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Transfer of ownership

  • 17-05-2022 9:11am
    Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭ dto001

    Hi all,

    I’m going to look at my first cruiser today. In regards to the paperwork required how do you know if a person actually owns the boat and that when I buy it the ownership goes to me?



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,388 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Tabnabs

    In Ireland you don't know. We don't have a registry of boats, or any RYA type proof of ownership. If they bought it new, then there would be brokerage paperwork. But there are several potential pitfalls buying cheaper through a private sale. You are relying on their honesty, by and large.

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,066 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    They may have receipts made out in their name going back a number of years for marina fees, insurance, maintenance etc. As Tabnabs said no official registry.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,113 ✭✭✭✭ HeidiHeidi

    When we bought our boat we got a folder about six inches thick of every receipt, brochure, guide, manual, invoice they'd ever had! We added to it over 16 years, and handed the lot over to the buyer we sold to.

    Trust your gut instinct, and if you're new to the whole thing bring along someone experienced with the sort of boats you're interested in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Mick Tator

    To add to the above. Much of my action would depend on the price and age of the boat being bought. I’d certainly ask for paperwork from a private buyer while being aware that it could be scant or missing. I would expect as Heidi says above to get at least copies of insurance certs, marina fees, repair bills, etc.

    If it is ‘newish’ I would expect paperwork. The risk with buying an expensive boat from a private vendor is that title might not be ‘clear’ (i.e. a lien like a HP agreement or a marine mortgage could be in place). The vendor could trouser the cash and the financial institution would come after you for the sum due on the boat, leaving you facing an action for recovery against the vendor.

    If you are buying through a broker you would have a good degree of protection, particularly if the broker is a member of a professional organisation. Also, if the boat is registered, any mortgage/lien would be recorded at the port of registry.

    Depending on the value of the boat, if making an offer make sure it is made ‘subject to survey’. Write down what is included in the sale– dinghy/engines, equipment, etc. Also make sure that there are no marina fees outstanding and if they are, clarify with the vendor AND marina who will be responsible for their payment

    I certainly would draw up a ‘bill of sale’ for the purchase – lots of samples free online.  List what is included in the sale – dinghy, outboards (serial numbers) etc. The bill of sale would put you in a better position when you come to selling and the warranty by the vendor would strengthen your position should things go wrong!