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Help purchasing a boat out of state - Oklahoma


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From my other thread some might already know I'm looking to purchase a 2007 Wakesetter LSV from Oklahoma (I live in Northern CA). The seller and I have agreed on price and I'm just waiting on the results of the inspection and lake test. If all is well, I'll be moving forward so I'm now looking for advice on the best way to make the deal so both the seller and myself feel safe. The seller is a private party. To complicate things a little more is that I will be using a shipper to tow the boat from Oklahoma to me in California without me seeing the boat before I receive it.


I wouldn't be opposed to paying a reasonable fee for a 3rd party to handle this sale if that's the best way to go. The seller has been great so far, but I just want to make sure I'm smart about this. I obviously just want to make sure the sale goes through smoothly (for both of us) and the boat I receive shows up in the same condition as that boat was when I had it inspected :)

How many of you have purchased a boat from a private seller out of state without being able to be there for the transaction?


What would be the best way to send payment and make sure I receive the title?


Thanks all!!!

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I have used escrow.com, dont remember there fee but you agree with the other party the conditions for release of funds.  Worked great for me on a out of state transaction.  Item shipped, inspected by me for x hours released partial funds, title fedex then released rest of funds.

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Silly question, but rather than pay a fee to someone to handle the transaction, why not just fly to Oklahoma and buy the boat in person?  That way you can prep it for shipping at the same time.

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There are a bunch of threads on this.

1. as @justgary says, fly there, do the deal.  Then either arrange for a shipper or rent a uhaul and drive home.

2. have seller scan titles to you.  Make sure they looks clean.  Wire money, Seller signs titles, overnights to you.  Wouldn't be a bad idea to have Seller also send a snap of his / her driver's license, so that you know you are dealing with a live breathing person who has power and authority to endorse titles.

3. pay third party escrow service to do #2 for a fee.

4. finance boat through local credit union, make them deal with #2, pay off loan asap when boat arrives and CU confirms they got titles.

If the seller has clear title, this should be pretty easy.  Just make sure you see the titles (scan or phone pic) first.

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where is this boat located.  I went to Univ of Oklahoma and have a lot of friends and family all over the state that and a few of them would be really good at lake testing.  Some even former Malibu owners.  My Dad could probably do this but he lives on Lake Eufaula.

If it were me, I would fly :)

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Thanks all. I looked at flights, but wouldn't be able to make it out there for a few weeks. If everything goes well, I might look into using an escrow service.



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12 hours ago, Steve B. said:

U-haul is $20 bucks a day. Brand new tow vehicles. Agree, fly out-drive back. Enjoy the journey with your new rig. 

Steve B.

Local only.  You need to rent a box truck to do an interstate haul and it gets expensive pretty quickly.  When I bought my boat in Oregon, it ended up being cheapest to go with a professional hauler.  I looked at all the rental companies.  Nobody will rent you a half or 3/4 ton to tow cross country.

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if you do have it towed back by someone or yourself, do yourself a BIGGGG favor and check the brake fluid in the master cylinder at the tongue of the trailer (inside a black twist off cap - twist 45 degrees and remove).  I didn't check this by mistake.  Pulled my boat back from Wisconsin to Toledo area and pulled like HELL.  Was nervous pulling it thru Chicago because these tandem axle disk breaks should stop the truck before the truck has to stop the boat and trailer.  When I got home I realized that 3 of the break pistons were seized and the master cylinder DOT 3 oil looked like peanut butter and halfway dried up.  :(

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Did they not work Hawaiian ? Or were they stuck on ? When the systems work well, they are great. My previous Malibu worked perfectly. Tap the brakes and the trailer brakes kicked in perfectly. Could literally take my foot off the brake.

Steve B.

On 11/21/2018 at 11:17 AM, UWSkier said:

Local only.  You need to rent a box truck to do an interstate haul and it gets expensive pretty quickly.  When I bought my boat in Oregon, it ended up being cheapest to go with a professional hauler.  I looked at all the rental companies.  Nobody will rent you a half or 3/4 ton to tow cross country

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  • 4 weeks later...

If boat is towed back will need to make sure brakes tires and bearings are all up to snuff. When i bought mine i paid seller to do a te tire of the trailer. What i did not expect is that one brake would keep siezing on and it was heating the mess out of the rotor and bearings but a 3 hour tow did not damage anything. I still had to replace the caliper and i did bearings anyway when i got home. 

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