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Old 11-02-2009, 10:58   #1
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Found the boat! Now what with private seller?

Hi all,

I believe I've found the boat I want to purchase and have spoken with the owner. He's sent me the full details and specs, but I haven't seen the boat. It's in the Bahamas and I'm in Florida. I told him what I was willing to pay, and after that he sent me all the info.

He's not on board but plans to be there on May for a two-week cruise.

So what should I do now? Go see the boat, have it surveyed, and then put it all down on paper, assuming everything is right? The owners really want to have their 'last cruise' in May, so do we make a deal, put the money in escrow, and then I take over after that? I'd like to 'seal the deal' now just to be able to get some sleep and not have to go look at tons of other boats.

Any advice, comments appreciated.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:01   #2
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Aloha Tammy,
You are letting your heart determine your economic decision. To be on the safe side send a 10% downpayment to be placed in an escrow company of your choice pending purchase. Hire a surveyor of your choice to survey the boat and have the purchase price be contingent on the result of the survey. Transfer of ownership should not occur until after the May cruise.
I had an acquaintance take 50% payment for his 41 foot ketch here in Hawaii contingent on sailing the boat from Hawaii to Oahu to turn it over to the new owners. His boat sank off Waipio Valley and he and his family were rescued by the USCG. This happened just a couple of months ago. If the new owner had given 100% and took a bill of sale before the sail the new owner would have been responsible and out the cost of the vessel. If the owner of the boat were of the unscrupulous type he could have pocketed the 50% and caught a flight to the mainland.
Be very cautious and cover all the bases.
You didn't mention what the boat was that you are purchasing. Do you mind sharing the information?
Kind regards,
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:09   #3
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Hi John,

Thanks for that. I'd be happy to share all of the details...but can we do it by PM or email? Since it's an ongoing negotiation, I'd rather not make it all public right now. I would love for you to look at it and give me your opinion (especially since I'm 'just' a girl LOL). Can we do that? Once I've purchased, I'll give all of the gory details! Let me know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Aloha Tammy,
You are letting your heart determine your economic decision. To be on the safe side send a 10% downpayment to be placed in an escrow company of your choice pending purchase. Hire a surveyor of your choice to survey the boat and have the purchase price be contingent on the result of the survey. Transfer of ownership should not occur until after the May cruise.
I had an acquaintance take 50% payment for his 41 foot ketch here in Hawaii contingent on sailing the boat from Hawaii to Oahu to turn it over to the new owners. His boat sank off Waipio Valley and he and his family were rescued by the USCG. This happened just a couple of months ago. If the new owner had given 100% and took a bill of sale before the sail the new owner would have been responsible and out the cost of the vessel. If the owner of the boat were of the unscrupulous type he could have pocketed the 50% and caught a flight to the mainland.
Be very cautious and cover all the bases.
You didn't mention what the boat was that you are purchasing. Do you mind sharing the information?
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:12   #4
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skprjohn,

you can email me at sail.burnsideattheaddresswithgmail.com
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:35   #5
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Tammy

I agree with SkipperJohn. The seller could certainly be completely above board, but there are many ways in which to protect yourself and your money, without complicating the deal. Obviously, a small down payment, put into escrow is one.

You might consider contacting a broker with an office near where the boat is. Some brokers are willing to act as the transactional agent for you, in the deal, for a small set fee. Just a $150 or so. All you are asking them to do is the paperwork. There are many upsides to this: THEY hold the escrow money...NOT the seller and since they are doing the paperwork...you can be sure it is done right (as best can be in the bahama's). To me, this is a very significant protection.

You might also find a broker in FL willing to do the same.

Alternatively, you could find an attorney in the Bahama's to act as your agent.

There are a lot of ways to protect yourself, the above are just a couple suggestions.

I would also find out what you can about bringing a boat to the US. Certainly, FL will require tax be paid if you keep the boat in FL.

Hope this helps

If you would like some feedback on the boat and the deal, please feel free to PM me.

Hope this helps

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Old 11-02-2009, 12:56   #6
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Just trying to figure out how to PM you. Standby.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:59   #7
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Go see the boat, inside and out, first. Then, submit to Seller a purchase and sale agreement. Agreement should have the deposit held by third party closing agent of your choice (name closing agent in the agreement). Make closing of sale contingent on (1) financing (if any), (2) acceptable (to you) survey, and (3) test sail. And you might want to think about contingencies for engine and rigging surveys. Most people don't do the latter two, and a few wish they had.

While survey is being done, start working on your boat insurance.

I would want attend the survey, BTW. Nice to look at the boat while out of the water, plus you can converse with surveyor and get off-the-cuff remarks and other comments that will not be in the survey.

Buying a boat is exciting, even just to watch!
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Old 11-02-2009, 13:13   #8
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Here are few purchase and sale ageements, none of which is particularly good. But they are a start.

http://www.bluewaterboatbrokers.com/...ntract7-07.pdf

Free Bill Boat Sale Contract or Bill of Sale Agreement

HunterOwners.com - Sample boat sale contract

Here's a how-to website.

Boats.com - Permanent Link: How to Buy a Boat
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Old 11-02-2009, 13:18   #9
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T - got the PM, PM'd u back. Yes, know the boat, can chat more.

Best

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Old 11-02-2009, 13:22   #10
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Tammy, I want to add my voice to those advising caution. I recently became aware of a scam involving used cars using craigslist. The typical ad is for an unbelievable price on a slightly used, high quality vehicle. So when I email the seller, the story I get is something like this.

The seller is connected with our military, and the vehicle is somewhere far away. Like in Europe or the other coast here in the US. Then there is an offer to ship the vehicle at no cost to me, using military transportation, with the "guarantee" that if I don't like the car, I can get out of the deal "no strings attached".

Then there is a suggestion to use ebay escrow service. Only problem is, ebay does not offer any escrow service.

Do people actually fall for this stuff? Probably. Are there variations? You bet. Is your seller pulling a scam? I have no idea, but if the seller is shying away from having you see the boat before any money exchanges hands, ask yourself why.

But by all means, follow the advice offered here and protect yourself. I especially like the idea of getting over there to see the boat quickly, hiring a surveyor, etc.

And make sure you are not moving too fast.... buying a boat is easy, too easy if you are anxious to get going.

Good luck!
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Old 11-02-2009, 14:07   #11
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Thanks to all for great advice. Yes, the 10 or 20% deposit with an escrow agent is the way to go...and I think I'd prefer to use a broker to write up the agreement if it gets to that.

It's rough out there! Even tho we're supposed to be in this horrendous recession, seller's are still looking for big dollars for these older boats. I agree a broker would be a good way to go, but I met one last weekend (I drove 4 hours to see the boat) and 1) we took his car and I asked if my Aunt should wait in the office and he said 'Oh no, this won't take long'. What the $%##! Was that because I was female? I mean it takes a loooong time to look at a boat if you're serious. (2) So I go below and he stays in the cockpit and lights up a butt! To be that is complete rudeness to both me and the owner! (3) I get off the boat...selling price $55,000 and he says they won't take less than $48,000...have had tons of offers...he shows the boat constantly...and he's never even called me to get any feedback.

Is this normal?

Oh yeah, Ebay...lots of boats on there. I called seller on one that was right here in my neighborhood. Good ol boy full of 'Yes Maams'...sad, sad story. His dreams of sailing were dashed by the economy...but the boat is beautiful, just finished all the brightwork and had the bottom painted.
I go look and it's an absolute disaster! I think it was a 'hurricane boat' he bought at auction and is now just trying to dump...for $30,000!!

I'm sure you've all 'been there...done that' but it is an experience.
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Old 11-02-2009, 15:36   #12
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We saw millions, zillions, quadrillions of boats that looked fantastic in photos...................... but they use that special camera real estate agents use.... they look crap in real life!


Don't do nuttin, especially don't get your heart set, till you have seen this boat!





Hate me for saying it....


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Old 11-02-2009, 15:51   #13
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I wouldnt give any money to any one if i am not getting somthing, boats are not a one of a kind item esp these days its a buyers market. sounds like he is not really into selling his boat. there are tons of boats localy. if you spend the money for trip stay survey ect and than it fall thru thats alot of wasted money. dont let your emotions take over.. I have a friend that wanted a certain type of boat gave 4 owners a prices and by the time he was done he was under 45000 what the final price was and that had been reduced already. find some one who needs to sell not wants to sell and get your boat.
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Old 11-02-2009, 16:05   #14
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Originally Posted by outthere09 View Post
and I think I'd prefer to use a broker to write up the agreement if it gets to that.
I really strongly advise that you NOT use a broker to write the contract. 1. They will want a commision that will be all out of proportion to the value of their services as a scrivner. 2. They are not trained to write a contract, no matter if they do it all the time. 3. And most importantly, they will write the contract in a fashion to best protect their commission, i.e., commit you to closing. They really don't have your best interests at heart (usually). To them it's all about a commission, not the boat.
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Old 11-02-2009, 17:05   #15
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Hi Tammy,

I agree with Mark, I wouldn't do anything until I saw the boat. This Sounds like a good excuse for a weekend in the bahamas to me! If you don't like what you see at least you can make a mini vacation out of it. It's not like you're traveling from the West Coast.

If you like what you see, you have alot of homework to do. Survey, Insurance, Documents, etc.

The boat should be hauled to do a complete survey, and then you should have a sea trial. The survey should take place AFTER the owners vacation in my opinion.
As the haulout will likely be at your expense, I'd make sure I inspected as much of this boat as humanly possible before I paid for the haulout.
In my opinion the survey is a professional confirmation of what you already believe to be a sound vessel. Otherwise you could go broke doing surveys on vessels.

If the owner resists your attempts to view and even sail this vessel, I would be very suspicious.

If you're not familiar with all the legal requirments of a sale like this, I would seek professional guidance.

Hope this helps...good luck,
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