I will share some of my boat angle experience.
I bought one through boat angel in 2016 and had a somewhat OK experience and almost a second in 2017 and had a terrible experience.
Both times the sellers were great honest people who didn't need the money and thought they were helping a charity. When I bought the first one baot angel sent me a "Donkey Ollie" DVD
. I thought it was a joke so looked it up. To keep the charity money instead of donating it they formed a "charity production company" and use all the charity money from boat angel to pay themselves. https://www.donkeyollie.com/
When you win they send you a book sized contract
which basically says there is no possible way to get any money back no matter what happens. You pay the $300 fee and your purchase
price and they send you the sellers phone number. You contact the seller and go through a process as if you bought off craigslist. My first boat did not have a trailer
title even though the listing said it did. Angel said that not all states use titles (so they put in the listing it has one.) Told me the donor is supposed to have cleared it in their home state before donating, so not their responsibility to confirm it actually has a title, its the donor/buyers problem, no their fault. Said they did their part and I would sacrifice all fees
and they would relist the boat if I did not remove the boat.
OK, I figured, still got a good deal take it and move on.
The second boat I almost bought was at a marina I recognized. A seaward
25. So I drove by the marina when it was listed and the owner happed to be there at the boat. Great guy, in his upper 80s, change in life plans moving inland so wife convinced him to list it for "charity" vs selling it. Boat was in good shape and cleaned up worth maybe 15k, realistically should have went for around 3-5k via auction
the way it looked in the pics and description. Spent a few hours with the owner going over it and securing it since a hurricane
was coming and he invited me back to his house to show me all the paperwork for the boat including over 10k in receipts including a brand new inboard diesel
and the original title.
I only had zero feedback bidders (boat angel) bidding against me after $1500 and I would not put in a high bid. They ended the auction minutes before the end. I called and they said it was because of the hurricane
when the bid was not going up. The following week they had several zero feedback bidders against me bid it up to 10k and not buy, the following week the same again bid to 10k, no buyer. A 4th week same thing. I talked with the owner several more times and he wanted to just sell me the boat directly since he was moving. He called boat angel to end it after 3 consecutive auctions ended without a paying buyer. He had paid 2 months slip fees
after sending them all the info waiting for it to be listed, a 3rd month while they kept relisting it, and another was due. When he wanted to end the auction they lectured him about honesty and Christianity. Said they would reimburse him the marina fees after it sold
. After another week he called and said he had a buyer with cash ready and they threatened him with suing him and filing criminal charges if he sold the boat directly. They told him to have the buyer call them. I called angel, and they no qualms said they will skip the auction and sell it to me for 10k plus the 300 document fee. When I said no thanks Ill buy it directly from the seller, we already have an agreement and its his boat, they flipped out and threated to file multiple charges against me and him if I touched it. They were literally yelling into the phone and mid sentence hung up. I called the seller back and it was busy, they called him immediately when hanging up on me and threatened him again. When he answered my call he was spitting mad at the whole situation. He agreed to let them list it again. "One final time then I am taking it back no matter what happens" he said. He moved to Georgia
while the "last" auction was held. The next week they listed it, bid went 16k. Higher than nice ones listed locally with brokers. Looked like no buyer, but a few days later he called me to say they told him they received the money and would mail him the tax donation paperwork. The buyer was out of state and the boat would be picked up from the marina by a shipping
company sometime "soon". He didn't need to do anything else. Seemed ridiculously fishy, but I wished the seller well and my wife made me promise not to call him anymore. The boat continued to sit in the marina, week after week, boat angel never relisted it.
My guess is boat angel knew he wouldn't let them relist it again, so to get in one last jab said it would be picked up so he would keep paying marina fees until he realized a shipper was never coming. I don't know how many more months he paid the marina, but its going on 3 years and the boat still sits there rotting away in the slip untouched.
That's my experience with the "charity" Boat Angel, hopefully someone may find it useful.