Free bill of sale (boat) templates (Australia)

Get peace of mind when selling or buying a boat with a bill of sale.


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If you are buying or selling a boat, you will need to complete a bill of sale to transfer the ownership. We've compiled a guide to writing the document and where you can find free templates online to make the process easier.

What is a bill of sale (boat)?

A bill of sale is a written document that is used as a proof of purchase after a transaction has been completed and payment made to the seller. It's proof that the transaction was made and that both parties agreed to it. With a bill of sale for a boat, it needs to contain specific identifying information about the boat.

A bill of sale is regulated by state law in Australia. In New South Wales, the Security Interests in Goods Act 2005 replaced bills of sale with security interests, so a bill of sale must be registered as a security interest.

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Download this template at Lawpath

When should I use a bill of sale (boat)?

A boat bill of sale should be used when you complete a sales agreement to buy or sell a boat, to detail the transaction clearly and ensure it is completed smoothly. The seller is required to give the bill of sale to the buyer when they receive payment. If the seller doesn't provide it, the buyer can. Brokers that are members of their state Boating Industry Association provide paperwork such as the bill of sale and sale agreement.

Bill of sale (boat) vs sale agreement

A sale agreement is used to establish the intention to buy and sell goods, while a bill of sale is used to document the completion of the sale and transfer ownership to the buyer once payment is made. A bill of sale is not applicable for real estate transactions.

What does a bill of sale (boat) include and not include?

A bill of sale for a boat is a straightforward document that includes basic information about the transaction that both parties need, including the name and address of the buyer and seller as well as identifying details of the boat. The seller can opt to sell the boat "as is without any warranties".

What is included in a bill of sale (boat)?

The details listed in a boat bill of sale include:

  • Location of the boat
  • Name and address of the buyer and seller
  • Date of sale
  • Purchase price and payment method
  • Details of the boat, such as
    • Manufacturer
    • Model
    • Year
    • Measurements
    • Hull material
    • Hull identification number
    • Engine number
    • Vessel registration and identification numbers
    • Port of registry
  • Allowances for tax and government ownership measures
  • Warranties and insurance

If features of the boat are listed but are not in working condition, they should be specifically described in an additional clause as non-functioning to avoid liability for the seller.

What not to include in a bill of sale (boat)?

As the document acts as a receipt, it does not need to include the terms of the sale covered in the sale agreement.

How effective is a bill of sale (boat)?

A written bill of sale is an effective proof of purchase that both parties can keep to prove that the sale and purchase of the boat was agreed to and completed. The transfer of a vessel from seller to buyer requires the parties to inform their state's motorboat department and other relevant local agencies, and the bill of sale can be used to make the process go smoothly.

If there's a problem with the boat, the bill of sale can also protect the buyer or seller. If you have a witness sign the document you're also able to use it as evidence if it becomes a legal issue.

If you're considering whether to use a bill of sale or an invoice as a receipt of the transaction, a bill of sale is much more effective. An invoice can be issued before the seller has received payment and carries no legal weight, whereas a bill of sale is issued after payment and holds up legally.

Do I need a lawyer for a bill of sale (boat)?

Bills of sales are quite straightforward and don't require a lawyer as they're subject to the general principles of contract law. You can use a legal document template to draw up your bill of sale.

Get access to bill of sale (boat) templates online

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How do I write a bill of sale (boat)?

A bill of sale is more of a receipt rather than a contract, so keep the language straightforward and clear. You also don't need to include every single detail of the sale agreement.

When you write it, make sure to include the condition of the boat plus any warranties or liabilities. Both the buyer and seller should be able to use the document as a reference for the agreement if required.

Where to get free legal documents and templates like a bill of sale (boat).

  • FindLegalForms. FindLegalForms provides an online library of documents kept up to date by lawyers. You can browse a free partial sample of a boat bill of sale or pay $7.95 to download the document.
  • Lawpath. Lawpath is an online legal resource that includes free samples of its templates, including a bill of sale (boat) but you must sign up for a plan to customise and download them.
  • Law Depot. You can find a wide range of document templates at Law Depot, including bills of sale. You're able to download and customise the templates.
  • also offers a number of different types of legal templates, including a bill of sale (boat). It lets you customise the document and view it online but you'll have to sign up to download it.
  • Wonder Legal. This online legal service offers over 100 legal document templates. You can browse these templates for free but there is a one-time fee to customise and download.

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