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How to purchase boat w cash from private owner

Old 01-12-2019, 06:37 AM
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Default How to purchase boat w cash from private owner

I found a rig that I want to make a cash offer on for about $100,000. I will be purchasing from a private party about 2 hours away. What steps do I need to take to make sure I dont get get scammed? Owner says he still has small payoff to the bank on the title. How do you check to make sure there are not additional liens against the boat, boat is not stolen, etc.? I would plan on bringing bank check to his bank. Can I break down the purchase receipts between boat, motor, and trailer to save on sales tax in Florida.? Please walk me through the process to make sure I don't get scammed.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:06 AM
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How do you have $100,00.00 to spend on a boat and not know what to do?????
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:08 AM
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You might want to make separate checks for the bank's owed portion and the net of what the seller will get. You usually can check with the state authorities to see if there are any additional lines on the boat. Got a purchase contract written and signed?

You could get an escrow company to handle the transaction.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:13 AM
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Scams go both ways..

close at the bank that has the note and title

yes can get a bill of sale that separates hull and engines for tax purposes
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:15 AM
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Hopefully itís documented. Then you can do a lien search. Itís going to take you a little bit to get the title from the bank. I would do it at the bank only.

Like the above said get two cashiers checks for certain.

Also so a reminder the Uscg vessel documentation center is shut down now until the gov reopens.

You could also hire boat papers llc here in Naples and they may give some good advice if going the documented route.

Also get an itemized sales receipt. Only pay sales tax on the hull. Not the motors etc.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:20 AM
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Work directly with his bank. Your insurance company will require the Hull ID and Motor ID (serial numbers) and they can check if stolen. Ensure you get a bill of sale and breakout Hull from motors and electronics or other high value items. It’s done every day.

I would not accept or deal with any checks, only wire transfers. It’s the only thing that instant and avoids all fraud.

How to Buy a Used Boat from a Private Party ? Trees Full of Moneyi
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:23 AM
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Use an escrow company. There are companies that specialize in marine title transfers. Costs like $300. Worth it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:27 AM
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The current bank lien should tell if it's stolen or not, was it a personal loan with the boat as collateral or was the boat itself financed. How long has he financed the boat for and what is the payoff balance. Usually the lien holder will give you a 10 day payoff figure. As stated by tpenfield above, get (2) checks, one for owners portion and one for the lien release payoff. Better to perfect this transaction at his bank if possible. That way you have a written lien release in your hand.

Also, transfer the boat/trailer immediately to your name or entity you wish to hold title.

BEFORE all this happens, have a survey done by a reputable company/individual. That will usually turn up any issues you may wish to negotiate towards the purchase price.

Is the boat stored at a marina? Is it a trailered boat? If marina, check any balances due or work orders not satisfied. Also, if marina stored or slip rented, ask the owner what he pays per month/quarter and see if it's something you wish to continue.


As for separating the entire purchase into individual purchases. Make out bills of sale for each part, have the owner and yourself sign with a notary.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:32 AM
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You can close the sale at his bank. They can notarize everything. And in Florida you can have an itemized bill of sale. I itemize everything down to safety gear. It can save a lot on taxes.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mdman352 View Post
How do you have $100,00.00 to spend on a boat and not know what to do?????

^^^^^ that is an idiotic thing to say.
hes asking for help. Maybe a loved one gave him $. Maybe he earned it and knows nothing about boats. Maybe he does know about boats but wants some advice so he doesnít get scammed.
Hey, thatís actually what he said!!!


OP, if I lived in Florida and knew the answer I would definitely help you. Sorry I donít..
just want
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jmsnookman View Post
I found a rig that I want to make a cash offer on for about $100,000. I will be purchasing from a private party about 2 hours away. What steps do I need to take to make sure I dont get get scammed? Owner says he still has small payoff to the bank on the title. How do you check to make sure there are not additional liens against the boat, boat is not stolen, etc.? I would plan on bringing bank check to his bank. Can I break down the purchase receipts between boat, motor, and trailer to save on sales tax in Florida.? Please walk me through the process to make sure I don't get scammed.
This has been discussed several times including this week, last week, and 100x before: https://www.thehulltruth.com/search.php

There is a ton of due diligence to do on a boat purchase including title/lien/UCC searches

A P&S agreement should be drawn up

As a buyer, I would want to use an escrow agent whether an escrow service, attorney, or yacht closer's service

Many contingencies to consider including survey, mechanical inspection, sea trial, etc

Research the seller, make sure they are legit, who they say they are, not a scammer

Your question about FL taxes has been asked and answered 1000x

As mentioned first, take some time to do your homework by searching past threads. Spend a few hours reading, absorbing, understanding. Come back with any questions.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by noanoa View Post



^^^^^ that is an idiotic thing to say.
hes asking for help. Maybe a loved one gave him $. Maybe he earned it and knows nothing about boats. Maybe he does know about boats but wants some advice so he doesn’t get scammed.
Hey, that’s actually what he said!!!


OP, if I lived in Florida and knew the answer I would definitely help you. Sorry I don’t..
just want
Yea its not about the $$ amount its about him not lifting a finger to do any research to answer his own questions...and he has been a THT member since 2009...he is in for a world of hurt as a boat owner if he cannot solve simple questions that have been asked and answered 1000x.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by pglein View Post
Use an escrow company. There are companies that specialize in marine title transfers. Costs like $300. Worth it.
This is a good idea. I made a big cash purchase once (a river cabin) and did this, and I was glad I did because they did find an issue, and helped resolve it. Law offices have escrow accounts. I just went to a local lawyer. They generally have people who specialize in title work. $100k is too much money to take a risk with.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mdman352 View Post
How do you have $100,00.00 to spend on a boat and not know what to do?????
The guy is lust asking for advice, give em a break! Ever think someone else might learn from his question?
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sugarloaf View Post
The guy is lust asking for advice, give em a break! Ever think someone else might learn from his question?
I find it interesting that to some people apparantly having a lot of money equates to having a lot of knowledge.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jmsnookman View Post
I found a rig that I want to make a cash offer on for about $100,000. I will be purchasing from a private party about 2 hours away. What steps do I need to take to make sure I dont get get scammed? Owner says he still has small payoff to the bank on the title. How do you check to make sure there are not additional liens against the boat, boat is not stolen, etc.? I would plan on bringing bank check to his bank. Can I break down the purchase receipts between boat, motor, and trailer to save on sales tax in Florida.? Please walk me through the process to make sure I don't get scammed.
If I could do it, I wouldn't...
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by whorrall View Post
I find it interesting that to some people apparantly having a lot of money equates to having a lot of knowledge.
This is true.
And I thought THT was where you could go to get boating questions answered, regardless of how long youíve been here.
I guess Iím wrong. Iím sure the OP regrets even asking for help. Which is sad.
I donít think his question is unreasonable. Even if he does have his own ideas it always good to hear how others would approach it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:14 PM
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If a boat being is purchased in a non-title state, you would want to do a UCC-11 Search (at the Secretary of State) to verify if there is a UCC-1 Financing Statement filing showing any first or second liens. Then you would need to contact the financial institution(s) with the lien to ask how they prefer to be paid off. The original buyer would have to authorize them to tell you the net payoff on the loan. You'll want the bank to physically give you a release copy of the UCC-1 the day of the payoff and you should file that Release of Lien the Secretary of State to assure it gets processed.

The chances are that the bank will prefer a wire transfer from your bank. Paper checks and cashiers' checks today are often phony/fraudulent, and bankers are afraid of them.

The whole transaction is not at all difficult other than getting the info from the Secretary of State.

In a title state, the bank would usually hold the title in their files, and the banker could verify if they have it. In that case, the seller would physically sign over the title over to you at the same time the banker releases the lien.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:16 PM
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ya know the guy is just asking for info . 100k isn't like a million 20 years ago. give a break and give him positive feed back on how to handle it not some of the bs your throwing around. your being pompus and we all started some where. yeah you know who you are
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by noanoa View Post


This is true.
And I thought THT was where you could go to get boating questions answered, regardless of how long youíve been here.
I guess Iím wrong. Iím sure the OP regrets even asking for help. Which is sad.
I donít think his question is unreasonable. Even if he does have his own ideas it always good to hear how others would approach it.
I agree... I think very highly of the members in this forum until I see unnecessary comments.

Whether its itís been discussed before or not, sometimes people would rather have answers fine tuned toward them.
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