I have purchased 2 boats in the last 10 years and sold
one...all were ~$25k or less...
1) first boat I purchased was through a broker. I had no idea what I was doing, I asked the broker to keep some $$ in escrow until we could put the boat I. The water
and fire up the engine
.,I purchased this boat in the middle of winter in Chicago, so no sea trial at that time. Everything turned out fine.
2) Purchased 2nd boat from a private seller, no broker. All was friendly, but I intended to meet him at his bank, see the title, pay off his load, get the bank to release the lien and give him the remainder of the purchase price
....but he called a week before we were to close to say he had paid off the load, and just bring a cashiers check for the full amount, made out to him.
We met at his bank as arranged, but no one looked happy. Apparently , Mrs Boat owner sent the payoff check via a paper check and regular mail...and the bank had not received it...so no way to close out their loan....
We agreed to go to my bank, cash the check, go back to his bank and pay off the loan with cash so the bank could release the title....
What a mess...but it all worked out...the sellers were good people and we trusted each other (to a point at least).
Looked like a drug deal as we walked into his bank with a paper bag full of cash (literally), and counted out $20 and $50 bills to pay off his loan.
Oh yeah, a,so, the bank didnít have the title...no one could find it...turns out you can go to the BMV in Michigan and have one printed out on demand....who knew.
3) Sold my first boat to a guy who had been out sailing with me, no brokers, pretty easy.
All of these were relatively small deals, and I felt comfortable after my first sale to go it alone without a broker.,.. but we did have contracts in place and neither seller or buyer were complete strangers,
Good luck...be wary but you have to have a little faith in people.