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Old 16-10-2012, 22:03   #1
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Boat Purchase Process

So haggling, then the survey then more haggling and we agree on a final price. So now it is time for the transaction. The broker says I should just wire (I suppose he means electronic transfer) his account the money and then I can come by in a few days and pick up the boat and the transferred title. He says he is getting the title from the owner, who lives out of town, via Fedex. He says this is the way it is done all the time. Is it? I did ask him to send me a copy of the title before I send the money. He says he will ask the owner to scan and email it. Actually, he say, he can just email me a copy of the registration which he says is the same thing. This is an established brokerage in Washington State with an office and ads. What things, if anything should I look out for? Thanks.

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Old 16-10-2012, 22:35   #2
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Re: Boat Purchase Process

Pretty much yes.

If an established broker he is unlikely to stiff you. If you are paranoid you can get the terms of your email signed in writing by him and sent to you in advance. i.e.

"Upon transfer of $XXXXX to account YYYYY broker will obtain clear title and make boat and title available to buyer on ZZZZZ date. Signed - Honest Broker."

I would personally wait until title is in Brokers hands as you don't know if the owner is flukey but you do know he is "out of town." What if he comes back and says, "Whoops. Dog ate it, or lost or whatever."

The broker holds the money and the title at the same time so no one gets screwed.

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Old 16-10-2012, 23:17   #3
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Re: Boat Purchase Process

I would be just a bit leery simply because the transaction is generally a simultaneous one, i.e. $$ and title change hands at the same time. If the seller is not present for the final transaction, he should provide the broker with all the executed documents of sale. the broker then collects the funds from you (in person, certified funds, or wire transfer confirmation from the bank), and hands you the title. Risk of ownership passes to you upon payment, I would want the title and all other documents in hand at that point. Your sale agreement should specify a clean title, but if the seller is not willing to provide the broker with all executed documents for a simultaneous transfer, it would at least make me wonder.
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Old 17-10-2012, 00:00   #4
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We have two hands so as we make a purchase with cash (certified check) in one hand, the other hand is collecting keys and title.

Title companies are also called trust companies in some states. Why trust? It means when it is all said and done, while you are sitting and waiting, you have little guarantees , while you sit and wonder if your trust was well placed.

When I purchased my 32 ketch sight unseen, the boat was in LA, the seller was in DC and I was in NE (braska). I wired the seller, a banker, the money and he FedEx,ed me the title. In my case, whole lot of trust on my part. I was not nervious, but had I been, I might have approached the deal differently.

Once the money was wired, a uship driver (I did not know) started a 1500 mile trip across deserts and mountains with my sailboat. A long story for another time.
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Old 17-10-2012, 00:16   #5
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Re: Boat Purchase Process

One caveat: your purchase is for a specified asset. That includes everything right down to the octane rating of the fuel in the tank. Upon taking possession make certain everything is as you agreed. Perhaps add a clause to that effect.

Very few are as honest or as diligent as you would like to believe.
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Old 17-10-2012, 02:24   #6
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Re: Boat Purchase Process

You should have something in writing stating how the Broker is acting as Escrow Agent for both parties (and not simply as Broker for the Vendor) - what should be happening is that the cash and title get exchanged simultaneously. Therefore the Broker actually having the cash available is important as gives comfort to the Vendor when signing over the title......important that you do not accept (or get bounced into) accepting an IOU on the title docs ("yes, the Vendor has everything" .......followed by "Ooops, I thought he did" ).....the good news is if that arises most likely from incompetence (Vendor and / or Broker) rather than an intentional deception.....but a Vendor already with the cash and a Broker already with his commission are a lot less motivated to sort out dull stuff like paperwork.......than those who have not yet pocketed the cash!
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Old 17-10-2012, 08:36   #7
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Re: Boat Purchase Process

Interesting discussion. Up here in Canada there doesn't seem to be such a thing as a 'title'. When I bought my boat from a broker, all I got was the sales document which was the actual offer including all the evidence of price haggling before it was signed by the broker.
I used that document to get the provincial registration number assigned to me.
If I was to travel internationally, do I need a 'title' document (other than what I have) for the ships documents to check in/out ?
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Old 17-10-2012, 09:19   #8
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Re: Boat Purchase Process

Thanks for all your responses.

What I do think is funny is when the seller and broker exhibit deep distrust by wanting funds transferred electronically, not even trusting cashiers checks, but then take great offense that you are exhibiting a hurtful lack of trust when the buyer asks for various safeguards.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:58   #9
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Re: Boat Purchase Process

Wondering if people can give advice on the actual transfer of money for buying a yacht.

We have never met the dealer that is selling the boat we want to buy -The boat is located in Croatia and the dealer in Czech Republic and the boat is under German flag.

We of course are very uncomfortable with transferring the deposit pre-survey and then the whole sum into a Dealers "Client Trust Account" without ever meeting the dealer nor the actual owner.

We are wondering what methods are being used for moving the money - Bank draft, having the owner present and doing an electronic transfer? Internet banking etc.?
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:07   #10
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Originally Posted by sailabroad View Post
-The boat is located in Croatia and the dealer in Czech Republic and the boat is under German flag.
Just reading that gives me heart burn.

Then again, I'm an overly cynical person.

Hope all turns out well!

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