Originally Posted by Solosailor
I could use a little advice around the purchase
of U.S. registered boats in Mexico. What are the pit falls to watch out for? Is this a good idea or one to be avoid or not considered at all?
I'm no expert either. But I did just buy a boat, my first, in San Carlos
. The process is laid out on the broker's site who sold it to me. Sea of Cortez
Yachts. I made an offer after viewing pics taken within two months and discussions with the broker as to the boats condition and history
. I had him inquire with the owner on specifics of the build process and get back to me. After looking online for 18mo or so, and kicking half a dozen tires, I decided I wanted this boat I offered 60% of ask, they countered with 75%, I went up a few thou and they said they couldn't let it go for less than their last offer at 75%. I waited a week, thought about it all week and decided to make a deal. I don't have a bunch of money
and knew the market was dead and was looking for more boat with my less money
Next, I scheduled a time to survey
and sea trial. The previous owner would had to come down and rig the boat since it was on the hard
. Getting to talk to the owner all during the day of survey and a hour the day before, helped me trust the boat and decide quite a lot. And when I shook hands with him at the end of the 8 hr. survey, I did it on condition he'd come spend of few days cruising the boat w/me a few month hence, to go over all systems so I could learn them and build my own check lists. Plus, hey, I liked the guy, even tho' he was Canadian.
The boat is a 41' custom CC cutter
so there is idiosyncrasy inside and as it's rigged.
The brokers were American and use an escrow co. in Anacortes, WA, which held my 10% deposit wired to them before I went down for the survey. After making the deal and signing the sales agreement in Mexico with the broker, I had a letter from owner granting me the right to use the boat immediately. However, I couldn't then and returned home and received from the escrow co. instructions for funds transfer to finalize the deal and Coast Guard documentation
request papers to sign. The escrow co. also did a title search for their $380 fee. The USCG paperwork will be changing registration
to my USCG number, and at the same time changing the name of the boat in the process. You can change the name later if desired, it's just a lot more paperwork and money to do.
Brokers are brokers, helpful, charming, accomodating. Their salesmen and one shouldn't rely totally on what they tell you, but I had no issue with them. They also gave me the old Mexican import
certificate and emailed me the site where I can change it to my name online and pay the fee for a 10 year permit
. You can get Mx fishing
licences , car insurance
the same way. The drug violence media reports have decimated tourism and everyone there with a business is anxious for tourists to come and spend. Plus, the dollar has been going up for 6 months and so you get more pesos for you buck.
The PO, as it would happen, lives 50 miles up the road, in Ventura, from me here in NW Lost
Angeles. So we are going to get together to shoot the breeze and I'm gonna pick his brain as best as this ignorant first boat owner can figure out to do.
I also felt odd about buying in Mexico before I did it. But, really, besides the irritation of travel and distance to rerig or provision from "home", it was quite easy and pleasant. Hope this is helpful, Jon