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Old 08-20-2014, 12:53 PM
JohnE's Avatar
JohnE JohnE is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Boat: 1997 '190 LT-1/ 'slot
Location: Boston 'burbs
Posts: 8,542
Buying/ Selling Used boat long distance

Hey Gang,

As some of you may have read, I'm ready to sell the '97 190 that I bought last year to a new member of the forum (lasbrasas) who joined the forum last week looking to buy an older 190. I was getting ready to list mine so I reached out to him and we have come to an agreement. The "problem" is that he is willing to buy it sight unseen based on pictures and videos and we are both comfortable with this transaction.

With that said, does anyone here have any advice on some "insurance" for both of us? From my perspective, I realize that I can say "I'll let the shipper take the boat when either the funds are wired to my account, or when funds from a certified check clear". But what if anything can we do to assure that Andy (buyer) is afforded some protection?

Keep in mind he just joined here. It'd probably be a little more comfortable (for him) if he were a long time member. As a new member, he can't even ask for a fellow TT member to help him out.

Any advice is appreciated.


'97 Prostar 190 - LT-1

Prior boats - 2009 X14, 2008 X14, 2005 197, 1988 Tristar 190, 1989 Prostar.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:10 PM
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cbryan70 cbryan70 is online now
MC Maniac
Join Date: Jul 2006
Boat: 1993 Prostar 205
Location: midwest
Posts: 3,627
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You could set up an escrow to hold the $$.
Originally Posted by Hoosier Bob
She always misses me and when I turn her on it is hard to turn her off! She is MC and she completes me! She is the first ride that wants it as much as I do!
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:32 PM
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shepherd shepherd is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Boat: nothing worth mentioning...
Location: South Coast
Posts: 7,359
I recently sold my boat in a long distance "sight unseen" transaction. The buyer and I struggled a little to come up with a compromise that would make us both feel comfortable with the transaction.

To protect my interests, I asked the buyer to pay with a cashier's check. He went to his bank, got a cashier's check for the full purchase price, and sent me a photo of it. I took the photo of the check to my bank, who was able to call the buyer's bank and confirm that the check was legitimate. Note that folks say a cashier's check is "good as cash" and your bank will deposit it right away. But they can be forged, and it can take several days to actually clear even though it appeared as a credit in your account. I also wrote up a bill of sale which specifically stated that the boat was being sold "as is" and will be delivered at my house (i.e., I wasn't responsible for shipping/transporting it).

To protect the buyer's interests, he sent some friends to actually pick up the boat. They inspected the boat and, after finding no major unadvertised issues, handed me the actual check; I signed the title over and they towed the boat away. This is different from your situation. One option we considered (before he was able to enlist his friends' help, and was talking about using a shipper) was to have a local boat dealer in my area actually hold the boat for us, and then release the boat to the shippers after the check was delivered. Kind of like an escrow agreement. I figured we'd have to pay the dealer a couple hundred bucks to do this for us, if you could find one willing to play along... Maybe it would be more like a consignment sale where you could negotiate a really low commission since you already have the buyer lined up.

Either way, I recommend you get a cashier's check and don't release the boat and sign over the title until you have the check in hand and verified by the issuing bank.
/ \

Former boats:
2003 Prostar 197 35th Anniversary
1990 Prostar 190
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:55 PM
hurricunning hurricunning is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Boat: '04 PS209
Location: NW
Posts: 33
For my long distance buy I used a Marine Surveyor to handle the Pre-purchase Inspection and Water Test, verify the wrapping for shipment and condition at time of transport via Uship, and then to handle the transfer of funds to the Seller. Both the Seller and I were very pleased with the transaction. I got a nicely detailed photo report from the Surveyor too.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:50 AM
JohnE's Avatar
JohnE JohnE is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Boat: 1997 '190 LT-1/ 'slot
Location: Boston 'burbs
Posts: 8,542
Thanks for the input guys. Jim, I didn't realize yours was sold.
'97 Prostar 190 - LT-1

Prior boats - 2009 X14, 2008 X14, 2005 197, 1988 Tristar 190, 1989 Prostar.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:38 AM
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tkemperdc tkemperdc is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Boat: 2008 XStar LY6, 2006 X-15 (gone)
Location: Fargo, ND
Posts: 301
I honestly bought my X15 from Ohio sight unseen, and my Xstar from TX unseen as well. I think speaking with the seller (for me) I was comfortable enough to buy. I asked for plenty of pictures one took a video.
On the payment end I sent out certified bank check the other I wired the $$. Contacted a shipper and had it shipped. Both shippers were recommended by a trusted boat dealer.
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:29 PM
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TxsRiverRat TxsRiverRat is online now
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Join Date: May 2011
Boat: 93 Prostar 205
Location: Southwest
Posts: 3,545
Whatever you do, don't sell it on consignment via Seth!
What does the fox say?


You know they all have a little string hanging out, but it's not a tampon, it's a price tag...
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:01 PM
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east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 1998 Ski Nautique
Location: End of my rope.
Posts: 25,260
I sold my old 93 205 to a forum member several years ago sight-unseen, international (Texas-Canada). Included in the price was delivery (half-way point - St. Louis).

In no way, shape, or form, was I comfortable towing a boat over 1,000 miles to have any further negotiations. The boat was, of course, available for a test drive here, but an interstate drive for a test drive was not something I was willing to do. I was happy to provide videos of the engine running or put him in touch with our local inboard mechanic who was very familiar with the boat. I was also happy to have a third party marine surveyor to come and inspect the boat.

We had a signed purchase agreement and the price in full wired to and cleared from my bank account before I left the driveway. I insured the boat during the time it was attached to my vehicle. When it was hooked up to the new owner's vehicle, insurance was his responsibility. I called my insurance company as he was pulling away.

Obviously, there was a level of trust on his end and my description of the boat was extremely meticulous, warts and all. In the end, he got what he paid for, was very happy with what he got, and still owns the boat seven years later.

Another thing I would suggest, if you are planning to tow the boat a long distance is to split the cost of new tires. My boat's buyer and I did this. Of course, I was on the side of the road with tread separation in one and near tread separation on the other when we did this (at his suggestion). Peace of mind is worth a couple of hundred bucks. Also, bring a pair of jacks and be sure the spare is in good condition.

John, I have the purchase agreement if you would like a redacted copy.
Previous: 1993 Prostar 205

Red 1998 Closed Bow Ski Boat, Ford 351, 310 hp, Acme 4 blade, Perfect Pass SG.


Tyler Ski Club

To me, this forum is about love of inboard boats. It is about the sharing of information and, on a good day, some humor. It is not about post count, brand of boat, or any other superfluous labels that lend themselves to a false sense of superiority. Please, respect one another, try to pass on accurate information, and keep your eye on the ball.

Last edited by east tx skier; 08-21-2014 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:31 PM
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kyfooter kyfooter is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Boat: 2013 197 WTT / 1992 Barefoot Sanger
Location: Louisville
Posts: 245
I bought my Barefoot Sanger from a guy in Washington, sight unseen, and had it shipped to KY. We agreed on the following:

I would send him 80% upfront in a cashier's check, he would then ship the boat. Upon delivery of the boat and running the boat in the water, inspecting hull/seats, etc., if all things were as we agreed, I would then send the other 20%, and once it cleared, he would send the title.

It worked for us, although I'm sure we both were anxious.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:47 PM
ncsucarjock88 ncsucarjock88 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Boat: 87 PS190, powerslot
Location: Southeast
Posts: 122
I'm of the opinion if you're willing to make a multi-thousand dollar purchase, or potentially multi-tens of thousands of dollars, a plane ticket and a day of your time are worth a heck of a lot of piece of mind.

An acquaintenace of mine got a "new" to her boat last year... financed... shipper dropped it off in the early morning hours (4am or something). Upon daylight, it was discovered the horrid condition. I do not know the outcome... However, I will say that it was $40k boat. Who knows how much in lawyers fees, not to mention the aggravation.

Had she chosen to spend a day - or a weekend - and fly down to Texas - she would have only been out a plane ticket.

I have done this with vehicles. I have flown from NC to CA to look at a car - I brought that one home. I flew to Denver once to get a car, and that one stayed in Denver, and I flew back home. I was very glad I flew out and avoided that mistake - and no - the vehicle was not misrepresented - it just wasn't right for me. When I was looking for a mastercraft, I took a trip to Tennessee to look at one. It was not the boat for me...

Pictures, videos, all that stuff is great. And if it's less than $5k, and you don't care about the worst case scenario of losing $5k, then it's really no big deal. But if you're looking at spending serious money... Why take the risk?

Just my .02.
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