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Old 08-07-2009, 19:18   #1
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A Screamin' Deal!

Ok I found a screaming deal on a 42í ketch in the Bahamas. The boat is resisted in the Bahamas and the duty is paid. The boat is laid up on the hard. I have only email conversations with the owner, he seems to be on the up-and-up. Iím a firm believer that something that is too good to be true usually is. 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?
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Old 08-07-2009, 19:52   #2
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Hi Mark:
The safest way to proceed is to hire a local attorney. Be certain the attorney
is insured. Somethings you just shouldn't do all by yourself & this is one
of them.

Respectfully,
Paul
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Old 08-07-2009, 20:10   #3
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Agreed, there is no such thing as a free boat. With boats you end up paying to get the boat, shelling out money after you get the boat.....and usually its both.
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Old 08-07-2009, 20:22   #4
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Somethings you just shouldn't do all by yourself & this is one
of them.
It's easy to verify title and it would be the first thing. Tansfer would follow and proper papers to exit with the boat too. Do a survey and make sure you don't die getting home.
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Old 08-07-2009, 20:30   #5
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Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
... and make sure you don't die getting home.


I would pay particular attention to that last bit of advice. I agree, title insurance would alleviate a lot of worry. Contact a local brokerage for reference to an agent and someone that could perform a survey.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:05   #6
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title insurance would alleviate a lot of worry.
I'm not aware of any title insurance for boats. Being an international transaction title verification would be better. This is just part of what a local lawyer could do for you. Making sure all the transfers, contracts, and export papers are in order only helps for when you bring it home to do all that paper work again to register your new boat

If there is a dinghy get a second bill of sale. The dinghy has been a curse to me on two boats. It's easy to miss the little stuff worrying about the big stuff.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:43   #7
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:40   #8
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Haven't seen it yet

No haven't seen it yet. I waiting for a response email addressing my last series of questions. The owner is in Switzerland (Swiss) so he is hard to understand so emails are working best. If all is well on the last email response I will fly down there next week.
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Old 09-07-2009, 13:56   #9
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Originally Posted by Markhumphreys View Post
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..........
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Old 09-07-2009, 14:45   #10
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Before you go any further with all of this title stuff, INSIST on a complete set of high resolution photos. If they just somehow don't ever seem to make this happen, run, don't walk, away.

Chris
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Old 09-07-2009, 16:37   #11
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I'm trying hard to follow the plot, Markhumphreys, but my head is spinning.

In your first post (mid-June) you stated you have a 34' cat. Then yesterday, you put up a thread stating you'd found a "Screamin' Deal" on a 42' ketch registered in the Bahamas. But in the "Call me Whatever . . . " thread that you started today, you state you have never sailed and that your plan is to buy a 36' cat and sail around the Bahamas. In that first post, though, where you stated you have a 34' cat, you were asking about entry fees for islands in the S. Pacific.

Can you see why I'm confused?

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