A Bill of Sale is documentation sellers of boats use to physically record the selling of their product(s) to a customer. Alternatively, the boat bill of sale also acts as a receipt for the buyer of the boat. This document generally includes seller information, details about the goods, location of the sale, price, buyer details and method of payment.
Both buyer and seller should sign the Bill of Sale and each keep a copy as proof of purchase or proof of payment. This happens upon full payment being made, at which time the boat changes ownership from seller to buyer.
This document explicitly disclaims any pre-existing warranties relating to the quality of the boat. In this sense, the bill of sale differs from a Sales Agreement, which is a contract containing more specific terms and warranties.
This ‘as-is’ clause is an important element of a Bill of Sale document. The phrase refers to the boat being sold in its current condition and implies that the buyer accepts the boat as it is, including any potential or apparent faults. This caveat protects the seller from any subsequent request for a refund from the buyer because of any issues arising after receiving and paying for the boat. For instance, subsequent transportation undertaken by the buyer to take it to its eventual moorings may result in damage, which the seller is not responsibility for.
You can use a Boat Bill of Sale strictly for the buying or selling of a boat or boats. Alternative bills of sale can be created for other products.
A Bill of Sale protects both the seller and the buyer of the boat in the case of any future issues, such as the boat being stolen. Given many transactions being via cash, proof that the item was paid for in good faith with proper documentation protects a buyer of stolen goods. The buyer has proof of payment in full, should any query be raised later. Similarly, for tax purposes, retention of documentation offers a paper trail for both buyer and seller that can be audited.
As a sales document with an ‘as-is’ clause, the seller is protected against problems reported later by the buyer. The sale date shows when responsibility for the boat was transferred from seller to buyer.
For insurance purposes, you will need to provide documentary proof of legal ownership. A correctly completed bill of sale can become proof of ownership of the boat.
A Boat Bill of Sale should be used by anyone who is looking to sell or purchase a boat, whether:
What are the documentation requirements for boat ownership?
The ownership of the vessel must be proven with a Bill of Sale, which includes details outlined in the description above. U.S. citizenship is required for registration. If seeking endorsement, eligibility criteria apply.
What is build evidence for
If using a boat in fisheries or coastal trade, evidence that the vessel was built in the U.S. is required.
How can build evidence be established?
Build evidence requires submission of a CG-1261 Builder's Certification form. This is completed by whoever constructs, oversees construction, or an official representative of the company building the vessel, who has examined company records to verify the facts of building the vessel. The Original Builder's Certification must accompany any build evidence submission. Copies are not accepted.
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