I purchased a used boat on 04/14/12. He wasnt able to crank it up because of dead battery. He did bring a battery charger and still no luck. He said it cranked up on Thursday by now it was Saturday). He said he had it winterized for the winter.Last used was summer 2011.He gave me the number to where he's had it serviced and everything. He seemed like an honest guy so, we went ahead and purchased it.
That day we took it to the same shop he told us and they tried for 20 min to crank it up. No success. We decided to leave it. however, it wouldnt be until 10 business day before taking a look at it since there were other boats ahead of ours to be seen.
Today i received the phone call explaining that the boat was winterized 2 winters ago and that water was getting into the cylinders 4 and 5.Cost of repairs, not given specific answer. Just $85 per hour...Ouch.
Yes you can sue but you should first try to talk the seller into taking care of it agreeably. The first place to determine your rights in the sale of a used boat is the contract itself. If you wrote out a contract or sale document look at it to see if anything was written down about any guarantee or warranty or description of something that turned out not to be true (that could be fraud). Every state has its own definition of what “fraud” is. Generally, it is a lie that costs you money. But lies can come in different forms. It could be an outright lie, where they know that in fact what they are saying to you is a lie. It could also be a part-truth statement, where they say something that is only partly true and lie to you or mislead you about the rest of what they are saying. Or it could be hiding the truth from you by not telling you something that they know you would want to know. No matter what kind of lie it might be though, unless you lose something because of it, you have not been damaged. And “damages” are required for you to be able to legally do anything about being defrauded in a transaction. To learn more about Fraud, read this free online Avvo Legal Guide “What is Fraud?” here: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-is-fraud-1. If nothing was said in it about any guarantee, then that may not be the end of the story. A written contract is not required in most states to privately sell a used boat. Boat dealers, however, have to use a written contract in every sale. If it was just a handshake deal, where there was no sale document, then it is your word against the seller on what was said that led up to the sale. So think back carefully over everything that was said leading up to the decision to purchase the boat and ask yourself if anything that the seller said turned out not true or misleading or if the seller hid anything from you. In a private sale, in most states the seller’s only obligation is to answer questions truthfully, not hide anything, and sign over a clear title to the boat. Buying or selling a watercraft in a private sale can be risky business because the law is very different from a boat dealer sale. Generally, the seller has to tell the truth about the hour meter on the boat too since everyone knows that number generally indicates the amount of actual use of the boat that has occurred, if it is equipped with an hour meter. The law on boat sales can be a little different from state to state though. To find out for sure what your obligations and rights are in a private used boat sale in your state, you need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney. For a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers, click on this link (http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/ocll-site/ocll-locate_local.shtml) and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, NACA.net). You can also look for one here on Avvo under the Find a Lawyer tab. Or you can call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you. But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. And be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Thanks for asking and Good Luck. Ron Burdge, www.BoatLemonLaw.com
This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The law in your state may differ and your best answer will always come from a local attorney that you meet with privately. If you need a Consumer Law attorney, click the link above to find a Consumer Law attorney near you.
Generally speaking private sale is buyer beware and as is, unless you have a written contract with an express warranty. Seller might have a duty to disclose what he actually knows depending on the individual state, but in all probability he will assert it ran last time he used it. The opinion that it was not winterized this winter but last needs to be supported and if it was winterized properly 2 winters ago then that should not make a difference. You may want to acquaint yourself with local small claims court. You may also want to get another mechanic to look at it.
As noted, most private sales do not come with warranties, as I'm guessing is the case with yours. That said, folks are not allowed to lie about something that is "material" for their own advantage. So, if they lied, say, in an advertisement, or even in person orally, which is tougher to prove, you can bring a successful action. Not an easy thing to do though. As Mr. Burdge suggests, try to work it out, they may surprise you...
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