The advise about 'treat it like a car sale' sounds simplistic but is a good bit of advise.
If you're buying
from a private individual, first off is to confirm their identity. Do the deal at their house and ask to see copies of ID, passport, driving licence, etc. Then, write out a proper reciept for the deposit. Put on it both parties details and exactly what conditions the deposit is paid. Obviously, both of you sign and if possible, get someone to witness it as well. Then at least if they go back on the deal or try to do a runner, you have proper legal
evidence that will stand up in court.
For completing the deal, do the above and insist on seeing all the ORIGINAL paperwork for the vessel FIRST (before even a deposit is put down). I'm amazed at the amount of times i've heard people say that "we paid for the boat/car, etc. but are still waiting for the docs to come through". Then, write out a bill of sale
, including your terms and the fact that the boat's title shall be handed over upon reciept of funds and exchange.
I would say however, that deals over £100k should really involve some sort of professional like a brooker or lawer for both parties piece of mind.
The simple rule
is to get to KNOW the seller, his home address, meet his family
, see his ID, etc. 99.9% of scammers will never put themselves in a possition where they can be easily identified. Just like you should never buy a car in a gas station, never buy a boat in a random public location.