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Old 14-01-2018, 05:19   #1
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Trust in a direct boat purchase...

So I am going thru the process of purchasing a boat direct and the exact flow of the transaction is being discussed.. UK part III registered boat sitting in Greece.

I met the owners down there and they look legit etc. *But* obviously we are talking enough money changing hands to buy a small apartment in the south of spain, so one hopes to do the transaction as safely as possible needless to say. Any thoughts on the right way to do this?

I have suggested an escrow such as

https://www.transpact.com

But the seller has suggested they'd be ok with that for the deposit but want the rest to be wired directly to their account. Not sure why (trust in this company issues perhaps? has anyone had any direct experience with them??).

If I wired the money directly to an account, I am not sure what would guarantee that I do get the bill of sale and keys to the boat after transferring the money etc. So other than an escrow (and once again, references to online or something else you might have had experience with in Greece would be appreciated) , what else could one do?

I hope someone who has gone thru this, particularly with UK part III registered boats (which is not a proof of ownership or that the boat is free of liens etc) in Greece in particular, can share their experience and ideas

Thanks!!
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Old 14-01-2018, 05:25   #2
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Not sure what you have available in the EU area, but in the US there are escrow companies that handle yacht documentation (registration) and transfers. Costs are very reasonable.
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Old 14-01-2018, 05:30   #3
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

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Not sure what you have available in the EU area, but in the US there are escrow companies that handle yacht documentation (registration) and transfers. Costs are very reasonable.
Thanks Paul .. perhaps someone on the forum knows of a serious company in Greece with whom they might have dealt in the past to do this kind of thing and can recommend them? Until now I have found that navigating things in Greece can be a bit challenging with the language barrier and "cultural differences" etc.
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Old 14-01-2018, 05:32   #4
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

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Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
Thanks Paul .. perhaps someone on the forum knows of a serious company in Greece with whom they might have dealt in the past to do this kind of thing and can recommend them? Until now I have found that navigating things in Greece can be a bit challenging with the language barrier and "cultural differences" etc.
A UK company should be acceptable to the seller.
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Old 14-01-2018, 05:55   #5
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Why not through a British law office (Attorney)... deposit to to them, if all agreed and sale is final wire the money to them and they complete the formalities such as the contract ... meet to sign, then the attorney wires the money to the seller.
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Old 14-01-2018, 09:38   #6
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Isn't there an old saying that goes...

"Trust everyone, but keep your powder dry."
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Old 14-01-2018, 09:40   #7
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Hi. If it were me, I would have two issues with this.
Title: As far as proving ownership of the boat is concerned, I would totally ignore the Part 3 registration as it means nothing. We (in UK) also call it the Small Ships Register. I have no idea what it is for, really. You correctly state that it certainly does not prove title to the boat. (unlike Part I registration, as is my boat, which provides a full ownership trail right back to original build, with a record of all mortgages against the boat, etc.)

So my absolute first concern would be: How do you know the seller has the right to sell the boat? How do you know it has not been stolen at some time? How do you know the boat has not been charged to a bank against a loan of some kind?

Forget the seller telling you how he wants the money paid... I would be making HIM jump through a lot of hoops to prove to me & document absolutely that the boat was his to sell unencumbered.

Payment: Having sorted that , and ONLY then - I would want the Bill of Sale, keys & all documents in my hand before I pressed "Go" on the bank transfer. I might be happy to do that at a meeting, or I might not. I might look at getting a lawyer involved and having the seller pay those costs instead - that would depend on circumstances.

After all, the seller has saved time & money by not arranging to have the boat Part 1 registered - which would remove a lot of doubts - so its fair that he should carry the costs of sale. Also, the seller is saving himself considerable money by not listing a boat through a large brokerage firm who could also be instructed to take care of these issues.

Don't be rushed - it sounds like you are talking about a substantial sum of money here.

OK, maybe I am a bit paranoid. But as I always say, I wasn't born this way - I got here through hard & bitter experience.
What do you Americans say? Trust, but verify? In this case, I would leave out the trust bit..

Good luck.
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Old 14-01-2018, 09:55   #8
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivevon View Post
Hi. If it were me, I would have two issues with this.
Title: As far as proving ownership of the boat is concerned, I would totally ignore the Part 3 registration as it means nothing. We (in UK) also call it the Small Ships Register. I have no idea what it is for, really. You correctly state that it certainly does not prove title to the boat. (unlike Part I registration, as is my boat, which provides a full ownership trail right back to original build, with a record of all mortgages against the boat, etc.)

So my absolute first concern would be: How do you know the seller has the right to sell the boat? How do you know it has not been stolen at some time? How do you know the boat has not been charged to a bank against a loan of some kind?

Forget the seller telling you how he wants the money paid... I would be making HIM jump through a lot of hoops to prove to me & document absolutely that the boat was his to sell unencumbered.

Payment: Having sorted that , and ONLY then - I would want the Bill of Sale, keys & all documents in my hand before I pressed "Go" on the bank transfer. I might be happy to do that at a meeting, or I might not. I might look at getting a lawyer involved and having the seller pay those costs instead - that would depend on circumstances.

After all, the seller has saved time & money by not arranging to have the boat Part 1 registered - which would remove a lot of doubts - so its fair that he should carry the costs of sale. Also, the seller is saving himself considerable money by not listing a boat through a large brokerage firm who could also be instructed to take care of these issues.

Don't be rushed - it sounds like you are talking about a substantial sum of money here.

OK, maybe I am a bit paranoid. But as I always say, I wasn't born this way - I got here through hard & bitter experience.
What do you Americans say? Trust, but verify? In this case, I would leave out the trust bit..

Good luck.
Fair enough.. but regarding the "proving" that the boat is clear and his to sell etc, isn't that kind of impossible unless he provides part I registration? In that case, if I followed your advice to the letter it would mean, part III registration => no deal.

I mean, he can show me his bill of sale and the previous owners etc, etc right until the point where it was delivered from the builder (he did show me that though I haven't had the time to peruse the papers carefully, that will come). But the free of lien thing comes down to trust that he doesn't have a hidden mortgage on the boat or anything. Proving the absence of something is an impossibility (ask an Agnostic :-)

So part III no deal? sounds kinda harsh.
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Old 14-01-2018, 09:55   #9
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Have escrow handle title change and the deposit. They should do the whole thing and wire the money when your title is in your name etc.
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Old 14-01-2018, 10:13   #10
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
So I am going thru the process of purchasing a boat direct...one hopes to do the transaction as safely as possible...
From another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
...if you are a seller, you are doing yourself a disservice by engaging a broker. I have started tracking the owners of boats for sale with brokers (a bit of detectivesque work and cross referencing on sites on the internet works sometimes) .. but doubt that most buyers are so motivated like me to go thru such troubles.
Perhaps you are learning the value of a broker rather than going around one?
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Old 14-01-2018, 10:20   #11
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
Fair enough.. but regarding the "proving" that the boat is clear and his to sell etc, isn't that kind of impossible unless he provides part I registration? In that case, if I followed your advice to the letter it would mean, part III registration => no deal.

I mean, he can show me his bill of sale and the previous owners etc, etc right until the point where it was delivered from the builder (he did show me that though I haven't had the time to peruse the papers carefully, that will come). But the free of lien thing comes down to trust that he doesn't have a hidden mortgage on the boat or anything. Proving the absence of something is an impossibility (ask an Agnostic :-)

So part III no deal? sounds kinda harsh.
It will be really harsh if a bank comes after you because there is a lien on the boat. Or if the boat was stolen, or if the boat is part of a nasty divorce.

If the owner can't prove ownership by showing proper and current documentation, then walk away. If a boat is this expensive, why would the current owner not have it properly documented? Avoiding taxes? Governments can get kind of fussy about not being paid their due, will you be on the hook for past taxes?

There are many boats in the sea, find another one with a clean title.
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Old 14-01-2018, 10:26   #12
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
From another thread:

Perhaps you are learning the value of a broker rather than going around one?
Nice try :-) but keeping in mind that the broker works for the seller, not for me (unless I retained a buyer broker etc which then again only complicates the whole thing) not sure I see where it would bring extra security to the transaction.

An independent third party .. absolutely. Someone who is being paid by the seller.. err.. no thanks.

[EDIT]

.. the more I think about it the more I laugh at the notion that someone thinks that brokers are honest impartial people that guarantee that both parties are handled fairly and are happy. Hilarious really... cause I just went thru something with a broker.. oh boy do I have a story for you. But alas.. will leave that for some other time when I feel like entertaining the forum with an unbelievable broker story... after all this is done :-)
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Old 14-01-2018, 10:42   #13
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

I think it boils down to If your feeling hinky about the deal walk away. Horror stories plenty! Great out comes probably more. I bought our boat with a hand shake! gained a lot from that including a dinghy and out board plus plus.
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Old 14-01-2018, 12:35   #14
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
Nice try :-) but keeping in mind that the broker works for the seller, not for me (unless I retained a buyer broker etc which then again only complicates the whole thing) not sure I see where it would bring extra security to the transaction.

An independent third party .. absolutely. Someone who is being paid by the seller.. err.. no thanks.

[EDIT]

.. the more I think about it the more I laugh at the notion that someone thinks that brokers are honest impartial people that guarantee that both parties are handled fairly and are happy. Hilarious really... cause I just went thru something with a broker.. oh boy do I have a story for you. But alas.. will leave that for some other time when I feel like entertaining the forum with an unbelievable broker story... after all this is done :-)
We have used a buyers broker twice on both of our sailboat purchases and would not hesitate to do so again. It was very helpful in both cases and there was no effort on the part of our broker to 'up the sale price' so he would share in a larger commission. It all depends on who you use.

Just my experience, YMMV
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Old 14-01-2018, 13:03   #15
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Re: Trust in a direct boat purchase...

For me it is just damn hard to justify someone making 10% on the value of a boat purchase, which is a pretty sizable chunk of cash even for a second hand yacht.. imagine.. 100K sale price, means 10K commission. For what? posting a few bad pictures and a half ass description online, replying to prospective buyers when they feel like it and being a pain to setup viewings .. and in the event that an offer gets made, serving half the purpose of an escrow service that costs otherwise online anywhere from $100 to $500 or so for that kind of money.

I really don't think I would feel "safer" on a transaction just cause it was being dealt by brokers. But if it works for you then
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