Is this seller legit? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-10-2008 Thread Starter
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Is this seller legit?

I'm in the process of buying a used boat from someone. However, he says that he wants me to pay in cash (rather than a bank check) and that it's so that he won't have to pay taxes on it. As far as I know, he doesn't buy and sell boats for a living, so I don't understand why he would have to pay taxes.

The other thing that raised my eyebrow is that the hull doesn't have a registration number printed on it. As far as I can recall, I've never seen a boat that doesn't have that (at least in New York state). I have been able to get the HIN at least.

Any advice?
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-10-2008
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more info is needed; but it does seem at least a bit edgy.

make, model, age?

Some people are strange, and have strange or innacurate ideas about things like taxes, etc.

Some older boats do not have HIN numbers, right?

red flags, at least.

You are right to be asking these questions; and this is probably hte right place to be asking; though I'm not the best one to answer them .....;-)

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post #3 of 33 Old 02-10-2008
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a few thoughts

w/o knowing all the facts (real or percieved)..consider a few points.
the boat may be documented, thus no numbers on the hull..they could be down below in a conspicuous place.
this guy may be going through a divorce, and trying to hide assets from spouse.
that additional amount of income might also affect child support or his income tax bracket.
these were the first things that came to mind..
or the guy may just be weird..or dishonest (as in make sure you see something resembling a title)
i'd rely on "gut check" to be the last filter..does this transaction make you feel warm and fuzzy..if not think about passing on it.

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post #4 of 33 Old 02-10-2008
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There should be some sort of track record you can check, either with the DMV or the USCG. Otherwise, buy at your own risk.

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post #5 of 33 Old 02-10-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AjariBonten View Post
Some older boats do not have HIN numbers, right?
Correct, but this is a 1985 (HIN ends in 85) I believe and so it has an HIN.

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Originally Posted by sanctuarysam View Post
this guy may be going through a divorce, and trying to hide assets from spouse.
that additional amount of income might also affect child support or his income tax bracket.
these were the first things that came to mind..
or the guy may just be weird..or dishonest (as in make sure you see something resembling a title)
If he sells his boat, I don't think that's income. There's no way for the IRS to know about it...
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post #6 of 33 Old 02-10-2008
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He may have used it as a second home and a write off ..and capital gains .
Divorce ....If its a gut feeling Id keep looking or flat out ask him ,whats up ?

Unless you have to have this boat ...You can always keep looking
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-10-2008
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Usually boats don't have a gain to be taxed as the usually depreciate.
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post #8 of 33 Old 02-10-2008
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The boat sale would not be taxable unless he made a profit.

Verify the HIN, it could be faked. My own HIN fell casualty to a gelcoat job by a previous owner -- the opposite can happen.

Anybody seeking to avoid bank records of the transaction is dishonest--and there's no way around that. He might not be cheating you, but he is definitely cheating someone. Don't be too quick to assume it's not you.
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post #9 of 33 Old 02-10-2008
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If it sounds suspicious, it probably is.
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post #10 of 33 Old 02-10-2008
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I'm still not sure whether the boat has a Coast Guard documentation number or not. If so, use this link http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/Coas...selByName.html
to track the boat history down either by the doc. number or by the name. Otherwise, not sure how to track down the history based on HIN. Maybe someone else here can give you a lead on that?

BTW, it does sound to me like the guy is up to something. You haven't mentioned price, but banks track large cash transactions and report them to the feds.

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