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Saani

fast Help please on mystery paperwork in boat sale

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Hi does anyone know the boat https://www.apolloduck.com/boat/evans-sons-70-traditional/607737

year 2001 “Home at last” 507322.  It doesn’t match the boat index : that number is allocated a boat called potemkin. Or another in historical data “frenchlands II” Nothing for Home at last. There is no date on the bill of sale transferring the boat from a Derek Jones and a Theresa Cabot to a Joe Riley. Which is weird is it not? And the broker says there’s a journal of work done but no receipts have been produced. I’m buying at a distance and have arranged Chris Williams as surveyor. But am nervous to get it right. Big thanks for replies. I’m yet to make an offer and any help in that regard would be much appreciated too. 

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It also has price blanked out and no location given or conditions and when boat transferred etc I haven’t seen a bill of sale . But as a legal document it seems very weak.

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4 minutes ago, Saani said:

It also has price blanked out and no location given or conditions and when boat transferred etc I haven’t seen a bill of sale . But as a legal document it seems very weak.

A bill of sale should look something like this :

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bill-of-sale-msf-4705

 

There are slightly different one produced by the RYA, the BMF etc.

 

https://www.rya.org.uk/sitecollectiondocuments/legal/Web Documents/Legal Leaflets/Members Advice/Bill of Sale/BILL OF SALE.pdf

 

 

 

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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I don't think the information about CRT registrations held on CanalPlanAC is particularly up to date in many cases.  The "Potemkin" entry is over 6 years old, so the boat could easily have been renamed at any point in the 6 years since that data was handed over to CanalPlan by CRT.

Stating the obvious, perhaps, but if the previous owners have somehow avoided licencing it with CRT, there will be no record on that site.

 

Are there printed licences in the windows, and if so what do they say, and when do/did they expire?

2 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Its quite possible the name has changed over the past couple of years

6 years, in fact.

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1 minute ago, alan_fincher said:

I don't think the information about CRT registrations held on CanalPlanAC is particularly up to date in many cases.  The "Potemkin" entry is over 6 years old, so the boat could easily have been renamed at any point in the 6 years since that data was handed over to CanalPlan by CRT.

Stating the obvious, perhaps, but if the previous owners have somehow avoided licencing it with CRT, there will be no record on that site.

 

Are there printed licences in the windows, and if so what do they say, and when do/did they expire?

6 years, in fact.

That registration number is licensed

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Boat sales can be very informal. As I've said before, all I've got is an undated receipt with no address of the seller, and no other documentation whatsoever. All done with a suitcase full of cash and a handshake. Admittedly it was thirty years ago and a lot of sales were done like that then. 

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Dont tell me you are going to spend a grand on having a boat surveyed that you have not seen and then 40 grand buying it?  Wouldn't it be better to wait until you get here?

  • Greenie 1

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As a statement of fact.

Personally I find OP's methods more questionable than the brockers'

 

I can only imagine the stress of spending so much money at a distance on something so central to life, but surely this isn't the way to go about it?

  • Greenie 1

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1 hour ago, ditchcrawler said:

Dont tell me you are going to spend a grand on having a boat surveyed that you have not seen and then 40 grand buying it?  Wouldn't it be better to wait until you get here?

And a surveyor will only see certain things, with a whole stack of weasel words in case he's missed something crucial. I've never had a house survey worth more than scrap paper and a boat survey is no better. You either need to wait and see it yourself or get a friend over here who knows boats to go look at it, maybe when the survey is being done. 

  • Greenie 1

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Thanks all I absolutely see your points. The sale is happening before I arrive due to family needing urgent housing there. I can try get someone who knows boats to take a look  possibly. A friend of a friend in Ireland. Bit of an ask. But  nowadays isn't it usual to have more complete proof of ownership. In case of fraud. 

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5 hours ago, Saani said:

Thanks all I absolutely see your points. The sale is happening before I arrive due to family needing urgent housing there. I can try get someone who knows boats to take a look  possibly. A friend of a friend in Ireland. Bit of an ask. But  nowadays isn't it usual to have more complete proof of ownership. In case of fraud. 

It is very common practice (and in some cases a legal requirement) to have 'ships papers' on boats which should include every bill of sale available (if possible back to the original 1st sale), the VAT paid certificate and the RCD compliance certificate.

 

However the Inland Waterways 'industry' has always been a little 'rebellious' and 'paperwork' has not been a strong point.

Inland waterway boats are generally not sea-worthy and not capable of going 'anywhere else' so there has not been any great pressure to identify them with national Government registrations (as with other countries).

 

There are 100's of second hand boats sold each year and very few stories ever emerge of wrongdoings (brokers go bust and you lose your money, but that's a different story)

 

Freedom to 'boat' is built into the national psyche, much like Americas 'right to bear arms' and as leisure boaters I think we are just about the only country in the world that doesn't require our boats to be registered, our skippers to be qualified or to have insurance. (Controlled waters may / will have requirements so for a boat on C&RT waters it should have a licence and BSSC)

 

There are no 'logbooks' (registration certificates) for boats and no chain of ownership, boats change hands for many, many £10's of thousands with just a handshake and a carrier bag full of cash.

 

Some people get very worried by this 'laisse faire attitude and ask about using a Solicitor to handle the boat purchase expecting them to be able to ensure that thate boat is actually owned by the seller - they can't. There is no information available to a Solicitor that is not available to the buyer.

 

All you can do is :

Look for paperwork indicating more than fleeting ownership :

Licence paperwork in his name

Purchase of parts / invoice in his name

Work carried out servicing / painting receipts in his name

 

You can ask to view something with his address & photograph on it (Driving licence, Passport etc) and see if the documents tie into that address and the photgraph matches the person you are talking to.

 

It is a risky business and will not be made any easier by buying the boat unseen from 20,000 miles away.

 

I have recounted the story many times - but I had a boat survey done, passed with flying colours, bought boat, needed over £20,000 spending on it to make it usable, tried to take Surveyor to court, Solicitor advised that due to the 'small print' their was no chance the Surveyor would be found guilty of anything, "don't waste your money" was what he told me.

 

Your next huge problem will be finding a residential mooring that will take your boat and is where your relatives need to be.

 

There is a saying "buy in haste and repent at leisure' I think you could easily be badly bitten.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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Even if there are no printed licences in the windows, the owner will have the pdf, or can go on to their account and download it.

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Thanks to you both for such  good advice and tips. My daughter in Ireland and I thought that if we got a highly recommended surveyor we’d be a bit redundant as we don’t know boats so could rely on him. But I will on this advice try have her view  a boat with the aid of an experienced boater if at all possible. Still a bit confused ..although I love knowing the cultural history of laissez faire boat buying and really enjoyed your advice Is this very much the norm still or do people walk away if no decent paper trail? 

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1 minute ago, Saani said:

I love knowing the cultural history of laissez faire boat buying and really enjoyed your advice Is this very much the norm still or do people walk away if no decent paper trail? 

It depends on your attitude to risk and your knowledge levels.

 

I have no idea how many people 'walk away' if the paperwork is not all present & correct, but I doubt it is many.

 

Once you have bought and owned a boat for some time you begin to appreciate how the system 'works' and don't get concerned or worried when you buy your second boat.

I have bought boats by just turning up with a carrier bag of cash, waiting whilst the owner removes his personal stuff and then just 'driving it away', never knowing the owner never having a survey.

The only boat I have ever lost money on was the only one (out of 18 boats I've had) that had the survey.

 

I would NOT recommend (as someone 20,000 miles away who has never even seen the boat) that you forgo a survey, but just be aware of the limitations of any such survey,

 

 

Other countries view things very differently.

A couple of years ago I was looking to purchase a boat with a market value approaching £250,000.

It turned out that the RCD paperwork, customs declarations and documents of RCD conformity were 'missing' so prepared to take the risk I offered £80,000 below the asking price to compensate for the lack of paperwork. It was accepted (you can see how much 'value' some put on the correct paperwork.

I managed to get the local customs to issue a 'VAT Paid' certificate, and contacted the original manufacturer who provided me with the correct Customs and RCD declaration documents.

It cost me a few £'s, a Notary to witness the documents and some investment in time.

 

This was not a Canal Boat and it was not in the UK.

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I say housing because for myself and younger children it will be our home eventually continually cruising. Whilst before I get there it will be a home for older child for a year or so also continually cruising. Legitimately cruising not shuttling about locally. If we found an affordable mooring we would lease it but they are so few and dear I don’t bank on that. And have researched costs etc but for the house I could buy I’d prefer to buy a narrowboat. And enjoy England as I have been absent most of my life. 

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We read on here of folk who are looking for a boat saying that when they saw the boat in the flesh, it looked nothing like the photos in the advert. I have also heard of folk who are buying a boat at a distance, engaging the services of someone over here to help and advise. The system seems to be that you describe to that person what you are looking for (must have's and must not haves for example) and that person tracks down boats which fit the bill and inspects them and advises you. I believe Matty has done this but whether he still does or not I don't know. 

It must be very difficult trying to buy a suitable boat when you can't actually see it. 

 

haggis

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14 minutes ago, Saani said:

Whilst before I get there it will be a home for older child for a year or so also continually cruising. Legitimately cruising not shuttling about locally.

Presumably then said 'child' has no need to be fixed to a certain area.

 

That being the case you can get a fully residential mooring (where you are entitled to vote, register with a local Doctor, receive mail etc etc) for under £4000 (Nottinghamshire) and the further North you go the cheaper they become.

 

Please do not be offended but as you do not have any experience of the UK canal system I would just mention :

 

(It is your family and (potentially) your boat but)  It would seem to me that a youngster on a boat simply as a means to having a 'roof over their head' is not the ideal circumstances to try and CC.

  • Greenie 1

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2 hours ago, Saani said:

do people walk away if no decent paper trail? 

 

Yes, they do, but it depends on what you mean by a paper trail. A bunch of paperwork going back over the years that includes CRT licence receipts (or other waterways authorities such as EPA), bills for servicing/blacking/major new parts, mooring invoices etc are all good indications that the vendor is above board.  Best of all is the bill of sale to your vendor, but there is still some room for trust and mutual respect in this world (despite m'learned friends trying to make money out of distrust and Joe Public's general cynicism).

 

Having said that, we all have our different risk thresholds!

 

 

 

Edited by Machpoint005
sp.

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8 hours ago, Saani said:

Whilst before I get there it will be a home for older child for a year or so also continually cruising. 

 

How old is older child? I had a long discussion with one of the main narrow boat insurers a few years back. They required that when the boat is moving there must be an adult (18+) on board and supervising any under 18s steering.  No exceptions. So my thoroughly capable lad who was about 13 at the time was not allowed to steer the boat unaccompanied even in short pounds between locks, with a parent walking along the towpath alongside.

 

I had a small outboard powered cruiser when I was aged 14-16 and would go boating with a friend the same age for days at a time.  But apparently that's not allowed now.

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Although this is being advertised on Apollo Duck it is for sale by a broker, and most brokers do carry out due diligence to make sure they are not selling stolen property. The boat is also licenced at the moment. However I wouldn't consider buying without seeing, even if it is for someone else to live in. If you get it wrong it will be an expensive hotel for him.

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8 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Although this is being advertised on Apollo Duck it is for sale by a broker, and most brokers do carry out due diligence to make sure they are not selling stolen property. The boat is also licenced at the moment. However I wouldn't consider buying without seeing, even if it is for someone else to live in. If you get it wrong it will be an expensive hotel for him.

Brokers will 'try' to verify any known facts but they have no responsibility for their accuracy.

 

The BMF sales contract includes the statement (section 15:2)

 

Each party acknowledges that, in entering into the Agreement it does not rely on any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (Representation) of any person (whether a party to the Agreement or not) other than as expressly set out in the Agreement.

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