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Old 10-22-2019, 12:47 AM   #1
City: Oceanside
Country: USA
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 1
Buying in Mexico

Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum as we are now in the process of possibly buying our first trawler!! We're looking at trawler now in La Paz, Mexico. I would love to get any tips that you all might have about buying in Mexico:
- What are some pitfalls to look out for?
- Any recommendations of a great marine surveyor in La Paz?
- Any recommendations of a great mechanic for an engine survey on a Cat 3208 engine?
- Will have to drive it back from La Paz back home to San Diego. Has anyone done that trip and have any recommendations? If the survey and all goes well, we're hoping to drive it back sometime mid-November.
- Any recommendations on a good captain that can do that trip with us?

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Old 10-22-2019, 01:15 AM   #2
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 8,073
Had a relative who recently bought a vessel berthed in Mexico. He flew the surveyors in from the US. Suggest you talk to a US based marine title company who could handle closing. What flag does the vessel fly?

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Old 10-22-2019, 06:01 AM   #3
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City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 162
Make sure the TIP paperwork is in order. My understanding is it is not transferable, however if it was not properly closed out, expect issues if you ever return to Mexico. A good broker will have more precise information

Baja Bash headed north is legendary for being bumpy with a lot of spray. Lat 38s Baja Ha Ha leaves SD for Cabo at end of month, and there's a smaller powerboat equivalent leaving following week. Many delivery skippers will be engaged through November to get a healthy percentage of the boats back home up north. I do not know of a captain, but I'm sure you can find references if timing allows you to wait until this rush passes. February isn't a bad month to head north. La Paz is a super friendly marina with many long term cruises. You will have no problem finding a suitable captain.
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:22 AM   #4
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City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
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Be careful of the transaction details. I believe the temporary import permit (TIP) that allows the boat in Mexico, also prohibits sale in Mexico. So any transaction needs to be outside Mexican waters, with proper exit papers and cancellation of the TIP. Then when you come back in, you are a new boat, new owner, new registration, and new TIP, none of which you have. People pull this off, but when we looked at it it seemed like a nightmare for the poor guy who bought the boat and re-entered without any of the normally required paperwork. We concluded it was easier to go back to the US, at least for a US flagged boat.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:53 PM   #5
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City: Minden, NV & California Delta
Country: USA / Mexico
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 153
Buying a boat in Mexico

It is technically illegal to buy and sell a foreign vessel in Mexico although it is done all the time. I would not do it without a broker or representative who knows what he is doing. Usually the process is done with a off shore delivery and includes checking out of the country, cancelling the Temporary Import Permit (TIP), going off shore for the transfer and then rechecking in and getting a new TIP under you own name. My wife and I spent close to 10 years cruising the Mexican Coast and based on what I understand about these kinds of offshore transactions I would not try it without a representative who knows what he is doing or you could end up minimally with having to pay the 16% Value Added Tax or get hit with substantial fines and even seizure of the vessel. Check with the folks at Marina La Paz about surveyors. As for going back to San Diego - It's not called the Baja Bash for nothing. Pretty nasty trip if you don't watch the weather. From Cabo to Mag Bay there is no place to stop so you are at the mercy of the wind and sea which is normally right on you nose. Once you get to Turtle Bay you can duck in to fair anchorages every night if need be although most people keep running. Plan on not being in a hurry.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:59 PM   #6
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Be prepared for the quaint Mexican custom of "mordida."
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:53 AM   #7
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City: Minden, NV & California Delta
Country: USA / Mexico
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 153
The only time you would be dealing with government officials is during check out and check in. The old TIP would need to be cancelled by the seller which can be done at a Banejercito. Paying anyone “mordida” to skirt the law is both dangerous and often foolish these the government is cracking down on the practice. Offering a “tip” to some official to expedite a transaction is ok but attempting to get an official to look the other way when you have broken a law can, and does, get both parties in trouble. I‘be lived in Mexico for 1/2 the year for 15 years now and about the only mordida that is overlooked is traffic tickets although why should you pay a cop $500 pesos for a ticket that carries a fine of $200 pesos with a 50% discount for paying within 5 days.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:46 AM   #8
City: San Diego
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Nikolay and his brother are great.

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