Originally Posted by haw1961
I would see the boat and take it for a sea trial before paying for a survey. There may be obvious problems that you will see,before you pay for a survey.
OP is abroad from the boat - likely cheaper to throw a Surveyor
at her first than take a flight to give her the once over. Obvious a high risk that the boat not as expected - but that's buying
boats for ya!
Part III is UK SSR (Small Ships Register), and is not evidence of title (for that you want the Bill of Sale
to the Vendor, and ideally the chain back to day one - but the older the boat the less likely that is!.....but with UK boats nothing is 100% proof of title. Be cautious if the ink on the Bill of Sale is still wet
, ideally also backed up by receipts and bills (boat stuff / moorings) addressed to the Vendor over a few years / time of ownership
(most folks will keep proof of new stuff going onboard over the years - if still onboard perhaps Surveyor could be tasked to check / copy or summarise these?, he would not usually). Also old / expired SSR registrations are useful to build a picture of current
and past ownership
Also googling up the Vendors and seeing if can locate them onshore at an address (and work) would be a comfort, at least to me!
To take over Part III registration
you will need to be a UK Resident (or "magick up" a UK address, via friends / family). UK Reg alone don't generate a VAT Bill, that is based on location of boat combined with your residence (if boat in the EU and you are an EU Resident then you get a bill on day of boat arrival - registration
irrelevant)........if you are never keeping the Boat in the EU (including the bits in the Caribbean!) then VAT and RCD become irrelevant, except when talking price (as she is worth less as a smaller market to sell into - sums won't add up compared to a s/h boat that paid VAT and got RCD when originally made / sold)........if keeping in the EU then you do want to know what "VAT Exempt" means (and what paperwork supports that, likely it means the boat is outside the EU and a sale does not trigger a VAT bill on that day but does not mean she is immune to VAT!) and also what her RCD status is (and what paperwork the Vendor has)......if these an issue for you check before flying out (and ideally before paying for a Surveyor!), Vendor might be a bit reluctant to share docs via the internet
at this early stage in the sale, but they can depersonalise them......odds are you may not know what you are looking at, but folks here will!
A contract would be very prudent, not so much for the usual reason of preventing the boat being sold from under you (as you comfortable with that) but to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of each other and that when you wire the cash that you have evidence of what it is for (and not simply a gift
)......but that can come after the Surveyor and even your inspection
, if no biggie for you. Ideally you and they (and boat) in the same place so can get hands on the Bill of Sale same time as the cash goes through and the boat can be handed over. Although a risk for them to send the Bill of Sale to you ahead of time, that only about being a PITA later if you don't send the money as you won't own the boat despite what the BOS says! Vendor might take a bit of convincing on that though! The risk for you is cash goes through, you get the BOS and reg docs in advance (or a promise of) and boat sails
. A Broker / Escrow Agent would reduce the risk of that / give you someone else to sue or break legs of.
To summarise, IMO you are in the ballpark - just take care.