What paperwork is needed to sell a boat? How long does it take to close a boat sale?

What paperwork is needed to sell a boat? It can be overwhelming to consider selling a boat, especially when you factor in all of the paperwork that is involved. Selling a boat requires an understanding of the legal and financial responsibility it carries. Knowing what paperwork is required ahead of time can help sellers prepare for any potential roadblocks along the way.

What paperwork is needed to sell a boat? How long does it take to close a boat sale?

What paperwork is needed to sell a boat? How long does it take to close a boat sale?

In this blog post, Scott Ewart will provide a comprehensive overview of the paperwork to sell a boat. Additionally, we’ll discuss “how long does it take to close a boat sale?” We’ll begin discussing this topic right now!

What paperwork is needed to sell a boat?

Documentations before sale

What paperwork do I need to sell my boat? Before selling a boat, the seller must provide proof of ownership. Depending on what type of vessel you are selling and what state it is registered in, other documents may also be required. You should go to the DMV first to ask for the required documents to make your sales process happen quickly. Generally, here are some paperwork items you need to prepare:

Bill of sales

Bill of sales

Bill of sales

When selling a boat, it is important to have a bill of sale. The buyer and seller must sign and date this document. It should include the details of the buyer and seller, the hull number, and a description of the vessel being sold. Also included in this bill of sale are the agreed price and method of payment, the date of purchase, and transfer information.

Boat title or proof of ownership

Sellers need to provide a title or proof of ownership. This is important because it makes it easy for the buyer to take over ownership and registration of the boat.

The boat title shows who owns the boat and shows that it is real and not stolen. Selling a yacht out of state may require extra paperwork. Even if your state allows it, you should title your boat. The title confirms that the boat is yours; many purchasers will inquire about it, and it will make it easier for buyers to sell when the time comes.

Documentation of warranties

Before you sell a boat, it is important to make sure that the warranties for the motor and other components have been documented and recorded. A boat warranty provides you with the assurance that the boat has not been sued or damaged. New boats come with warranties, but used boats are usually sold “as is,” meaning the customer agrees to acquire the boat in its current condition.

Paperwork for trailer title transfer

Paperwork for trailer title transfer

Paperwork for trailer title transfer

If a trailer is being sold with the boat, buyers and sellers must have a copy of the title document in order to complete the transaction. In some states, you have to show that the trailer is legal to drive on the street before you can register it and get license plates.

Remember: You are responsible for tractor accidents and traffic fines if you do not transfer trailer ownership to the buyer.

Records of maintenance

Before selling a boat, the seller should have maintenance records to show what repairs and updates have been done on the boat. This information can help buyers make informed decisions during the buying process. If you possess a cabin cruiser or motor yacht with a plethora of appliances, these larger vessels require more maintenance.

Validation of prices

You are sure that you have priced and judged the condition of your boat correctly. If so, it is essential to back up this assertion with evidence. One approach is to invite an independent surveyor in to assess what your vessel is worth. You can determine the value of a boat through the how to price a boat for sale post.

Boat Trader’s Boat Price Checker or other similar websites can also tell you how much your boat is worth on the market. Using these materials, printing a survey, and giving it to potential purchasers will help them grasp its worth before buying!

Boat Trader's Boat Price Checker

Boat Trader’s Boat Price Checker

Loan repayment evidence (if appropriate)

A boat with a loan can be sold if the buyer and lender agree. Before the buyer can buy the boat, you have to give them a plan and get rid of any liens. If you want to pay off your loan with the money from selling your boat, your boat lender may ask you for more paperwork. If the buyer is still not sure, go with them to your loan provider. Then you require assistance from a person. He or she can explain the process.

Certificate of seaworthiness

Certificate of seaworthiness

Certificate of seaworthiness

This certification may be needed to sell your boat, depending on its size. This mainly applies to huge ships like ocean freighters and oceangoing ships. As chartering is controlled for safety, Most small recreational boats and mid-sized family boats include an HIN (craft identification number) with required manufacturer information. This helps the government monitor recalls, vessel safety requirements, and other issues.

Conformity certification with the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)

Check if your ship needs to be RCD-compliant before selling. This legislation applies to all small ships, motorboats, and sailboats that are sold in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Taking the time to research your options is key; that’s why consulting with a professional can be so helpful.

Documentations after the sale

Documentation after the sale

Documentation after the sale

Paperwork about cancellation of your insurance

It is important for you, as the seller, to remember to cancel your boat insurance as soon as possible following the sale of your boat.

Remove all the advertisements about boats

It is important to remember to remove all advertisements for the boat you are selling, such as newspaper ads and online listings. Buyers should look into yacht insurance. Several boat insurers won’t cover older boats. If feasible, ask the vendor about their insurance details and provider.

Note: If you are planning on selling a boat that holds more value, then it is important to be aware of the additional paperwork needed. On the other hand, if you just want to buy or sell a cheap runabout or bass fishing boat, all you need is a bill of sale and a title transfer.

How long does it take to close a boat sale?

How long does it take to close a boat sale?

How long does it take to close a boat sale?

The amount of time needed to close a boat sale can vary depending on what paperwork is required. All of these documents must be completed and signed by both the buyer and seller before the sale can be legally finalized. Besides, it also depends on the suitable season. So, when is the best time to sell a boat? Keep reading to learn more about this information.

A time frame should also be set for when all conditions precedent should be met and the agreement should “close.” This is in addition to the time frame for responding to the offer or counteroffer. Usually, this ranges from ten to fifteen days. Here are some top tips for selling your boat. Keep them in mind to accelerate your process.

FAQs What paperwork is needed to sell a boat

What is evidence of a boat sale?

A bill of sale legalizes a private seller-buyer transaction. When selling your yacht, it’s one of the most crucial pieces of paperwork.

How can we protect our boat sale?

Having “purchase and sale agreements” is the main way to protect yourself and your buyer during a boat sale. This document should include what is included in the sale, the terms of payment, and any other conditions, etc.

How do we write a cash sale receipt?

On a sales receipt, you’ll usually find the name of the customer, the date of the sale, a list of the products or services sold. Besides, their prices, the total amount of the transaction, and sales tax (if it applies) are found in this receipt. If you take checks, add the number on the sales receipt.

What is a boat certificate of origin?

The MSO, or Manufacturer Statement of Origin, is a document that shows who the owner of a watercraft is. When you buy any means of transportation, you should be given an MSO form in its blank form.


What paperwork is needed to sell a boat? Selling a boat involves a lot of paperwork in order to ensure that everything is done legally and usually to confirm that the buyer is the full owner. Use the information provided above as a guide, and make sure you contact your local DMV if you have any questions at all. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to sell your boat confidently and securely. So don’t wait—find out what paperwork is needed to sell the boat today. Thank you for visiting justaddwaterbda.com and reading our post!

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