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Old 12 December 2011, 15:34   #31
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Sorry I haven't replied earlier - been away for a couple of days.
Thank you to everyone for taking the time and putting in the effort with all of your views and comments. All much appreciated.
I am, as a first port of call going to instruct a solicitor, and then proceed according to advice given by them.
All of the comments and thoughts posted so far (keep them coming!) I will collate and pass on to the legal guys as appropriate, to help them assess things.
I will let you know how things go, but I have a horrible feeling that it's going to be an expensive, stressful and long process.
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Old 12 December 2011, 16:14   #32
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Does anyone know of any databases for stolen boats other than stolenboat.org ?
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Old 12 December 2011, 16:37   #33
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Does anyone know of any databases for stolen boats other than stolenboat.org ?
Your own boat insurance company may be able to help. Whilst they can't give specifics there will be an industry site. When taking out insurance I've noticed that they ask for serial numbers.
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Old 12 December 2011, 17:27   #34
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If you acted in good faith you may be OK. The legal principle is that you can't sell something that isn't yours (and you can't get better title than the vendor (so a thief can never pass good title to anyone lower down the chain like you). My view would be that you are in breach of contract to your purchaser only, and he is statue barred (ie 6 years have passed) since you sold something that wasn't yours to sell. It is many years since I studied this area of law but I would agree with whoever said CAB should be able to give you good free advice. Alternatively many house insurance (and boat insurance) policies have legal advice insurance cover incuded, which may even cover defence of this sort of claim. Normally what happens here is that the insurer seeks out the present possessor and they have to give it back (no statute of limitation here because the object still belongs to them as by paying out to original rightful owner they acquired title). There is no way the police would be interested in this - it is a purely civil matter.
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Old 13 December 2011, 03:39   #35
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Have you though about going over to see the guy with the boat and ask him why he went down the road he has.
Solicitors rub there hands together over these cases. It will cost you dearly

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Old 13 December 2011, 04:27   #36
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Have you though about going over to see the guy with the boat and ask him why he went down the road he has.
Solicitors rub there hands together over these cases. It will cost you dearly

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I could probably find the guy I sold it to as he is a local publican, but as its been 7 years I don't think the softly softly approach will work ....
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Old 13 December 2011, 05:37   #37
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Don't know till you try.

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Old 13 December 2011, 12:35   #38
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Looking at things on the web and speaking to a friend of mine who is a solicitor it may well be the case of they sue you, you pay them, you sue the person you bought it from, they pay you, they sue the person they bought if from and so on and so on, rather ugly if its changed hands a few times. The key point to the matter is you wont be prosecuted by the police as youve acted in good faith but as you did not have the legal right to sell the item as you did not have 'good title' as it was stolen you can be sued and the person you bought it from can be sued and so on and so on. Whish is why who bought if from you is contacting you via a solicitor and its not the police who is contacting you as first of all the person has obviously got some advice and it is a civil matter until eventually it could be proved or not who the person was who originally stole it.

Very simple and why you never see a poor solicitor.

In the end no body wins only the solicitors ...

Good luck
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Old 13 December 2011, 12:39   #39
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And like Biffer says it would be better to try and settle without solicitors and civil courts etc so approaching the guy you sold it to and having a chat might be a way of avoiding the costs of solicitors which will be expensive on both sides. 1 hour sir that will be £200 to £300 an hour, a letter posting sir we charge £50.00 etc etc, will soon add up. After that you could then sue who ever sold it to you etc
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Old 13 December 2011, 12:54   #40
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Have you though about going over to see the guy with the boat and ask him why he went down the road he has.
Solicitors rub there hands together over these cases. It will cost you dearly
I have to say if someone I sold something to 7 yrs ago appeared out the woodwork demanding money back they'd be not very politely told where to go. Its only by involving a solicitor that the "claim" gets credibility in the first place. Its only by involving his own solicitor that he can be sure he is not paying out more than needed (e.g. if he only has to pay the "loss" ie. what he can't sell it for today, not the original sum; if there is not really enough proof it is stolen etc). I don't particularly like solicitors either - but the "ideal" response from the current "owner" is that you get scared and give him exactly what his solicitor has asked for. I don't think the current "owner" has done anything dodgy by instructing a solicitor, in fact its a more reasonable than just turning up outside your house demanding money!

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And like Biffer says it would be better to try and settle without solicitors and civil courts etc so approaching the guy you sold it to and having a chat might be a way of avoiding the costs of solicitors which will be expensive on both sides. 1 hour sir that will be £200 to £300 an hour, a letter posting sir we charge £50.00 etc etc, will soon add up. After that you could then sue who ever sold it to you etc
Without legal advice you could end up paying out for something that you didn't need to (and therefore can't recoup back down the chain). Some, or maybe all, of your legal costs will also be recoverable from whoever is down the chain IF you can find them and IF they have the funds to pay up.
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