I bought my boat in France
. We had to go to 2 different ofices to "de-register" the boat.
Make sure you get the original VAT certificate as well, as it can be valuable if you need to use the boat in Europe
or sell it to someone who wants to import
to Europe within the next 5 years.
I just paid the cash into an account and has it transferred with a SWIFT transfer that is guaranteed to pass through within 24 hours. (std. one is 3 days). Have your bank agree with the french bank that only you can release the money
agreement will be covered by French law if you do it there (I think) and the French are pretty tough on this kind of thing.
Ask your local embassy for advice.