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Boat/Vessel Bill of Sale Template

Start a personalized boat bill of sale now that can be used to sell watercraft and other vessels. Protect the buyer and seller from fraud and meet your state’s requirements for a boat sale today.

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Last Update May 12th, 2023


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What is a Boat Bill of Sale

A boat bill of sale is an official legal contract that documents and records a transaction between the buyer and the seller of a watercraft. The bill of sale is used as a formal way to prove the details of the sale that was agreed upon and that the ownership of the boat or vessel has been transferred from one party to another.

This provides many protections for both the buyer and seller. First of all, it helps them both avoid a fraudulent transaction by explicitly providing evidence in writing that the sale was agreed upon. Furthermore, it can be used by the buyer to prove that they are now the owner of the boat so it can be properly registered under their name.

How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Boat

Creating a boat bill of sale can be done quickly and easily online using our contract generator tools. This provides easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions to help you include all the necessary details that are required to make the sale final and legal in your state.

In order for a boat bill of sale to be legally valid, it will need to include the following information:

  • The name and address of the buyer.

  • The name and address of the seller.

  • The price that is to be paid in US dollars for the boat or watercraft.

  • The date that the document will be signed and that sale will be final from.

  • The details of the vessel, including its make, model, year, HIN (Hull Identification Number), and odometer reading.

  • The boat’s motor details, including its make, year, horsepower, and serial number.

  • The boat’s trailer details, including its registration, make, year, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number (optional).

  • The signatures of both parties.

Boat Bill of Sale Example

Before starting your own boat bill of sale, it’s wise to read over a completed copy or template first of all. Use our example boat bill of sale below to get familiar with the necessities of this kind of legal form before you craft your own.

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Boat Bill of Sale Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Whilst a boat bill of sale appears to be fairly straightforward at first glance, it is important to know how and why to use this kind of legal document effectively. Find out more about selling boats with a bill of sale with our FAQs below.

Do I Need a Bill of Sale for my Boat?

In a number of states having a valid bill of sale for a boat is an essential step to registering your vessel. However, even in jurisdictions where this isn’t the case, it is still worthwhile to complete your transaction using this kind of sales slip.

The bill of sale also gives the boat buyer and seller a number of protections. First of all, as the details of the craft and the sale are included in the signed document, it allows both parties to contest a fraudulent transaction.

It also provides clear evidence that the ownership of the boat has been transferred so that no disputes can arise over who is responsible for the vessel.

What Is an "As-Is" Bill of Sale?

Simply put, an “as-is” boat bill of sale records a transaction where no warranties are made on the vessel being purchased. This means that the seller has agreed to purchase the boat as it currently appears or is described and has no recourse for legal action should the craft encounter any faults or technical issues after it has been received.

How to Get a Title for a Boat with a Bill of Sale?

Once a transaction has been completed, the boat bill of sale can be used by the new owner in order to register and get a title for the vessel. To do so, the buyer must visit the state’s agency for registering watercraft. This service is usually provided by the DMV or the Game and Wildlife Agency, depending on the state in question.

Who Keeps the Bill of Sale?

When a boat bill of sale is signed, both the buyer and the seller should receive a copy of the completed document. They should then be kept by both parties for a period of up to one year, in case any disputes arise from the transaction. This will also help the new owner properly register the vessel with their state government.

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