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We are about to make an offer on a boat in the $60k range (buying it with a couple we've known forever) and are planning on paying cash. The broker says that "closing" should occur within 30 days of offer acceptance, which seems reasonable with such a short season in MA. Since this is a cash deal, what kind of things happen at closing? Should we be hiring a lawyer to buy this boat? We've gone through several closings with houses and have seen the piles of papers to be signed. I can't imagine boat buying could be as involved... Are there any other costs besides boat price, sales tax, registration, insurance at closing? Thanks for any input!


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You'll want a title and lien search, and that's going to vary depending on whether the boat is state registrered or USCg documented. Registration is usually your problem, not doneat the closing, although the broker usually is required to collect tax, I don't know MA law on that.

Boat purchases are usually made subject to survey and sea trial, if you're not doing that, reconsider, but once the offer has been accepted and whatever you chose to do is done, cash and papers can change hands as soon as you'd prefer, so you can get it in the water sooner.
 

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We are about to make an offer on a boat in the $60k range (buying it with a couple we've known forever) and are planning on paying cash. The broker says that "closing" should occur within 30 days of offer acceptance, which seems reasonable with such a short season in MA. Since this is a cash deal, what kind of things happen at closing? Should we be hiring a lawyer to buy this boat? We've gone through several closings with houses and have seen the piles of papers to be signed. I can't imagine boat buying could be as involved... Are there any other costs besides boat price, sales tax, registration, insurance at closing? Thanks for any input!


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Not much happens at a closing, as the purchase is not subject to any of the myriad of Federal regulations that have made a house purchase so complex.

Basically, the seller provides you a signed bill of sale, you take receipt of/responsibility for the not-installed inventory, and you hand over the good funds. Assuming you are buying a documented vessel you would receive a signed USCG 1340 USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Forms Page which will allow transferring the documentation to you.

You should have insurance in place, and at some point you need to visit the Mass Environmental Police at 251 Causeway street and pay your 6.25% sales tax and do some paperwork.

But these things dont need to happen at/with the closing. The broker should know all this..
 

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...buying it with a couple we've known forever...
Should we be hiring a lawyer to buy this boat?
Yes, absolutely, particularly to draw up a written agreement between you and the co-owners concerning use, sharing of expenses, repairs, insurance, liability, eventual sale or buyout, death of co-owner, etc.

The broker is not your friend. The broker is not looking out for you. The broker is not likely a lawyer. The broker may not be very bright.

Find someone to represent your interests. Don't go blind into a $60K deal with partners, relying on advice from a sailing forum.

Find a Mass. boating lawyer on Avvo.com - The right attorney makes the difference
 

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Based on my experience from ten years of a shared ownership arrangement, I'd say if you feel there is a need for a partnership contract, you should re-consider proceeding. If you want to proceed with some legal protection, I would focus on an agreement regarding the termination of the partnership.

I expect you'll find the broker will use the YBAA purchase and sale form, which has been discussed in other threads. While most any attorney can offer you advice on an agreement for an asset purchase, I would be surprised if you can find one who tries to make a living from yacht purchases, let alone one who has seen the form before.

Let us know how this works out for you...
 

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Every successful partnership I have known has had a written agreement. It should cover the usage terms, who looks after what, who pays for what, details if one partner wants out or wants to buy the whole boat, how maintenance will be handled, expenses such as new sails etc.

It's major insurance towards staying friends. It also makes the share easier to sell. I looked at buying a share of a 38' from a guy leaving a group. They were all friends and had no written agreement. I wasn't a friend of any of them so I passed. A couple of years later it was still for sale, as was the boat he bought, anticipating the funds from the sale of the share.

Get a lawyer.
 
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