How to Buy a Boat from a Private Seller

So you want to buy a boat? Owning a boat is appealing for a couple of reasons. Some people want a boat for recreational purposes, while others plan to use their vessel for operating a commercial endeavor, such as passenger transport or commercial fishing. No matter your reasons, you may be wondering how to buy a boat from a private seller. Becoming familiar with the process before paying any money for a boat helps ensure that you get what you’re paying for and know what to expect. Here is all the information you need.

Decide What Type of Boat You Want

This is the best first step. Evaluate the options and decide which type of boat is best for your needs. If you plan to use your boat for business, be sure it has the capacity and function for that intention. If you are looking to buy a boat for recreational purposes, there are several options available. A good choice for fishing with friends is a sport fishing boat, while a catamaran sailboat is a fantastic option for sailing at a slow pace. Choose a cruiser or yacht if you want to host friends and family and cruise around the water with them. Consider your preferred activity, the number of passengers you will have with you, and where you will be using your boat as you decide which type is your best bet.

Create a Budget

To avoid spending more than you’re comfortable with, a budget is an important part of buying a boat from a private seller. Decide how much you’re willing to spend, which can help you narrow down your choices as you start looking at available vessels. Buying a used boat from a private seller is a good way to find a nice boat in your price range. A brand-new boat is going to cost much more. 

Inspect the Boat

You should never buy a boat without looking at it first. Take some time to inspect the engine, the interior, and the exterior of the entire vessel. Make sure its function will meet your needs. Look for damage that will be costly to repair or problems that might allow you to pay less for the boat. It’s best to take the boat out for a test drive on the water and request a marine survey before you buy.

Buy a Boat from a Private Seller

Consider the Abstract of Title

The abstract of title for a boat is the collection of paperwork that has been filed with the United States Coast Guard that is relevant to the boat. You can request this from the Coast Guard’s National Vessel Documentation Center. Or from our portal. This documentation offers information, including the hull identification number, the name of the boat, its origin, and other information that relates to the boat. This will give you a good idea of what to expect when it comes to the vessel you’re considering buying. 

Now that you know how to buy a boat from a private seller, you can begin looking at available vessels. Buying a boat is exciting, but you should be sure you are getting what you pay for. If you need help getting through the process, contact the US Vessel Registrar today. We are here to help.