Pleasure boat and motor bill of sale: the whole procedure

  • You wish sell or give away your pleasure boat second hand ? Are you selling your boat engine alone? Identical procedure for all types of boats (sailboats, motor boats, yachts ...) and VNM (Motor Watercraft: jet ski, jet ski, etc.), the sale or transfer of your property must secure the transaction for all stakeholders, sellers and buyers. Our support service for boaters and boating professionals deciphers the sales procedure and the various scenarios for you.

Use our bill of sale generator or our different models.

The deed of sale or transfer of a pleasure boat


Whether it is a sailboat, motor boat, yacht or jet ski type Watercraft, thedeed of sale of a boat between individuals must be carefully completed and signed by the vendor (s) as well as by the buyer or future buyer co-owners.

To help you, provides you with a free download model deed of sale for pleasure craft and VNM.

The essential documents to provide when selling a pleasure boat / VNM


In addition to his copy of the deed of sale, duly completed and signed, you must give the new owner the ORIGINAL boat navigation titles :

  • The traffic card in maritime area or in inland waters of the boat or VNM if its actual engine power is less than 90 kW
  • Theact of francization for pleasure boats over 7 meters in hull length, with an engine power equal to or greater than 22 HP (administrative horsepower) or for VNMs with an engine of 90 real kilowatts and more.

Sale or transfer of a pleasure boat / VNM: special cases


In some cases such as co-ownership, inheritance or the purchase of a pleasure craft abroad, the process of sale or transfer is a little more complex. We explain everything about these particular cases with the additional documents to provide to finalize your deed of sale for a used pleasure boat.

  • Co-ownership and distribution of the boat's shares


A pleasure boat that can belong to several co-owners, the distribution of shares of the property must be specified in the deed of sale both on the side of the sellers and that of the future owners. With a total reaching 100%, the percentage of ownership each must appear clearly and in full on the bill of sale.

When you complete the boat owner change form or VNM, you must indicate precisely the number of co-owners (“1” for a single owner, “2” for two co-owners, etc.).

Note that this applies to all administrative documents concerning the boat in question, whether new or second-hand: traffic card, francization deed, application for first registration ...

The deed of sale for the motor boat, sailboat, yacht or VNM must be signed by ALL the sellers AND buyers co-owners of the boat or the file will be rejected. The same co-owners as a whole must appear on the application form AND on the deed of sale.

  • The heritage of a boat: the essential documents


In order to obtain the change of ownership of the vessel in case of'legacy of a pleasure boat and thus be in good standing with the legislation in force to navigate, you will have to provide written proof of your new ownership.

For this, you must apply for a devolutive certificate with the notary in charge of the succession of the deceased's property by providing him with several documents proving your identity as being entitled to the succession:

  • The family record book (s)
  • Civil status certificates
  • The death certificate.

The devolving certificate thus obtained acts as a deed of sale and has the same legal value.

  • Buying a vessel abroad: the ownership transfer procedure


In case of'purchase of a pleasure boat outside mainland France (Corsica included), you will have to follow the procedure even more carefully and pay particular attention to administrative documents.

The deed of sale will be drawn up as indicated above from our model and bear the signature of all sellers and buyers in the event of co-ownership.

If you buy a second-hand boat abroad, there are several additional documents that must be obtained during the sale: the certificate of cancellation of the foreign flag and the written declaration of conformity (DEC).

The certificate of cancellation of the foreign flag is issued by the government departments of the state where the vessel is currently registered.

Please note, some states like the United Kingdom charge for the issuance of this certificate (the British government sends it to you in just a few days, however for £ 45), while for others like Italy, the document is free (although often in this case, the delivery times are much longer…). This is why we recommend that you only sign the deed of sale after the certificate is given to you by the seller (it will always be easier for a national of his own country to obtain the document).

Our advisers can take care of this laborious process to save you precious time.

The written declaration of conformity (DEC) is essential for pleasure craft built after June 16, 1998 and for VNMs built after 2006.

The deed of sale or transfer of a boat engine


All engine change on a pleasure boat or on a VNM implies a mandatory declaration carried out with the administrations in a one month delay.

We provide you with free download of our model deed of sale for a boat engine between individuals.

In case of first registration and if the engine installed on the boat was purchased second-hand, you must also attach this bill of sale to your boat registration application. It replaces the invoice for the purchase of a new engine from a professional and has the same legal value.

The presentation of the engine seller's identity card is also compulsory in order to validate the registration of the engine on the navigation title.

Do not hesitate to be accompanied by one of our advisers for the transfer of ownership of your boat engine.

The engine disembarkation certificate in case of boat engine replacement


If you change the engine on your pleasure boat or VNM, you must carry out an engine disembarkation request previous in a one month delay. This request, subject to the validation of the administrations, is to be completed if you do not have in your possession any invoice or bill of sale, or if you are missing some of the documents, in which case we recommend that you provide photos of the engine and its serial number.

In fact, you will have to attach to your file the certificate of disembarkation of the engine, circling the reason corresponding to the reasons for disembarking.

You can use our template for this.landing certificate of one or more pleasure boat engines or VNMs, free to download.

Pleasure boat and motor bill of sale: the whole procedure –