Legalities of selling a boat to cover storage costs

zed4

Well-known Member
Hi,

We've had a boat, engine and trailer dropped off at our yard many months ago. They wanted us to assess the engine and it was deemed uneconomical to repair. The package would usually sell for £10,000 upwards depending on spec, age and condition. This was in very poor condition needing new seats, engine, tubes, everything. It needed a full refurb and was worth very little. It has plants growing from the rear seats!

Unfortunately the job card has been lost and we have no record of who owns this boat. We're in the process of moving showrooms and really need the boat gone. We may take it to our other service centre and continue to store it there, but we can't look after it forever, it's been with us for a few months already.

It's a 6m boat, now incurring storage charges which are quickly nearing the value of the boat, so what can we do? Can we sell the boat or should we keep it forever?!

Thanks,

Dan
 

blue max

Distinguished Member
To be honest Dan, that is your business, so you should have terms in place. Failing that, if you sell it, be prepared to recompense the owner to that effect minus storage charges as agreed (hopefully).
Take lots of pics and just say you disposed of it after it was not collected. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it myself.
 

zed4

Well-known Member
No, once we've moved to the new showroom we're putting in place an electronic booking system. At the moment scheduling and booking in is done on paper, using the computers for invoicing and accounting only.

It's the problem when we go from a very small company to a medium sized business quite quickly! We've not had time to put better systems in place. To be honest, it's not been a problem thus far. In addition, a lot of boats come in at weekends and they get handed over to the weekend lad who just jots down the customer's details on a form and takes the keys. When I take in a boat, I always try to enter their details in the system to set them up an account, but on busy weekends, this doesn't happen.
 

zed4

Well-known Member
By the way, I should say, I work in sales at the company, not on the service side. We most likely do have terms in place for an event like this, I'm just asking out of curiosity as I'm sure I can sell it!
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I would think you could be on sticky ground from a legal perspective if you were to dispose of the boat without giving the owner the option to settle up & collect first. Unless your T&Cs have this covered but then you'd presumably need to demonstrate you'd made the owner was aware of them.

Looks like forgetting you own a boat is easily done:

BBC News - Norway: Wealthy man 'forgot' boat in Swedish harbour
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Stictly speaking as you have lost the paperwork there aren't any agreed T&Cs - the owner could turn up, ask for his boat and deny that there was ever any arrangement for storage charges.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
Stictly speaking as you have lost the paperwork there aren't any agreed T&Cs - the owner could turn up, ask for his boat and deny that there was ever any arrangement for storage charges.

Cheers,

Nigel

I like it. Owner turns up to collect his boat......'what boat?!'
 

aVdub

Banned
Wouldn't the engines and or other parts of the rib or whatever type of boat it is have Vin numbers that would be registered to the owner?
 

DOBLY

Well-known Member
What documentation was given to the owner at the time they requested an evaluation? If they have something, like a ticket with a number on, then you will have to go through you records to see if anything is still outstanding. If they weren't given anything (except a verbal 'promise') then in the real world you can't be expected to keep this indefinitely.

Just re-read the opening post and saw the word "trailer" - does it have a registration plate? If so, you can get the police to search for the registered keeper.

You could use it as a training exercise for your new apprentices (if you have them these days) - they do it up when they are not busy. If the owner turns up, simply present him with an invoice for the inspection/evaulation, storage and reconditioning.

I'm guessing that the owner will turn up just as the weather turns to summer.
 

zed4

Well-known Member
Yes, there is a trailer lighting board and number plate. It's registered to a Land Rover, I assume I would need to speak to the DVLA to get the owner's details.

The boat has no HIN and it wouldn't be registered even if it did. The engine was first registered to an address in London which is on record at Yamaha. It's never been amended. We've sent the person a letter, but we are 99% sure it's been sold at some point in its life and the new owner is on the south coast.
 

zed4

Well-known Member
In all honesty, the boat is scrap. I've had a good look around it this morning, the deck has had some serious repairs (but done badly) the transom has been repaired, the tubes need replacing, the engine is blown and is only good for spares now, the trailer needs work. It's not worth repairing IMO.
 

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