37 Temp. L.Q. 401 (1963-1964)
Legal and Practical Implications of Purchasing a Pleasure Boat - The Role of the Attorney

handle is hein.journals/temple37 and id is 403 raw text is: LEGAL AND        PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS
OF PURCHASING A PLEASURE BOAT
THE ROLE OF THE ATTORNEY
DONALD S. COHAN t
Specialization in admiralty law is not a prerequisite for advising
a client who is purchasing a pleasure boat. General principles of law
apply to many aspects of the transaction even though admiralty rules
may add certain complexities. This article serves as a primer to the
uninitiated. Its purpose is to review the law, make some practical
observations and give the attorney an awareness of potential problems
and hidden pitfalls. It attempts to enable the general practitioner to
cope with the garden variety of maritime legal sallies.'
The explosion in recreational boating 2 has ushered in a new era
in briny legal exercise. The Bar should be prepared to deal with a
rising maritime spectrum of problems.
In discussing the legal and practical issues inherent in the pur-
chase of a pleasure boat, we will focus on the following:
(a) the controlling legal forum; (b) the contract of sale and
related problems such as the acquisition of good title, the rights and
duties of the broker, the need and use of a survey and remedies; (c)
liens and mortgages on vessels; (d) characteristics of joint purchase
and ownership; (e) registration after purchase; and (f) procurement
of proper insurance.
I. THE CONTROLLING LEGAL FORUM
To enforce and protect legal rights, an attorney must be prepared
to use the proper procedural tools. In this regard the controlling legal
forum is of prime importance.3 An in depth examination of jurisdic-
t A.B., Amherst College; LL.B., Harvard University; Partner in Philadelphia
Firm of Korn and Cohan.
1. For other discussions of this subject see GREELAY, LAW FOR YACHTSMEN
(1952); 1 BENEDICT, ADMIRALTY (6th ed., 1940); GILMORE & BLACK, ADMIRALTY
(1957) ; 6 STAN. L. REV. 540 (1954) ; 9 STAN. L. REV. 780 (1957) ; 10 STAN. L. REV.
724 (1958) ; Mundell, Admiralty Law and Your Pleasure Craft, 34 U. DET. L.J. 141
(1956); Cohan, Law and Practicalities for Yachtsmen, 32 TEMP. L.Q. 241 (1959).
2. In 1954, there were 5,000,000 undocumented pleasure boats in operation as
compared with 100,000 such boats in operation in 1918 (H.R. REP. No. 378, 85th
Cong., 1st Sess. p. 7). In 1957 there were 7,071,000 pleasure boats afloat. 104 CONG.
REC. 12940 (1958). These numbers are steadily increasing.
3. The purchaser might be unaware of the potential impact a procedural rule
may have on his substantive remedies. The fact that some court calendars are

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