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Buyer Beware!!!

A forum for discussing issues relating to trailers and towing MacGregor sailboats.

Moderators: Paul S, tangentair, beene, Heath_Mod, Hamin' X, kmclemore, Catigale

Buyer Beware!!!

Postby Floater » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:38 pm

I bought my :macx: last spring, and would like to share a story so others may avoid my plight. I had two boats in mind to buy, but the one that I got had a nice galvanized trailer, a bigger 90hp engine, and was slightly cheaper. I went to South Carolina to buy it from a nice family. They had bought the trailer from a pawn shop a couple years earlier. When I came back to North Carolina to get tags for the trailer, it turns out it had been stolen. The law enforcement officers were great and helped walk me through the process of what was to come. There was a mix up in serial numbers, so it turns out, mine wasn't the one that was stolen. ...until they contacted me again a few weeks later, and informed me it was, in fact, the stolen trailer. Fortunately, I was able to purchase it from the insurance company that had paid the claim to the original owner a few years prior. They didn't really want to spend the money to have to pick up a trailer and put the effort into selling something they had taken off the books already so they sold it to me (this is the second time I had to buy this trailer).

I guess the moral of the story is that you should always be wary of trailers (or boats) without good documentation. The people I bought it from were honest with what they knew. I just got stuck with the bill, because the state I live in checked into it better. My only legal course to get the money was to sue the people that sold me the boat, then they could sue the pawn shop, then the pawn shop could sue the thief. I'm not about suing good people, so I just took the few hundred dollars loss as tuition to the school of boat ownership (there has certainly been higher tuition paid to this school). I hope this helps someone looking to get into boat ownership.
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby Cougar » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:40 am

Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you'll enjoy your :macx: anyhow.
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby dlandersson » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:07 am

Nice observation. 8)

Got a buddy in Mount Olive. He close enough to go sailing with you?
Last edited by dlandersson on Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby Tomfoolery » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:11 am

Floater wrote:My only legal course to get the money was to sue the people that sold me the boat, then they could sue the pawn shop, then the pawn shop could sue the thief. I'm not about suing good people, so I just took the few hundred dollars loss as tuition to the school of boat ownership (there has certainly been higher tuition paid to this school).

That couple hundred is just the beginning, as things go with boats. That's why they call them 'boat bucks', and I'm not talking hundreds here. :D

I went many rounds with the DMV when trying to register my trailer, bought with the boat from a broker (who sold my keel boat, and is well known among sailors and not a crook). The PO had passed away, and his admiral was selling the boat and trailer. In NY, the trailer registration is transferable, and trailers aren't titled, so you just sign it over to the new owner, and with a bill of sale, simply transfer ownership and get it registered, keeping the same plate and all (unless you want a new one, which I did since the old one was badly mangled). But both their names were on it, and the DMV clerks and even a supervisor didn't know what to do. One insisted I produce a death certificate, which I had to lean on the broker to secure. It was awfully intrusive to ask the widow for that, and I felt terrible about it, but I was stuck without it.

Long story made short, the broker suggested I go to a third (or fourth) different branch office of the DMV near his location and try there, as each one was giving me a different story, and that office simply stamped up the paperwork and gave me a new registration. No death certificate needed. Both names were on it, but since the word "and" did NOT appear on the registration, either one of them could sell it (implied "or", I guess) without the other being involved. Took all of two minutes, where hours were wasted dealing with people who didn't know what to do, and each making me jump through different hoops. :x

Maybe a minor point, but something to look out for when transferring title or trailer registrations - multiple owners, along with the usual (leans, missing or damaged S/N's, things like that. Officials don't always know what they're doing, either. Big surprise there, I know. :P
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby Seapup » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:10 pm

I guess the moral of the story is that you should always be wary of trailers (or boats) without good documentation. The people I bought it from were honest with what they knew. I just got stuck with the bill, because the state I live in checked into it better.


It is for sure a gamble. DMVs can be weird with trailers too. I am glad it worked out. I had one titleless trailer they would not give me a title for even though the serial was clean. I ended up getting a homemade title which was not too bad. The homemade application required an inspection, not of the actual trailer build like the DMV spokesperson said, but that you rivet the serial plate to it correctly.

I had a similar issue to Tom too, Bought a boat & trailer from a deceased owner who never titled the boat or the trailer from new. Family did give me a copy of the death certificate and original bill of sale never filed. DMV would still not title the trailer for me. Later I sold the trailer still untitled. New owner calls me, DMV required him to get a notarized bill of sale saying I owned the trailer, (even though I never titled it) and then issued him a title using that bill of sale. :o
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby sailboatmike » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:56 pm

Im glad to hear that its just not here in Oz that government departments can be officious little annoying people, however I think my story of officialdom beats yours hands down.

Went to the local VicRoads (Registration People) to transfer my boat I bought in another state into my name and register it.

The helpful lady gave me the form to fill in and gave me a number to be served, form completed I waited for 1/2hr for my number to be called.

At the counter the lady checked my form was correctly completed and supporting documents were in order (transfer paper signed by the PO etc), checked the boats title and ticked everything off, then she informed me "I would need to make an appointment to get the boat registered". I protested that I was here and the boat didnt need inspection so it was just a matter doing it now, well apparently "NO" , I needed an appointment and the next available was a week away.

So a week later I roll up, get the same lady who checked my paper work and title previously, she did EXACTLY the same thing as before, checked the paperwork, documents etc, but this time when she was finished, she said and how do you want to pay!!!!! I did ask but why couldnt you of just taken payment last week, her answer was of course , "You didnt have an appointment"

So I missed out on sailing on a weekend, she did exactly the same as the week before but took payment.

In the wrap up, in their drive for "efficiency" and sticking by stupid rules, they did twice the work, for the same dollars and only managed to waste my time and there's having to drive to their office and back twice instead of once.

Hows that for officialdom gone absolutely crazy??
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby Floater » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:35 pm

dlandersson wrote:
Got a buddy in Mount olive. He close enough to go sailing with you?


Mount Olive University? It's about and hour and fifteen minutes from Jacksonville, NC, where I am. He'd be welcome to come down.

Hopefully, people can learn from others' experiences and not make the same mistakes (or at least not be caught off guard when the DMV doesn't play nice).
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby Loala » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:40 pm

Sorry for your misfortune Aussie-Mate but I oddly find some comfort in knowing the US is not the only country with brain-sucking mind-melting spirit-deflating bureaucracies!

:wink: :P :| :cry: :?
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby dlandersson » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:08 am

Pretty sure it's universal :)

Loala wrote:Sorry for your misfortune Aussie-Mate but I oddly find some comfort in knowing the US is not the only country with brain-sucking mind-melting spirit-deflating bureaucracies!

:wink: :P :| :cry: :?
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby vizwhiz » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:37 am

Aside from the troubles, which are good learning experiences for the rest of us, and for which I offer my condolences, this thread has all the makings of "The Four Yorkshiremen" sketch. :D
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby Tomfoolery » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:25 pm

Funny. I can only understand about half of what they're saying, but funny. :D
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby vizwhiz » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:37 am

Tomfoolery wrote:Funny. I can only understand about half of what they're saying, but funny. :D


I like the original from the 1948 show with Marty Feldman. Amazing how they keep a straight face! :D :P
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby JamesGrubb » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:03 pm

Just want to say how helpful this is for a first time boat shopper like me. I would have never thought to make sure all this was in order. Thank you so much for sharing this. Really helpful.
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby paul I » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:05 pm

vizwhiz wrote:
Tomfoolery wrote:Funny. I can only understand about half of what they're saying, but funny. :D


I like the original from the 1948 show with Marty Feldman. Amazing how they keep a straight face! :D :P


I had to find it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwJQQyF0yy0.... hilarious :D :D :D :D
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Re: Buyer Beware!!!

Postby Tomfoolery » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:41 am

paul I wrote:
vizwhiz wrote:
Tomfoolery wrote:Funny. I can only understand about half of what they're saying, but funny. :D


I like the original from the 1948 show with Marty Feldman. Amazing how they keep a straight face! :D :P


I had to find it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwJQQyF0yy0.... hilarious :D :D :D :D

My machine only has a 286 processor and dial-up, so it's hard to watch videos on it. :P
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