How Detailed Should a Bill of Sale for a Used Boat Be?

A bill of sale for a used boat should be sufficiently detailed to accurately reflect the terms of the sale and provide clarity to both the buyer and the seller. It should include:

  • Buyer and seller information.
  • Boat details (make, model, year, HIN).
  • Sale price and payment method.
  • "As is" or warranty terms.
  • Delivery arrangements.
  • Signatures and dates.

Additionally, the level of detail can depend on factors such as the boat's condition, any warranties or guarantees, and any unique circumstances related to the sale.

Where Can You Find a Template for a Boat Bill of Sale?

You can find boat bill of sale templates online from various sources. Websites offering legal forms and templates often provide boat bill of sale templates. Some state DMV websites also offer official bill of sale forms tailored to local requirements.

How Do You Register a Boat Without a Title?

Registering a boat without a title can vary by state and circumstance. Typically, a title is required for boat registration, but some states might offer alternative processes if a title is unavailable.

If the title is lost, you might need to apply for a duplicate title from your state's DMV. Some states also exempt older boats (usually built before a certain year) from title requirements. If you have a homemade or custom-built boat, this might have different documentation requirements, such as a builder's certificate or proof of ownership.


  • BoatUS: The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers a sample boat bill of sale form that can be customized and downloaded for free.
  • Boat Trader: Boat Trader provides a boat bill of sale template along with guidelines for filling it out correctly.
  • USCG: The U.S. Coast Guard offers resources on boat documentation and vessel sale, which can be valuable when writing a bill of sale for a documented vessel.
  • LegalZoom: LegalZoom offers customizable boat bill of sale forms that you can create online and download.
  • Your State's DMV or DNR Website: Check your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website for state-specific requirements and templates for boat bill of sale forms.
  • Local Notaries and Legal Services: Consider consulting with a local notary or legal service for assistance in drafting a boat bill of sale that complies with your state's laws.
  • Boating Forums and Communities: Seek advice from experienced boaters on forums like The Hull Truth for insights into writing a boat bill of sale.

About the Author

Christopher Murray

Christopher Murray

Personal Finance Expert

Christopher Murray is a professional personal finance and sustainability writer and editor who enjoys writing about everything from budgeting and saving to unique investing options like SRI and cryptocurrency.

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