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Boat Bill of Sale

Free Boat Bill of Sale Form

Utilize our Boat Bill of Sale to document the sale of a boat, ensuring protection for both the buyer and the seller.

When engaging in the sale of a boat, it's crucial to have a legal document that officially records the transaction between the seller and buyer — the Boat Bill of Sale. This document serves as evidence that ownership of the boat has been transferred from the seller to the buyer in exchange for an agreed-upon sum.

Table of Contents

What is a Boat Bill of Sale?

A Boat Bill of Sale is a legally binding document that facilitates the transfer of ownership of a boat or watercraft. Its significance lies in outlining the terms of the sale, preventing potential disputes, and acting as proof of ownership for the buyer to register their newly acquired vessel.

If the sale involves additional items like a trailer, it's advisable to use a comprehensive bill of sale form to include all relevant details.

Key Components of a Boat Bill of Sale

For a Boat Bill of Sale to be valid and legally sound, it must include essential information such as:

  1. Buyer and Seller Information: Clearly state the details of both the buyer and the seller.
  2. Watercraft Description: Provide a detailed description of the boat, including make, model, hull identification number, and current condition.
  3. Title and Registration Numbers: Include relevant title and registration numbers associated with the boat.
  4. Purchase Price and Payment Method: Clearly outline the agreed-upon purchase price and the method of payment.
  5. Date and Location of the Sale: Specify the date and location where the sale took place.
  6. Signatures of Buyer and Seller: Both parties should sign the document to make it legally binding.

In some states, notarization of the Boat Bill of Sale is required for it to be legally valid. If the sale includes a warranty, it should be documented as well. However, private boat sales often occur on an "as-is" basis, meaning the buyer accepts the vessel in its current condition.

Selling a Boat: Step-by-Step Guide

Selling a boat involves several steps to ensure a smooth and stress-free process:

Step 1 – Define What You're Selling
Clearly outline whether you're selling the boat alone, with an outboard motor, or including a trailer. Ensure that everything is included in the final sales price.

Step 2 – Prepare the Boat for Sale
Gather all necessary paperwork, including titles and registrations. Clean and photograph the boat from various angles to attract potential buyers. Make necessary repairs or touch-ups to enhance the boat's appeal.

Step 3 – Determine Your Boat's Value
Decide whether to sell privately or through a broker. Research the market value considering factors like condition, age, and demand. Set an asking price and the lowest offer you'll consider.

Step 4 – List Your Boat for Sale
Utilize various online platforms like Boat Trader, Craigslist, and eBay for a broader reach. Provide detailed information about the boat, including its make, model, year, dimensions, condition, and terms of sale.

Step 5 – Present Your Boat to Potential Buyers
Ensure your boat is easily accessible for potential buyers. Be transparent about the boat's condition, be prepared to communicate and negotiate, and know your lowest acceptable price.

Step 6 – Boat Bill of Sale and Ownership Documents
Upon finding a buyer, use a Boat Bill of Sale template to formalize the transaction. Provide copies to both parties, with the buyer retaining one for registration purposes.

Step 7 – Payment
Secure the sale by ensuring the buyer pays in full before handing over keys or ownership documents. Negotiate sales tax responsibilities.

Step 8 – Sign and Notarize
Complete the Boat Bill of Sale, ensuring both parties sign as per state requirements. Notarization may be necessary in some states for added legal validity.

After completing these steps, make copies of the Bill of Sale for your records and provide the original to the buyer for registration purposes.

How to Write a Boat Bill of Sale

Step 1 – Fill in the Buyer and Seller Information

Once the buyer and seller have agreed on all the transaction details, arrange to meet in person to complete the sale. It’s a good idea to have both parties show ID to verify personal details are correct on the form and to prevent fraud.

You’ll need to include both parties’ names, addresses, and contact details.

An example of where to include buyer and seller information in our boat bill of sale template.

An example of where to include buyer and seller information in our boat bill of sale template.

Step 2 – Fill in the Boat, Motor, and Trailer Details

Fill out the boat details on the bill of sale, including year, make, model, HIN (hull identification number), dimensions, etc. You can usually find your boat’s HIN on the right side of the transom (rear of the boat).

Include outboard motor information like serial number, model, and horsepower, which can be found on a plate attached to the motor.

You can find trailer details like the vehicle identification number (VIN) and weight on a sticker or plaque, usually attached to the frame.

You can use the notes section of your Boat Bill of Sale form to mention additional details about the condition of these components.

You should also include whether you will include any warranties to the buyer or if they will buy the boat “as is.”

An example of where to detail boat information in our boat bill of sale form.

An example of where to detail boat information in our boat bill of sale form.

Step 3 – Fill in the Selling Price and Payment Method

Before meeting to complete the sale, the buyer and seller should agree on a purchase price and payment method. The buyer will need to pay sales tax when registering their new boat, but you might split or cover the sales tax cost by deducting the applicable taxes from the selling price.

Payment method could be:

  • Personal check
  • Cashier’s check
  • Money order
  • Cash
  • Credit Card
  • PayPal

If the boat is a gift, fill out your relationship to the recipient and the boat’s total value and other items included in the transfer.

An example of where to outline the payment in our boat bill of sale template.

An example of where to outline the payment in our boat bill of sale template.

Step 4 – Sign and Notarize

Once the buyer has made the payment, you can sign the boat bill of sale to make the transaction final. Some states require boat bills of sale to be notarized.

Where to include signatures in our boat bill of sale form.

A screenshot of where to include signatures in our boat bill of sale form.

By following these steps and ensuring a comprehensive Boat Bill of Sale, both sellers and buyers can navigate the boat-selling process with confidence and legal security.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I prepare my boat for sale?

Before listing your boat for sale, gather all necessary paperwork, clean the boat inside and out, make any needed repairs, and take high-quality photographs. Having a well-prepared boat enhances its appeal to potential buyers and facilitates a smoother sales process.

How do I determine the value of my boat before selling it?

To determine your boat's value, consider factors like its condition, age, and demand. Research market values using online tools or local listings of similar make and model boats. Set an asking price and be prepared to negotiate based on your boat's unique features and condition.

What is the significance of a warranty in a boat sale?

While private boat sales often occur on an "as-is" basis, including a warranty in a Boat Bill of Sale can provide added assurance for the buyer. Clearly document any warranties or specify that the sale is final to avoid misunderstandings.

Boat Bill of Sale Sample

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