Los Angeles, CA asked in Contracts and Admiralty / Maritime for California

Q: I paid $12,000 to a broker for sailboat. I am now being told that the boat is for sale “as is” by owner” is this legal?

i was never given a contract from the broker. I have a text message that I sent him and that he responded with an on “ok”. Later when I asked him to respond about some undisclosed issues that were later identified, the “broker” told me that he actually owned the boat (lie). And that it was sold as is (lie) none of which were ever discussed ever and without any signed contract. I am a first time boat buyer and trusted this guy who works at a boat brokerage which is how I even found the boat while looking on there website and he sold me the boat as a broker. I paid him in full for the listing price and never recieved any paperwork regarding the transaction. Only later when I pressed him on the many issues that were found is when he told me the “as is” and that he was actually the owner? Is this even legal? please advise. Thank you.

2 Lawyer Answers
Masoud Jahani
Masoud Jahani
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Hi

There is not enough information to answer your question, so I ask few questions below.

Most used boats are sold “as is”, and the buyer usually buys subject to inspection.

If you’ve gone through a broker did they mention to you if you wanted an inspection done on the boat?

Was there an inspection before purchase by you or a third party?

Do you have a copy of the listing from their website?

When and where did you take delivery of the boat?


Masoud Jahani


Arnold Isaac Berschler
Arnold Isaac Berschler
  • Maritime Law Lawyer
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: First, I apologize for the delay; just back from vacation.

SECOND: Depends on which state the transaction took place. For instance, if in California, the answer would be “no.” An “as is sale” must be clearly stated in writing. Attorney fees might be recoverable.

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