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Badger

How to do my due diligence on buying a used boat?

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Badger

I'm interested in a newer used boat that's not local to me. I've had quite a few conversations with the person selling that have raised some red flags. He admitted upfront that he just bought the boat a few weeks ago with the intent of flipping it. He claims he bought it from a "friend" who needed the money right now. Some of the red flags could be from someone who got into this to make a few bucks and not that knowledgeable in the boat itself or they could be from someone looking to pull a fast one.

So yesterday as I'm going through the process to nail this down, I was able to find out what he paid for the boat from the previous owner. Without going into the details of the boat, the price was ridiculously low for the boat, with plenty of room to make a buck in "flipping" it. It's always possible that there was some cash on the side not included in the bill of sale, especially if it was coming from someone in a divorce or bankruptcy situation.

I have no problem with the guy making money on the boat as long as I get a fair deal. But with the amount of red flags thrown up, I'm about 80% of the way out the door on this deal. I am planning on calling the original selling dealer today to check on maintenance records and such, if they will give me that information.

Are there other reliable ways out to there to check on the history and make sure it wasn't stolen/wrecked/salvaged?

Edited by Badger

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Cap305

First and foremost, if your senses are telling you something's not right I'd listen to it. However, if you wanted to pursue it and the previous owner will talk to you I'd definitely ask em. Also, ask them which dealership they used for warranty/maintenance work they may be able to give you some insight into the maintenance history. You can also get the hull ID and trailer VIN and call the DNR/DMV. They should be able to tell you if it's flagged as stolen right away if the boat is from Michigan (assuming by profile it's your location). If all that checked out then just do a full boat functionality inspection either yourself or pay a dealer to do so. Good luck.

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ahopkinsVTX

IMO if you are 80% out the door already due to the conversations you have had with the "owner" I would shift yourself to be 100% OTD and keep looking.

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oldjeep

Biggest question is, does he have a title in hand with his name on it for both boat and trailer. If he just bought it from his buddy then chances are good that he does not, takes months around here.

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footndale

Sounds like I would run from the deal.

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sidekicknicholas

If he just bought it from his buddy then chances are good that he does not, takes months around here.

This. I think it took us about 6-7 weeks to get ours back after the we purchased. Like other said, if your gut says its fishy, tread carefully.

Things I would look into upon seeing it in person:

* All engine numbers / hull numbers match the title.

* Check oil for signs of water

* Take it to a dealer for a full inspection

When we bought our "new" boat this past spring, my brother tried to get me to flip it. We got a screaming deal and probably could have turned around and re-sold it for $8-$10k more than we paid... I wasn't going to do that for a few different reason, but had my brother bought the boat I'm sure he would have. Nothing wrong with the boat, we just were in the right place at the right time to buy.

If you want, PM me the guys number / the ad, I can call and ask a bunch of the same questions and see if his story is the same. We just bought a boat so I'm not trying to swoop in and steal the deal.... then I can just lowball like crazy so your offer would look better. On Wisconsin!

Edited by sidekicknicholas

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jwl019

He admitted upfront that he just bought the boat a few weeks ago with the intent of flipping it. He claims he bought it from a "friend" who needed the money right now.

So yesterday as I'm going through the process to nail this down, I was able to find out what he paid for the boat from the previous owner. Without going into the details of the boat, the price was ridiculously low for the boat, with plenty of room to make a buck in "flipping" it. It's always possible that there was some cash on the side not included in the bill of sale, especially if it was coming from someone in a divorce or bankruptcy situation.

He may have shown a lower price on the bill of sale to avoid taxes if the boat is in a state that taxes used boats.

Biggest question is, does he have a title in hand with his name on it for both boat and trailer. If he just bought it from his buddy then chances are good that he does not, takes months around here.

^^ I would definitely check on this! I inquired about a boat one time and the person never signed the bill of sale for the boat or trailer (previous owner had), and he was just trying to skip it ever being in his name. I passed on that boat.

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Badger

Thanks everyone. I just needed reassurance from my internet "friends" that I needed to follow my brain and not my emotions when spending that much money.

Yes, one of the biggest issues was that the boat had not been re-registered in his name, nor was he planning on doing so, after he first told me it had been.

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oldjeep

Yes, one of the biggest issues was that the boat had not been re-registered in his name, nor was he planning on doing so, after he first told me it had been.

That would be a huge issue since you would basically be buying a boat that could be reported stolen by the wife. Title transfer would be illegal unless the guy you were buying from was a registered dealer. Don't walk - run away.

Edited by oldjeep

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dlb

This should be in the rear view mirror by now.

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Pnwrider

Thanks everyone. I just needed reassurance from my internet "friends" that I needed to follow my brain and not my emotions when spending that much money.

Yes, one of the biggest issues was that the boat had not been re-registered in his name, nor was he planning on doing so, after he first told me it had been.

I'm guessing he's doing that to avoid paying sales tax and have that eat inot his profit. It's a little sketchy for the buyer for reasons OJ mentioned. Here you only have 15 days to get the title transfered from the date on the bill of sale.

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itznowonder

IS IT PURPLE?

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BlknYlwT22

Time to turn this into a "Help Badger Find a New Boat" thread.

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williemon

Run! A good deal ain't worth the hassle. That said, I'd like a deal as well and sometimes they are hard to pass up, but that is a bit flakey. Have you got pics of it or is it close enough that you can go see it? I'm sure if you get the hin then a local boat dealer could help you out as well. It could have liens on it as well.

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Bill_AirJunky

Since this deal is been thrown out, share the details of the boat with us!

I agree though, if the guy doesn't have a clear title for both the boat & trailer, and I can verify there are no additional liens on it, I'm out.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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Badger

If you check Craigslist in the SE part of the country, a nice VTX is still listed. I advise anyone to do their homework on this. It's still very tempting to me, as it's everything I want in my new boat, and there's nothing else on the market close to those colors, options, and price. But there were just too many red flags and unknowns for me to travel that far.

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