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PStew67

Buying a boat out of state

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PStew67

I'm in Illinois and I want to buy a boat in Missouri that I have never seen in person. I know I want this exact make and model. I have only seen pictures and I am having a marina in Missouri evaluate the boat for me. I plan on having a uship.com shipper pick up the boat, so I will never actually see the boat in person before sending money.

I know this sounds stupid, but I'm trusting the seller, the Marina (to verify condition), and the shipper (to verify condition). Has anybody ever done this? What's the best/safest way to transfer the money to him and the title to me. There is no lien on the title, he owns the boat outright.

I could; fly out there, rent a u-haul, and drive the boat back. However, I just don't have the time or desire to make the trip. If you guys think this is too risky then I will start looking at flights...

Edited by PStew67

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WakingMeHappy

That’s a little risky for me. Could you at least take a weekend to drive out and look at it? As far as the title goes...are you sure there’s an actual "title". I know in MS boats aren’t titled, only the trailer. Boats only get registered. So a boat could have a lien on it and only the seller and his bank would know it.

Where is the boat? Maybe a BuCrew member lives near it who could look at it for you.

Edited by WakingMeHappy

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PStew67

The boat is in Liberty, MO. The seller is telling me that the boat has a title. How do you verify there's no lien on the boat if there's no title?

Edited by PStew67

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WakingMeHappy

The boat is in Liberty, MO. The seller is telling me, the boat has a title. How do you verify there's no lien on the boat if there's no title?

You don’t. You could call DMV in Liberty and verify boats really have titles. Give them the Hull number and trailer serial number and see if they can tell you anything about the boat/trailer. I would do some searches on-line and find a web-site that can verify if the hull number is on a stolen boat list. I have heard of other people doing this. Sorry, I guess I’m not being very optimistic. When it comes to spending this kind of money I’m just not a trusting person.

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maniac mechanic

I'm in Illinois and I want to buy a boat in Missouri that I have never seen in person. I know I want this exact make and model. I have only seen pictures and I am having a marina in Missouri evaluate the boat for me. I plan on having a uship.com shipper pick up the boat, so I will never actually see the boat in person before sending money.

I know this sounds stupid, but I'm trusting the seller, the Marina (to verify condition), and the shipper (to verify condition). Has anybody ever done this? What's the best/safest way to transfer the money to him and the title to me. There is no lien on the title, he owns the boat outright.

I could; fly out there, rent a u-haul, and drive the boat back. However, I just don't have the time or desire to make the trip. If you guys think this is too risky then I will start looking at flights...

I suggest having a local Malibu dealer evaluate the boat. Only they or die hard Malibu owners know what's what. A lot of boat owners don't know what they have. Your only 1 state away take the time to see before you buy. I bought my boat out of state and ran into some issues with my trailer registration. My state registers the trailer and boat seperately and the state that it came from only registers the boat. Research, Research, and research again!

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TrickyNicky

I can't answer your boat questions. But I've bought many cars from the states without seeing them. Usually you can set something up with a 3rd party such as your lawyer. You transfer the funds to them and it is released to the seller upon approval/delivery of the agreement for the boat. Just to be safe I would not transfer any money to "his lawyer" unless you can contact him yourself and are familiar with the firm etc. 'IF' it was a scam it is easy for the seller to fake a lawyer. Of course the lawyer will cots you a small fee but it keeps you from having to go there.

Just my $.02

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TrickyNicky

I suggest having a local Malibu dealer evaluate the boat. Only they or die hard Malibu owners know what's what. A lot of boat owners don't know what they have. Your only 1 state away take the time to see before you buy. I bought my boat out of state and ran into some issues with my trailer registration. My state registers the trailer and boat seperately and the state that it came from only registers the boat. Research, Research, and research again!

:plus1: on the malibu dealer idea

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EchelonMike

I'm in Illinois and I want to buy a boat in Missouri that I have never seen in person. I know I want this exact make and model. I have only seen pictures and I am having a marina in Missouri evaluate the boat for me. I plan on having a uship.com shipper pick up the boat, so I will never actually see the boat in person before sending money.

I know this sounds stupid, but I'm trusting the seller, the Marina (to verify condition), and the shipper (to verify condition). Has anybody ever done this? What's the best/safest way to transfer the money to him and the title to me. There is no lien on the title, he owns the boat outright.

I could; fly out there, rent a u-haul, and drive the boat back. However, I just don't have the time or desire to make the trip. If you guys think this is too risky then I will start looking at flights...

Welcome to my world! :-) I just sold my boat to a guy in Maine (I am in Ohio). He bought it sight unseen and also used U-Ship to transport the boat. Worked out perfect and all parties are happy. And I just bought a boat in MA without ever seeing it. However, I could not deal with not seeing it or having a third party check it out. A very generous 'Crew Forum member here went to see the boat for me and gave me the confidence I was getting what I wanted. The seller seemed to be legit and had provided me with copies of titles, and all sorts of info. I never questioned or worried he was not the owner, but rather "excellent condition" means a lot of different things to different people. So I will let you know next week if I am happy or not. :-)

Also, I hear more horror stories about shipping companies than the actual product people are trying to buy. I would NEVERRRRRRRRRRRRRR prepay for shipping. Pay the shipper when the new boat is in front of your house, and not a penny before.

Good luck!

-- Mike

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Eric LX

If you are going to use an out of state Marine dealer to take a look at the boat for you, do yourself a favor and contact the local DMV or Chamber of Commerce and get a feel for if the dealer is trustworthy and has a good business record. I am dealing with a court case now in which a dealer was mis-representing boats and other shady dealings. If you are from out of state and pay for something sight unseen you might not have any recourse because condition is a grey area. Just because someone has a business license doesn't mean they follow the straight and narrow!

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Bill_AirJunky

I'd at least spring for a plane ticket.

I've done this twice. Saw a boat I liked several hundred miles away in a nearby city. Contact someone I know (casually) in that town & ask them to go look at the boat for me. They call me from the boat & be my eyes. I get cell phone pics, plenty of verbal opinion on how things look, and their total impression. So when I made the trip, the boat was as expected.

The shippers are insured, and if your holding their money, they are going to deliver in the same condition they got it. And if they can't, be sure theres insurance.

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shawndoggy

Google maps says it's an 8 hour drive to liberty mo from Chicago (you don't say where you live in IL, so I tried to pick the farthest population center). That's a weekend trip, man. Schedule ahead and get a hotel room en route, leave at 4:00 on Friday, drive six hours, stay at hotel, get up early, make rest of drive, show up bright and early on seller's doorstep (or better yet at the marina) on saturday morning, put the boat on the water, then go to the bank before it closes if everything looks good. You could have the boat paid for and hooked to your tow vehicle by 2:00 p.m. and be home by 11:00 p.m. on Saturday if you take your time.

Then you have the peace of mind of knowing that you checked the boat out yourself. I did exactly what's described above (though drove closer to 600 miles instead of 500, and neglected to pre-arrange the hotel so I drove around Salem OR at 1:30 in the morning on state fair weekend trying to find a hotel room -- duh!), and DID NOT COME HOME WITH THE BOAT because I was turned off with how it looked in person. I too strongly considered having the boat shipped to me but in the end I wanted to see the boat first and get it on the water.

Edited by shawndoggy

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MizzouMike

Boats in Missouri are definately titled. The owner can possess the title regardless of whether or not a lien is on the title. If there is a lien, it will be indicated in the title. I am not sure about Illinois, but in Missouri, when registering your newly purchased boat, you will need the signed title from the seller. In the case where there is a lien, you will also need a lien release from the bank.

You could also ask the seller to meet you half way...

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99response

I would have a marine surveyor do a full inspection on the boat for you. A good one is very anal and will find every problem with the boat and document it for you.

-Chris

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FlatH20

I bought my boat from out of state sight unseen - except for pics on the WWW - deal couldn't have went better - for pick-up I met the seller halfway - for me it worked pretty slick - I also purchased a classic car a few years back from Tenn. - sight unseen and had another great experience with the shipping and delivery - there are a few honest folks out there- yeah I chewed my nails waiting for both deals to come together but in the end both worked out great... I do think that suggestion about seeing if another from the Bu' community is around would be worthwhile

Edited by FlatH20

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RanchDweller

I just bought my boat sight unseen over the internet. It was 1100 miles away. I did all of the due diligence that I could. I would also include calling the local sheriff office with the boat hull ID and the trailer VIN number. They can run a check to make sure it is not stolen or anything fishy like that. The states public record division should be able to run the serial number of the boat to check for Liens.

The marina I bought my boat from video taped every inch of the boat for 30 minutes. They zoomed in every inch of the boat both in and out of the water, running, ideling, full speed, everything. Tested all of the options on tape. Extremely Helpful.

I used Uship.com to get the boat from Georgia to Colorado. It worked perfectly. You say what you need shipped to and from and several shippers bid on it. You can ask them all kinds of questions. Make sure to have them send you a copy of their driver’s license and a copy of their shipping insurance. If they have a problem with that, take them off your list. Ask what their tow vehicle is. You can learn a lot from a shipper by their tow vehicle. I had one guy bidding that was towing with an old 1985 van. Scratch him off of my list. You only pay the website 10% down and once the shipper arrives at your door, you pay them the rest directly. It actually worked well. I had constant contact with the guy transporting my boat. He called every night to tell me how far he made it. The shipper also checked the trailer for road worthiness. Added a few bulbs, greased the wheels.

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Woodsprinter

Seeing(naked eyes) is Believing....

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board brained

I'm in Illinois and I want to buy a boat in Missouri that I have never seen in person. I know I want this exact make and model. I have only seen pictures and I am having a marina in Missouri evaluate the boat for me. I plan on having a uship.com shipper pick up the boat, so I will never actually see the boat in person before sending money.

I know this sounds stupid, but I'm trusting the seller, the Marina (to verify condition), and the shipper (to verify condition). Has anybody ever done this? What's the best/safest way to transfer the money to him and the title to me. There is no lien on the title, he owns the boat outright.

I could; fly out there, rent a u-haul, and drive the boat back. However, I just don't have the time or desire to make the trip. If you guys think this is too risky then I will start looking at flights...

I am in Vancouver, bought my boat from a malibu dealer in califonia. I had made arrangement to go see it when I was on a biz trip to LA. Long and short.............plans changed and I could not get there in the time I was in LA (as there was pretty big drive).

I made the decision to go ahead and buy it unseen for the following reasons:

even though boat was 2007 came with full warranty as it was new

dealer checked out (think I used the BBB)and referrals

price

tons and tons of pics (drove the dealer mad)

so now after the fact would I do it again.......only if the boat is new, would not do it if the boat was used. there were are few things that I would have picked up on had I seen it that I was not made aware of which I have had to chase down. But because the boat is under warranty I have been able to have it looked after.

Edited by board brained

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Bill_AirJunky

Seeing(naked eyes) is Believing....

Man, thats the truth.

When I bought my Vride, all I'd seen was some pics of it on the web. The guy who went to look at it for me took some pics of some fiberglass damage, pretty good gouges in the gelcoat. It looked like the previous owner had had a problem when he was tied up to something. Later I swapped email with him (he's a member here) & the boat had been in a wind storm when it was tied up to a houseboat. Plus it was noted that the stereo HU was missing.

The dealer had taken pics around those gouges in the glass. And he noted all the other stereo equipment without saying anything about the HU not being included. So before I ever walked out of the door I made a point of telling the dealer I wanted to have a fiberglass repair guy & a stereo installer at my disposal to have those things done BEFORE we did the deal. He made that happen. I had 4 guys hopin on the boat to get things right...... fiberglass/gelcoat repairs, stereo installation, a guy digging up gear (soft cooler, dock ties, spare tire, spare tire bracket, etc.), and a guy showing me specifically how to winterize the boat. It took us like 4 hrs to get it all done. But the boat looked great when we drove away with it.

In hind sight I got lucky. Several people on this site had told me about issues with this dealer. I knew I was going there to buy the boat & would never have any contact with them again. I hounded them for like 3 weeks to get all my paperwork in order. In the end the only issue was they forgot to put the lien holder on the trailer title. But like 6 months after our deal went down, the dealer was arrested for fraud...... falsifying loans & titles. Had it not been for the info I got here from the Crew, I might not have been as diligent as I was with them. I suspect I was a giant PITA for them with all the calls & emails. :crazy:

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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jk13

Some great info on here, and especially about shipping from RanchDweller. Good stuff.

That being said, no way would I drop coin like that unless someone I trust looks it over. Even then, if you have a hidden problem that comes up soon after it may cause strain to that relationship. Fact is that it's used and may not be perfect. Make the drive and check it yourself. Then there is noone left to blame.

A number of years ago my co-worker found what he still claims to be a great deal on a VW Jetta VR6. It was about $2k less than any other he'd seen and he pulled the trigger. He bought it over the phone, got a ticket (bus!) from Milwaukee to Austin TX and planned on driving it home. When he got there two days later, he found the car to have a few issues that were not disclosed by the dealership. The ABS light was on and he found that they unplugged the wheel sensors to keep the brake system from freaking out further. The sunroof didn't close all the way. The air conditioning didn't work. There was 3" of water in the trunk from a leaking tail light. The passenger side window didn't roll up without a helping hand. And there was a 6" cut in the leather on the back seat.

Instead of running away, he had them fix (recharge) the A/C and took it as it was. All of the other issues never got fixed and the A/C quit working two months later. The car was ONLY FIVE YEARS OLD.

Bottom line...make sure you know what you are getting into before diving in.

Edited by jk13

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buckeyeryan

Some great info on here, and especially about shipping from RanchDweller. Good stuff.

That being said, no way would I drop coin like that unless someone I trust looks it over. Even then, if you have a hidden problem that comes up soon after it may cause strain to that relationship. Fact is that it's used and may not be perfect. Make the drive and check it yourself. Then there is noone left to blame.

A number of years ago my co-worker found what he still claims to be a great deal on a VW Jetta VR6. It was about $2k less than any other he'd seen and he pulled the trigger. He bought it over the phone, got a ticket (bus!) from Milwaukee to Austin TX and planned on driving it home. When he got there two days later, he found the car to have a few issues that were not disclosed by the dealership. The ABS light was on and he found that they unplugged the wheel sensors to keep the brake system from freaking out further. The sunroof didn't close all the way. The air conditioning didn't work. There was 3" of water in the trunk from a leaking tail light. The passenger side window didn't roll up without a helping hand. And there was a 6" cut in the leather on the back seat.

Instead of running away, he had them fix (recharge) the A/C and took it as it was. All of the other issues never got fixed and the A/C quit working two months later. The car was ONLY FIVE YEARS OLD.

Bottom line...make sure you know what you are getting into before diving in.

Agreed....I live in Georgia and when I bought my boat from a private seller living in Orlando, I took the time to drive there and actually drove the boat and looked at it for myself. You will not regret taking the time and money to see for yourself, but you will regret if you don't do it and there is a problem that would make or break the deal. Go look at it for yourself is my suggestion.

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Lieutenant Dan

I bought my 'bu from the previous owner who was in North Carolina. He referred me to the local Malibu dealer where he bought the boat and had it serviced. They vouched for the condition of the boat. We struck an agreed upon price for "if everything is what you say it is" and pending inspection and driving by me. We met halfway on Memorial Day weekend at a lake in TN. I drove the boat, gave him the check and brought the boat home.

If you can figure out what Malibu dealer knows the most about the boat and get their input beforehand, you might save yourself some aggravation.

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PStew67

The boat just got checked out by the marina and they said its mechanically perfect. However, he mentioned that on a previous visit they replaced a fin, strut, and rudder and sent it somewhere for fiberglass damage. Would you guys shy away from a boat that had been in an accident?

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Malibudude

The boat just got checked out by the marina and they said its mechanically perfect. However, he mentioned that on a previous visit they replaced a fin, strut, and rudder and sent it somewhere for fiberglass damage. Would you guys shy away from a boat that had been in an accident?

Not a big deal as many have had tese replaced. To me the key is are they going to warranty thier work even if you aren't the original customer that had the repairs made. You can drive the boat and know whether the repair was completed correctly i.e. shaft/strut/ prop are all aligned correctly. I would be insterested in knowing the extent of the fiberglass damage though.

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PStew67

The fiberglass guy called the damage, "tearout from the fins and struts". He said he had to make a crack repair to the inside bottom of the boat 1 years later. I doubt any warranty would transfer over to me since I'm the second owner and out of state.

I didn't think it would this hard to find a good sub-20K malibu v-drive. The other vlx I was looking at had "mud" on the hull that the dealer called oxidation. I thought oxidation meant fading/yellowing from the sun.

Edited by PStew67

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