is keeping someone from selling a boat (that maybe he is caretaker of) and writing a phony bill of sale? How do I check registration records in the Bahamas?
Bahamas being a former British Colony will probably
(could? / maybe?
) still follow English
law on many things. From a quick look at their ships Registry THE BAHAMAS MARITIME AUTHORITY
(it looks very amateurish, but is comprehensive with the ablity to ask them questions
- it does get mentioned as an official Bahamas website on Bahamas.gov
so looks legit
) they seem to follow the British Ships Registry format and documents..........if (if if if
) they also follow English
law for boat stuff the Registration Document will probably
(that word again!) NOT be 100% evidence of ownership
. ie the Registration alone would not be title (as it would in the US - all? or only parts
of?)- but notwithstanding that
with Britsih Reg this is the closest one can get on a British ship in 1 official document and is usually treated as if it was Ttlle. But it's not - thats why British Reg Document says it's not.
A Bill of Sale, from the actual owner would be the best proof of ownership
, but as you already queried - how do you know the person signing the Bill of Sale is the owner? A chain of bills of sale going back over many owners would be nice, as would verifying the identity of the "owner" and that it matches the registration document, including the address. and that the Reg Document matches the register. and any changes in address of the owner are queried / investigated (especially if it happened last week
). Also nice would be bills and invoices going back over a few years, that match what the owner told you of the work done, match his address and / or location of the vessel, as told by the owner. Liars need good memories
I would get a local lawyer (familiar with boats) to handle the transaction, but of course even this is not 100% bombproof. And get a quote for the transaction - preferably fixed......
But before that, IMO frst step would be getting in touch with the Bahamas Ships registry and see what they can provide now (with you as joe public) and later, as a pending owner / to your lawyer.
If you find anything going on that you do not fully understand (be honest with yourself) or feel uncomfortable - ask yourself in what other circumstances you would send a large sum of money
to someone as part of a transaction you do not understand..........