What is a Boat Bill of Sale?

They say that the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life are the day that they buy the boat and the day that they sell the boat. If you’re planning on selling your boat, it may be a good idea to learn a thing or two about formulating a bill of sale for a boat and why you may end up needing one.

Over the course of this short guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the reasons why you may need a boat bill of sale, what you should include in your bill of sale and how to create one in the first place

What is a Boat Bill of Sale?

A boat bill of sale is a legal document that is used to show that the ownership of a vessel has been transferred between two people.

A bill of sale can be used for boats that are both powered and unpowered, and the vast majority of jurisdictions require a bill of sale so that the new owner can register their vessel.

These documents allow the buyer to show that they have paid for their goods, ensuring that the seller doesn’t accuse them of fraud after they’ve handed over ownership of the vessel. However, the protection provided by a boat bill of sale goes both ways, as it also protects the seller.

Is a Boat Bill of Sale Finalized Before or After the Transaction?

If you write up a bill of sale and give it to the new owner, then they legally own the vessel, regardless of whether they’ve given you the funds or not. This is why you should always ensure that the transaction has taken place before you provide the buyer with a bill of sale, as it’s very similar to a receipt for small-ticket items. This not only goes for boats, but also for trailers and cars

Details to Include in a Boat Bill of Sale

The first thing that you’ll need to do is include details about the boat itself.

This includes the company that makes the boat, the year that the boat was made, as well as the vessel’s title number and hull ID. It’s also usually a good idea to include the odometer reading in hours.

Along with details about the boat, you’ll want to include details about the buyer, including their full name, address, and contact information. Also ensure that you do the same for the seller, and it’s typically courteous to let the seller fill in their own info, as is also the case for the buyer.

Of course, the bill of sale should also outline the purchase price of the vessel, which is one of the most crucial details to include in any bill of sale. A final detail to include is where the purchase is taking place, as different areas may have different laws when it comes to transferring ownership of a vessel

What Kind of Boats is a Bill of Sale Used For

A bill of sale can be used for a wide range of vessels, here are a few examples:

  • Yachts
  • Skiffs
  • Sailboats
  • Motorboats
  • Rowboats
  • Jetskis
  • Kayaks
  • Catamarans
  • Canoe

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