How to Buy a Boat (Part 3)
Before purchasing your boat you will need to check the status or title of the seller, which confirms that they do in fact have the right to sell it. This will also ensure that there are no outstanding mortgages, loans or fees on the boat that could cause you problems down the line. The simplest way to check the seller’s title is using the UK Ship Register. You can do this independently or alternatively you could hire the services of a lawyer to do it on your behalf. The process can become increasingly complex if the boat has not been registered, which is not actually a legal requirement. There are however a few things your can do:
1. Documents of title display the complete ownership chain starting from the initial sale from new build to the present time and owner. The seller should be able to provide you with this document.
2. Other evidence that the seller is legitimate includes receipts or documents from paid mooring fees, insurance, repair work and club membership.
3. Carry out checks with marine financing institutes to check that the boat hasn’t been used as collateral and they don’t have any other interest in the vessel.
4. A lack of evidence doesn’t necessary mean they are not the legitimate owner but you should be wary and employ the professional services of a boating lawyer.