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Rockonvix
Rockonvix

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:26pm

Post Subject: Buying a narrowboat directly from the existing owner/boat surveys

Do you have any advice on buying a narrowboat directly from the existing owner? Should we go through a solicitor or should we draw up a contract/terms of sale or similar? Or, does a private sale tend to be based on trust? Also, the boat we are looking to buy was built in 2004. Do you recommend that we should have a survey on the boat subject to sale? Thank you for your help.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:10pm

Post Subject: Buying a narrowboat directly from the existing owner/boat surveys

Dear Viki, This answer is based on my limited knowledge and can in no way be relied upon as any sort of legal opinion. I am not aware of anyone who has used a solicitor but I can see no reason why you should not PROVIDING the solicitor fully understands the nuances of boat title and purchase. Most buy through a broker or as a private sale. The first thing you need to do is to try to ensure the vendor has a good title to the boat. Expect them to provide the original bill of sale plus receipts for all major purchases and major repairs. If they can not provide the original documents start to be wary. I would also expect them to sign an undertaking that the boat has no outstanding loans or mortgages upon it. The next point is very important. The vendor will be acting illegally if he can not produce and transfer ALL the documents relating to the Recreational Craft Directive. The boat may well have been built under the "for your own use" loophole but it is then illegal to sell on for 5 years. If the vendor can show a reasonable document trail and the RCD declarations then you should make an offer in writing clearly stating "SUBJECT TO SURVEY". Personally I would not pay more than (say) a £200 holding deposit as a gesture of good faith and ensure the receipt shows it is returnable in the event of sale failing. I see so many horror stories nothing would induce me to buy a boat without a full survey - even if it was brand new. The survey may well appear very scarey with all sorts of "problems" listed but discuss these with the surveyor to see which he consider requires immediate attention and which may affect the value of the boat. You can then modify your offer in light of the survey. The RYA have a section on buying a boat on their website. The CBA also have a guide on http://www.c-b-a.co.uk/buy-a-boat/index.php?Item id=33. (all on one line with no spaces). Tony Brooks

Rockonvix
Rockonvix

Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:49am

Post Subject: Buying a narrowboat directly from the existing owner/boat surveys

Dear Tony, Thank you very much for your help and advice. We have been struggling to know exactly how to take the sale forward. Thank you once again. Best wishes, Vicki

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