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Possible out of state boat purchase

WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 460 Baller
I’m considering buying a boat out of state. The owner is another tournament skier, several ballers (who I don't know) know the owner, the boat’s history and have personally skied and driven the boat. From the communications I've had, I feel really comfortable that the seller is honest and the boat is ready to roll and in good working order. Interested in thoughts on the following:

1. I’d like to avoid having to fly down to inspect it and considering asking the owner to show me a water test on face time or something (I’d never do this with a non-skier but it feels different somehow in this small ski world);
2. Title transfer/payment—if I choose to do this all remotely, how do I wire payment and get the title transferred without being there to ensure it all goes okay;
4. Shipping—I’m considering U-ship to transport it. Should I look for a flatbed option or have them just tow it back;
4. Anything else I should be thinking about?



  • keithh2oskierkeithh2oskier Posts: 528 Crazy Baller
    Where are you located? Where is the boat? Do you have any 3rd party that can take a look on your behalf?
  • MickeyThompsonMickeyThompson Posts: 154 Baller
    Make sure boat has current year registration. If not make sure sales tax was paid when current owner purchased boat.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,207 Mega Baller
    Make sure there is a trailer title or you get a bill of sale with the trailer. I know if, for instance, you buy a boat in WI, where there's no such thing as a trailer title or registration, and try to use the boat in a state with trailer registration, you need a bill of sale to get a bonded title on the trailer before you can get trailer tags.

    What happened to number 3? :)

    For payment, a third party is often a good option. Do you use a national banking chain? Can you set it up where he goes into your bank and hands them the title, they drop it in registered mail, then they hand him a cashier's check?

    U-Ship is the way to go. Flatbed will be WAY more expensive than just having them tow it. When I was having my boat towed down from Oregon, I paid to have new tires put on before the trip just to be sure there were no issues. If the trailer tires are more than 5 years old, might be a good idea.
  • bananaronbananaron Posts: 312 Crazy Baller
    I live in MN and have bought many boats over the past few yrs and all of them have been outside the state of MN.We have gone as far as Houston,TX to get a boat.I personally have to touch feel and drive the boat and usually I like to have someone locally look at the boat prior to me leaving.BOS is a great way to find people to take a look.After the final negotiations are complete and you have agreed to terms I always get a copy of the boat and trailer titles and also the sellers DL.I also send a copy of my DL and other ID so both parties know who they are dealing with.The big thing is to be sure the boat and trailer do not have any liens or loans and in some states there is no way to tell.In MN the lien or loan is recorded on the title.Now you can also have a bill of sale written up and have seller sign indicating no liens or loansAlso get as many videos and photos of boat and trailer and most recently I did this and he sent many videos of boat running.I usually bring a cashiers check or take the seller to a Wells Fargo bank. Recently did a wire transfer to the sellers bank and it worked out however there can be problems doing it this way.Best way is doing business with a national bank.I have no experience with shippers so I can not comment.Also to verify engine you can hook it up to the computer and verify hrs and get a printout of runtime at speed/rpm and also anything else that would indicate problems.I also want to know how many owners and the history of the boat.I only buy mint condition boats at great prices.AND yes check the tires if not newer and great condition have new ones mounted and remember the trailer bearings also important.Also make sure you have insurance on boat and trailer before you leave with it or have it shipped.Good luck let me know if you need any help.....Ron
    Ron Engblom Brainerd lakes,minnesota
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 396 Baller
    edited August 12
    I've never had a boat shipped. But I have watched 2 friends do it recently. I would highly recommend getting the boat wrapped professionally before it travels to you.
    Pat M
  • NandoNando Posts: 527 Crazy Baller
    Agree with @Ski_Dad on getting it wrapped. I bought a boat from Nova Scotia two years ago and the owner gook the time to have it shrink-wrapped for me (at my cost but on his time and effort) and if an equal number of bugs on the shrink wrap had been on the hull, it would have taken hours to get them off. The fact that your seller has references is a good sign. A baller I almost bought a boat from (he sold it to his next door neighbor) gave me some good advice- he said that if you talk with the seller for a while, you'll find out if the seller is a serious skier and if so, it's rare for s skier to screw another skier, as it's a small world. I was lucky to buy from an honest, very conscientious, guy and hope you're in the same situation.
  • lakeaustinskierlakeaustinskier Posts: 352 Solid Baller
    Over the years I have purchased boats from Mississippi, Tennessee, and Illinois ( I live in Austin). All promo boats. Yes, the 3 event world is very small. IMO if someone screws someone that knowledge will quickly get back into the ski world. Maybe not overtly; but - news will spread. Spend the money on a plane ticket, go see the boat in person, talk to the seller, then figure out the shipping later. Just peace of mind. My .02.
    Ted Thomson, Austin Texas, Aquaplex
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,128 Mega Baller
    uship worked great for get to see several shippers and speak to them as well if you feel the need to pick the right one. make sure it has a good cover or buy one for it to ship.
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 488 Crazy Baller
    Road trip and get it. I drove to TX and back from MN for my boat. Throw some tools in the truck and head on down. Ski it, fill out some paperwork and head on home.
  • scokescoke Posts: 644 Solid Baller
    edited August 13
    This thread interests me as we just listed our 200 for sale.

    Last two boats we’ve sold locally which is interesting too.

    For our buyer, we’ll go above and beyond (within reason). Heck they can drive down, we’ll put them up in our house so we can ski for a few days at Okeeheelee and then they can be on their way!

    Of course the shipping info in this thread is great too.
  • jpwhitjpwhit Posts: 64 Baller
    Talk to your state's DMV about the requirements for getting a title for an out of state boat trailer. Some states optionally title trailers. If your state requires trailers to be titled, and you're buying a boat from a state that optionally titles trailers. Your state may require the seller to get the trailer titled in their state before selling it to you. It's not uncommon in that case, that a bill of sale for the trailer won't be enough to get it registered in your state. It's also not uncommon if your state accepts a bill of sale, they may require both the bill of sale when the previous owner acquired the trailer, and the bill of sale showing you now own the trailer.

    The same is true for the boat itself, but that seems less common than it use too. Seems like most states title boats these days.
  • Kwoody51Kwoody51 Posts: 57 Baller
    edited August 13
    MN titles the trailer but not the boat. You'll need a bill of sale to get title if state you are buying from doesn't title the trailer. Bill of sale will also apply for the boat.

    Advice on trailer trailers is very sound! I bought a boat in LA, hauled it back to MN and ~150 miles form home 1st tire blew. Another 50 miles 2nd tire blew. Tires looked great and had seller have bearings repacked before trailering... should have had tires done as well.

    I've bought lots of motorcycles out of state (and had them shipped) and a boat from LA. As others have said I've found that talking to the seller you can learn a lot.

    Pictures are super helpful as are trying to track down others that you might know in the area that can take a look for you. Certain states offer boat surveyors who can do a technical assessment of a boat for you. Similarly you can ask the seller to take the boat into the local dealer to have them do a compression check/ leak down check as well as anything else you'd like - all at your own expense.

    Having said all of this only you know you and your degree of anal-ness. If you buy not seeing it in person and see something post delivery how are you going to feel? If you will have a stomach dropping feeling, then you better look at in person for yourself. If you are a roll with a type of guy knowing that so long as it's mechanically sound and if the seller missed showing/ telling you about a minor bump or bruise - you'll be good!

    Looks like you have some pretty solid feedback from others that have seen and skied behind this boat, in your other thread. So seems like it's a matter of figuring out how to get it paid for and shipping it. Wire transferring the funds is going to be the best way to make the payment if you aren't doing it in person for the amount it's selling for. You can sequence the wire transfer to tie in with the shipping picking it up. Talk with the seller, get on the same page, you want the seller to be comfortable with the payment as well.

    I like to sell something like I'm the buyer and be as up front as I can but people see/ react to different things that may or may not be a big deal to others.
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 556 Crazy Baller
    Is it a promo? If so ask for some phone numbers for others he has sold boats to. I have had really good luck with U-ship on the trailer, no flat beds. Go with a transporter who has good experience reviews, even it it costs a little more. Make sure the shipper is insured. As Ted mentioned above, the tournament ski boat market is a small world, bad word would quickly circulate, as does good word:)
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,073 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Good advice on making sure the boat has a current registration. Trailer should too. I’ve bought two boats out of state. One of the boats was never registered by the PO and Florida made me track down the last known registration which was from two owners ago. Even though I had bill Of sales and title.
  • vtjcvtjc Posts: 242 Baller
    edited August 13
    I have bought three boats out of state and sold one. The first and last, I traveled to the location and inspected the boat myself. The middle one my brother did, and there was some undisclosed damaged. Before buying my current boat, I also drove(12 hrs) to a dealer to look at a boat, and it was blatantly misrepresented (1,400 hrs vs 1,000, scraps through gelcoat and a soft spot in floor…). It seems like you have done an excellent job talking with seller and others. I would recommend traveling to inspect the boat yourself or hiring an independent dealer to do an inspection or survey. I don’t know the price range your shopping, but a thorough inspection should only be a small portion of the purchase price. This would also help you in a dispute with the shipper if the boat was damaged in transit.

    RE: #4 Make sure you insure the boat at the time of purchase.
  • NandoNando Posts: 527 Crazy Baller
    MN titles boats now. You can do it on a bill of sale, no problem. I bought my boat from an attorney (not practicing) who wrote up a good bill of sale that I was able to adapt when I sold my old boat to WI. It's worth having a good document.
  • DangerBoyDangerBoy Posts: 306 Solid Baller
    FWIW I bought a boat in Minnesota and had it shipped about 1000 miles to a border town in Montana. Found the shipper through uship and everything went great. Couldn't have been more pleased with the whole experience going through uship.
    I can take anything apart
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