Can You Buy a Vessel with Just a Boat Bill of Sale?

Have you found someone to purchase your vessel and want to “close the deal” the right way? Are you in the process of finding a buyer and want to have “all of your bases covered?” For centuries, boat owners have said some version of “the best days of boat ownership are the day you buy the boat and the day you sell it.” On both of those days, you may need a boat bill of sale. You’ll note the keyword “may,” as there are some types of vessels that require other documents. 

So, Can You Buy a Vessel with a Boat Bill of Sale? 

Simply put, yes you can. Specifically, you can if the vessel is not documented. This document should cover all of the terms of a transaction between a buyer and a private seller of a vessel. While there are different rules in different states, if your vessel isn’t documented, it’s probably good to have a bill of sale for your vessel. If nothing else, it will provide the details of the transaction, to show that it took place. It’s important to note that if your undocumented vessel has a title, then you’re still going to need to transfer that to the buyer as well (depending upon the regulations in your state). 

Can You Buy a Vessel with Just a Boat Bill of Sale

What Should Be in a Bill of Sale for a Boat 

If you’ve been researching this online, then you may have learned already that there is no set “bill of sale” form for boats. Typically, these are documents that the vessel owner and the buyer draw up together. That said, there are certain pieces of information that have to be included in a bill of sale for a boat. Specifically, you’re going to need the state registration of the vessel. You’ll also need the names of the buyer and the seller, as well as the contact information (including address) for both. Additionally, you’re going to want to put in a description of the boat itself. This should have the HIN (if necessary), the boat’s model, brand, when it was manufactured, length, and more. 

Documentation for Selling Documented Vessels 

If your vessel is documented, then you can’t use a Bill of Sale. What you can use, however, is a “Transfer/Exchange” form. You can find this form at our site. You’re also going to want this form if you’re bringing a new owner into your ownership team, releasing an owner from vessel ownership, and more. If you’re transferring the Certificate of Documentation, in most cases, any outstanding mortgages have to be satisfied. 

A Home for Vessel Documentation 

The “Transfer/EXchange” form is just one of the many different vessel documentation forms that you’ll find at our site. Whether you’re buying a boat, selling a boat, researching the next boat you’re going to own, or just keeping up with your vessel documentation paperwork, you can do all of it through our site. See all that we can do for you right here.