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Boat Bill of Sale Basics

Buying or selling a boat? Before you set sail, you'll need a Boat Bill of Sale to transfer your ownership rights. Get started today to close the deal and make sure the sale is legal.

Use the Boat Bill of Sale document if:

  • You're the owner of a boat or watercraft and are selling or transferring the vessel to another person.
  • You plan to buy a boat from an individual rather than a dealer.

A Boat Bill of Sale is used to prove your right of ownership of your new boat or watercraft. You'll need this document when buying or selling a boat. Your insurance company may ask you for a Boat Bill of Sale before insuring your vessel. The legal document includes specific provisions that must be included when buying or selling a boat or watercraft. In addition to a Boat Bill of Sale, you'll also need Certificate of Title to prove ownership of your new boat. This Boat Bill of Sale is specific to watercraft, if you’re interested in selling other goods we offer a separate bill of sale that can help.

Other names for this document: Watercraft Bill of Sale, Vessel Bill of Sale, Bill of Sale for Boat

What Goes Into a Boat Bill of Sale?
While there's a lot of effort that goes into prepping your boat for show, there are also some steps to take to ensure a complete bill of sale:

• The names of all parties involved: any records should include the names, addresses, and license numbers of the seller and the buyer. Having an unbroken chain of ownership is particularly important when it comes to vessels and other vehicles.

• Price: both parties probably have the same price in mind when the deal closes, but documenting it can be important if any disagreements arise later.

• Information about the boat being sold: this includes the vehicle identification number, make, and model. If there are any major after-market additions it can help to list those as well.

• Signatures: a lot of business gets done on a handshake, but it can be a smart idea to get written proof of your agreement. In fact,

One other thing to consider is getting multiple copies of the bill of sale. A boat bill of sale is an important document for each party's records.

What are the Seller's Responsibilities After the Sale?
After the sale, you'll likely need to notify the proper state agency about the sale. This functions much in the same way as a standard car or truck: filling out state paperwork detailing the buyer, the seller, and the identification number of the vehicle. Any other responsibilities will derive from the terms of your contract. If you've offered a warranty on parts you'd need to uphold that.

What's Legally Required When Selling a Boat?
The major legal issue to consider when selling a vessel is disclosure. As with homes and cars, a seller is required to disclose any substantive information that one would be reasonably expected to. This doesn't mean you are required to disclose everything: imperfections like scratched paint or small dents are up to the buyer to discover—however, if you have knowledge of something critical, like the steering occasionally giving out, you would be expected to disclose that information. Failure to disclose such information could leave you liable down the road, regardless of any lack of warranty.


Sample Boat Bill of Sale

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Boat Bill of Sale Basics

A Boat Bill of Sale is used to prove your right of ownership of your new boat or watercraft. You'll need this document when buying or selling a boat. Your insurance company may ask you for a Boat Bill of Sale before insuring your vessel. The legal document includes specific provisions that must be included when buying or selling a boat or watercraft. In addition to a Boat Bill of Sale, you'll also need Certificate of Title to prove ownership of your new boat. This Boat Bill of Sale is specific to watercraft, if you’re interested in selling other goods we offer a separate bill of sale that can help.

Other names for this document: Watercraft Bill of Sale, Vessel Bill of Sale, Bill of Sale for Boat

What Goes Into a Boat Bill of Sale?
While there's a lot of effort that goes into prepping your boat for show, there are also some steps to take to ensure a complete bill of sale:

• The names of all parties involved: any records should include the names, addresses, and license numbers of the seller and the buyer. Having an unbroken chain of ownership is particularly important when it comes to vessels and other vehicles.

• Price: both parties probably have the same price in mind when the deal closes, but documenting it can be important if any disagreements arise later.

• Information about the boat being sold: this includes the vehicle identification number, make, and model. If there are any major after-market additions it can help to list those as well.

• Signatures: a lot of business gets done on a handshake, but it can be a smart idea to get written proof of your agreement. In fact,

One other thing to consider is getting multiple copies of the bill of sale. A boat bill of sale is an important document for each party's records.

What are the Seller's Responsibilities After the Sale?
After the sale, you'll likely need to notify the proper state agency about the sale. This functions much in the same way as a standard car or truck: filling out state paperwork detailing the buyer, the seller, and the identification number of the vehicle. Any other responsibilities will derive from the terms of your contract. If you've offered a warranty on parts you'd need to uphold that.

What's Legally Required When Selling a Boat?
The major legal issue to consider when selling a vessel is disclosure. As with homes and cars, a seller is required to disclose any substantive information that one would be reasonably expected to. This doesn't mean you are required to disclose everything: imperfections like scratched paint or small dents are up to the buyer to discover—however, if you have knowledge of something critical, like the steering occasionally giving out, you would be expected to disclose that information. Failure to disclose such information could leave you liable down the road, regardless of any lack of warranty.

Use the Boat Bill of Sale document if:
  • You're the owner of a boat or watercraft and are selling or transferring the vessel to another person.
  • You plan to buy a boat from an individual rather than a dealer.
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