North Point Yacht Sales

Guide to Closing: The Final Stages of Purchasing a Boat

Guide to Closing: the final stages of purchasing a boat or yachtThere are many guides on how to purchase a boat but what happens next? You found your dream boat and have had it surveyed and you have accepted the boat. Do you know if the seller really owns the boat? Using a professional brokerage house like North Point Yacht Sales will help reassure that you are on a clear path to ownership.

A Brokerage house like North Point Yacht Sales is licensed and bonded and their brokers and sales representatives have years of experience working with sellers, buyers, manufacturers and boat yards to make sure that you are in a boat suited for your needs.

Throughout the process you may wonder if the previously owned boat is free of liens and legally owned prior to transfer of ownership. Or you may need help funding the vessel and need a recommendation on which finance company to use.  Or may have questions about boat yards or where to service your new vessel. North Point Yacht Sales representatives have the skills and understanding of the industry to point you in the right direction and help you chart a course towards a lifetime of successful possibilities with your new adventure. 

For the Buyer

For a Buyer, the Closing should be the least complicated part of the purchase. Somewhat like buying a car, but in most cases, a lot simpler. Sometimes closings can be completed by overnight delivery of paperwork.


Are You Financing?

If you finance the purchase of a boat, the finance company will do most of the paperwork.

A finance company may require federal documentation of the vessel and will supply the applications for United State Coast Guard documentation on your behalf. If you do not finance the purchase of the boat, and you still want to document the vessel, North Point Yacht Sales can recommend services that will assist you in properly applying for Coast Guard Documentation in your name. Since it can take up to 4 months to get an official document for your boat, North Point Yacht Sales can supply temporary registration and title in Maryland and Virginia so you can take full advantage of using your boat from the day it becomes your own.


Where Will You Keep the Boat?

You will need to decide where you will keep the boat. Which state, country, island, body of water will the boat live during the majority of the year. In Maryland, Virginia, and most states, a boat used primarily in that state will need to be titled and registered. In most states, excise taxes will need to be collected paid to that state also. The tax is presented as part of the closing by the dealer. The dealer will collect and pay the tax on your behalf and in many cases can present you with temporary registration.

Expect to sign some paperwork, sometimes in duplicate. If you come into the office at North Point Yacht Sales for your Closing, you can bring your own pen or use one of the many choices, black or blue ink, at the office of North Point Yacht Sales.

A Notary Public will be needed to validate signatures. North Point Yacht Sales has an in-house Notary Public available.

Be ready to show your Driver’s License and share portions of your personal information with the dealer to present with the paperwork for various state applications.

Any balance of funds will be collected on or before the closing.


For the Seller

For the Seller, the Closing will require signed and notarized bills of sale among other documents such as a boat title and/or a USCG document. There may be other paperwork involved if the boat is owned by a Trust or LLC and if there is an existing loan that needs to be paid off.

There may be other items that are transferring with the boat like a tender or a trailer. These items should have a title and will need bills of sale to transfer ownership.



North Point Yacht Sales can guide Sellers in the process and help simplify the task by organizing the paperwork that will need signature, payoff any existing liens at closing on behalf of the seller, communicate with boatyards and other service vendors if needed, help with the transfer of warranties and maintenance records, as well as remind the seller to cancel their insurance and take any personal items that are not listed in the sale off of the boat or bring any forgotten items that are stored in the basement or garage back to the boat for the new owner.


Transfer of Ownership

The transfer of ownership is complete when bills of sale and titles are signed and notarized, loans are in place or paid off, insurances are in place or canceled, and proceeds have been forwarded to the Seller.


Please note that this is a general guide and more details about closings can be obtained upon request. Please contact North Point Yacht Sales if you have any questions about transfers of ownership or any other boat related questions that arise during your research into the best boat for you!


Article by Cheryl Keyworth


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