So what exactly is the boat? As was just mentioned, there are a LOT of boats on the market, and it is a long way from the Bahamas to HI. Perhaps there is a similar boat closer to you that would not require as much investment (view it as additional purchase
price) to get to where you are???
If you are convinced that "this is the one" (we were), offer about 20% under asking (worth a shot in this market) - leaves both parties some "wiggle room".
By all means, make it VERY clear that the offer you are making is contingent upon a survey
and a sea trial. Have the surveyor go with you on the sea trial.
That way if evereything is not as advertised or if something turns up that you do not like you can get out of the deal and get your deposit back. If you do put down a deposit, make certain that it is with a reputable holding agency, such as the listing broker. DO NOT
give the deposit directly to the seller!
Once you have seen the boat and it has passed the inspections, etc. you can take the final steps to get it insured, etc. .... but, as a final note, do not sign the papers to take ownership
without having proper insurance
Whether you register the boat with the state or document it with the Coast Guard (or both) depends on how you want to use it. Investigate both options before making a commitment.
Good luck - and [lease give us more specific info if you want more guidance.