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Old 07-10-2016, 23:26   #1
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need advice buying florida boat

hi,

Buying a used boat in florida.

Would like advice to:

1. avoid someone selling a boat that is not his

2. do I need worry about liens

3. how do I verify owner

Anything else I need worry about ?

Thanks

arch
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Old 07-10-2016, 23:54   #2
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

Hi Arch,
whatever you do, do NOT have any contact or dealings with:

Cris Castles, owner of Adventure Yachts in Pompano Beach Florida.

You might want to read this thread here:

Adventure Yachts brokerage experience

I would suggest you deal only with a licenced broker who is ALSO a member of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association AND is reputable and comes recommended. You could make further inquiries here at CF.
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Old 08-10-2016, 00:59   #3
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

Sorry I forgot to mention that I am talking about buying a boat from a private party such as from craigslist

arch
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:28   #4
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

In Florida this week, be sure that the boat you buy is not under a pile of other boats...

Jim
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:55   #5
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

If the boat is documented have the transfer agent do a lien search
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:01   #6
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

Check this with a lawyer- Fl is a title state so a lien not registered on the title or at the DMV would be unenforceable. It is pretty much the same as buying a used car. You could be extra careful and stop at any Florida police station and ask them if the boat was reported stolen or has outstanding fines. Very easy for them to check given the registration number displayed at the bow and in the title and registration documents.
The other thing is to watch the draft. Boats drawing much over 4.5' can be a problem in both the Keys and the Bahamas.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:01   #7
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

A couple of things. Contact Jan Painter, at All Yacht Registries, boat registration, vessel register USA. She acts as registry agent, is not expensive, and will clear title, liens and handle escrow and transfr documentation for you. Second, regardless of price, find a good surveyor. I used Jon Sands at Atlantic Marine Group and he was excellent. He's even going back by the boat (which I have accepted but not closed on) for free after Hurricane Matthew to check it out.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:03   #8
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
In Florida this week, be sure that the boat you buy is not under a pile of other boats...

Jim
Yeah agree, be sure is not a post Andrew or Charley or whatever windything repaired boat,,,, I remember see a beautiful Morgan listed in Fort Lauderdale at a good price, in fact in such a nice shape that when I ask the owner he admit is a Andrew repaired boat, nothing wrong with that but be careful....
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:16   #9
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

Ask a lot of questions, you will get a sense for what the seller knows about the boat. If he doesn't know detail it may not be his boat!
If the boat is titled in FL you should be able to check that.
If the boat is USCG documented you should be able to check that.
Ask a lot of questions on the phone before traveling to FL to look at a particular boat. They always sound better in the ad than they are.
Make a list of questions to ask ahead of time:
On the phone I like to ask them to rate the condition of the gel coat on deck from one to ten. "does it show pitting, black spots in the pores? rough? or shiny and smooth? etc. They all look pretty good in a picture. This opens up a discussion where you learn more.

There are agents in Fl who can handle searching and changing over documents for ownership, you might be able to also use them to hold a deposit prior to purchase.
SIgn a contract for purchase prior to spending a bunch of money on inspection etc. There are some around. I may have an old one.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:31   #10
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

Just get a good registry agent in Florida and use some common sense. It's almost impossible to be taken advantage of if you have an ounce of common sense and a good registry agent.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:54   #11
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

For your own peace of mind, so that you feel like you've got a good handle on avoiding any issues with this, there's lots of information here on CF with regards to checking out a boat's history, possible liens, her title/registry etc. As well as on finding a (buyer's) agent/broker who will help you to do a check on the boat, & the information which the seller give you. So that you have someone to help you to check out the boat's history, as well as to jump through whatever hoops come up.

I'd suggest to avoid trying to do anything overly quickly, or that feels rushed to you. And just to excercise common sense. Including to use whatever means that you can to avoid any boat lust from clouding your judgement, or getting you to skip steps in the buying process. Which is often easier said than done, but is the wisest course. And that you're already doing via asking the kinds of questions that you have here.

BTW, there are also a lot of threads & outtakes on the details & steps involved in buying a boat here on the forums.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:09   #12
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

Google the owner's name. A few minutes of research will give you a good idea of who you're dealing with. I recently went through a boat buying exercise in Florida with excellent results.
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Old 08-10-2016, 15:36   #13
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

In Florida all titles, licenses, etc. are public records. Therefore it's easy to do a title search for boats just like Carfax for used cars. There are services online for this.

You could also go to the local county tax collector (which is where titles and tags are purchased and renewed here) and have them check the title/registration.

I wouldn't let this be a hang up in buying a boat here. Depending on how much you're spending and how much you're prepared to lose by not spotting a problem yourself, I would recommend a survey. If the owner doesn't want a sale contingent on survey, I'd walk away. Usually you will pay the survey and haul fee.

When we bought Enchantress from a private seller, I looked at the boat and placed a deposit with purchased contingent on survey. We both signed a short receipt stating same. Went home and "carfaxed" the HIN and arranged a survey with a surveyor that I picked (don't let the seller pick the surveyor) and a "short haul" with the marina. After the survey I got a signed title from the seller AND a bill of sale.

Note, if there is a dinghy involved, the dinghy has to be registered. My PO never registered theirs so it didn't have a title, I had to get a BoS and a note from them saying it had never been registered. If it had been registered I would have needed the BoS and the signed title.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-10-2016, 17:12   #14
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

Ask to see the Florida title. If the seller says he can't find it, or it's around here somewhere, tell him to call you when he finds it.
Do not buy a boat in Florida without a title.
Do not buy a boat not titled in the seller's name.
Many people buy boats with titles signed over by the previous owner. But they never go to a tag agency and transfer the boat into their name. Legally, the boat still belongs to the seller in whose name it is titled. The seller (reseller) may wish to just hand you the title, signed by the previous owner, and tell you all you have to do is take it to the tag agency and transfer it. Maybe. Maybe not.
Insist that the boat be titled in the seller's name. And that the seller accompany you to the tag agency to transfer title. Any reasonable person would agree to do this.
And the farther south in Florida you go, the more wary you need to be.
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Old 08-10-2016, 19:13   #15
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Re: need advice buying florida boat

"And the farther south in Florida you go, the more wary you need to be"

Interesting point, good info.
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