The Sales Agreement


Get It In Writing!

Selling your boat can be a relaxed, positive experience, but don't rely upon a handshake and a "gentleman's agreement" when it comes to finalizing the deal.

  • First, write a sales agreement outlining the terms of the sale and the obligations of the buyer and seller. Refer to the Consumer Protection section of our website under "Forms" for some sample agreements.
  • Ask for cashier's or certified checks
  • Be prepared to renegotiate the sales price when it comes to items that need repair or when the boat has a less-than-satisfactory marine survey.
  • If you agree to make repairs prior to the sale, for your own protection, spell out your obligation in terms of exactly what is to be done and how much you will spend. Written estimates are helpful.
  • Do you have personal items on the boat that you don't plan to include? Attach to the sales agreement a list of all the accessories that convey and have both parties sign it.
  • Unless you can afford the loss, don't offer to finance the boat! The risk involved is not worth the often small amount of interest you stand to gain. And, if you have a boat loan outstanding, the lender may not permit this arrangement.