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Old 01-15-2014, 10:59 PM   #21
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Thanks again to everyone. I really like the wide range of advice-- from the "don't do it you'll be killed" to the "what me worry? just get in the boat and do it".

I probably need more of the "you'll be killed" type of advice since I still think I'm mostly bulletproof and there is soooo much I don't know, so thanks for that. Seriously.

I even had a long time lurker register and message me when he saw my post was describing almost EXACTLY what he just did with his family not long ago. How cool is that?

Small world, this forum...

...I seriously need a new avatar
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:00 PM   #22
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I've got to say N4061 makes some really good points that should be thought about.

First, I don't know the condition of the boat, engines, ground tackle, pumps, fuel tanks, or any of the hundred things that you need to get hands on experience with. If all of these things are pretty new and checked out, I fully agree - just go.

But if you don't have 100% confidence in all systems or you're not very mechanically inclined, then it would make a lot more sense to hang out in the Charleston-Beaufort-Hilton Head area first and really get to push everything and learn the systems slowly. Instead of long, hard days, take a bunch of 20 mile ones. Practice anchoring. Practice dock handling. There's a great yard just south of Charleston on the ICW (Ross Marine). Hang out around there and perhaps even buy a few mechanic hours to look around and get them to give you a once-over checkout.

Savannah would make a wonderful first destination and there are incredibly great yards in the area if you need anything (Thunderbolt & Hinckley).

The moment you rush into Florida, things get more expensive, more crowded, and more difficult. But if you go really slow with the goal of learning and hitting all systems, by the time you get through Georgia, you'll be in a much better position to decide where you want to go for the next destination.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:04 PM   #23
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i've got to say n4061 makes some really good points that should be thought about. First, i don't know the condition of the boat, engines, ground tackle, pumps, fuel tanks, or any of the hundred things that you need to get hands on experience with. If all of these things are pretty new and checked out, i fully agree - just go. But if you don't have 100% confidence in all systems or you're not very mechanically inclined, then it would make a lot more sense to hang out in the charleston-beaufort-hilton head area first and really get to push everything and learn the systems slowly. Instead of long, hard days, take a bunch of 20 mile ones. Practice anchoring. Practice dock handling. There's a great yard just south of charleston on the icw (ross marine). Hang out around there and perhaps even buy a few mechanic hours to look around and get them to give you a once-over checkout. Savannah would make a wonderful first destination and there are incredibly great yards in the area if you need anything (thunderbolt & hinckley). The moment you rush into florida, things get more expensive, more crowded, and more difficult. But if you go really slow with the goal of learning and hitting all systems, by the time you get through georgia, you'll be in a much better position to decide where you want to go for the next destination.
This was my worry. Complex boat (for me), starting off in unfamiliar waters with big tides and currents (which we don't have in Texas).

I *think* the boat is in great condition--it seems to be well maintained and the owner has kept logs and kept her updated-- but you know how that goes.

I like the short 20 mile day idea until we get the hang of the boat.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:08 AM   #24
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I've got to say N4061 makes some really good points that should be thought about. First, I don't know the condition of the boat, engines, ground tackle, pumps, fuel tanks, or any of the hundred things that you need to get hands on experience with. If all of these things are pretty new and checked out, I fully agree - just go. But if you don't have 100% confidence in all systems or you're not very mechanically inclined, then it would make a lot more sense to hang out in the Charleston-Beaufort-Hilton Head area first and really get to push everything and learn the systems slowly. Instead of long, hard days, take a bunch of 20 mile ones. Practice anchoring. Practice dock handling. There's a great yard just south of Charleston on the ICW (Ross Marine). Hang out around there and perhaps even buy a few mechanic hours to look around and get them to give you a once-over checkout. Savannah would make a wonderful first destination and there are incredibly great yards in the area if you need anything (Thunderbolt & Hinckley). The moment you rush into Florida, things get more expensive, more crowded, and more difficult. But if you go really slow with the goal of learning and hitting all systems, by the time you get through Georgia, you'll be in a much better position to decide where you want to go for the next destination.
I can't comment about the Florida part- not boated there yet, but this is good advice. Just go easy if you have doubts.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:25 AM   #25
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A brand new , usually unsurveyed boat can be the biggest risk to operate.

A modestly experienced operator with a proven used boat that has had a survey ,there is minimal if any risk, just go as you please.

Most of the AICW one is a few feet from shore in shallow protected waters , so short of a huge fire on board m docking will be the biggest risk to the vessel and crew.

Should the most common hassle from under use occur , a plugged fuel filter , it will take as long to change 500 miles from home as 5 miles.

Tax EVASION is a crime ( or a rewarding hobby)!

Tax AVOIDANCE is legal (Judge Learned Hand) and one of the reasons for the founding of the country, be a Patriot !!
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:34 AM   #26
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Running the intracoastal where the skipper is reasonably experienced and NOT schedule bound or a type A personality is doable...just think of each day as a long sea trial.

As long as you don't push any situation or exceed you personal skills limit...what's the diff?

My boat was purchased after a 15 minute ride, not present for the survey, flew back to her, paid and left Ft Lauderdale for Charleston the next morning.

Were there problems with the boat? Sure, lot's of little issues that needed an eye kept on them. Any life threatening? No because I never put the boat or crew in a situation that would have made it so.

If you have decent lifesaving gear and a radio/EPIRB and travel inland waters on nice days....what's the worst that could happen? Then plan for that and either eliminate or mitigate the hazards.

Delivery/commercial captains make a living moving boats they are relatively unfamiliar with...if you have skill sets approaching that level...then think long and hard about it before you say yes or no to making the trip.

It's just a boat and even new ones after shakedown cruises have major issues...I tow them all the time with the owners screaming on the phone to their sales people and manufacturers...actually pretty comical how bad new boats can be.

The trick is to be reasonable in your approach and breaking down some unplanned place is inconvenient/more expensive but neither life threatening or the end of the world.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:01 AM   #27
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Yes I am a Texas resident and the boat will eventually make it back to Texas.

I remember a statement made by Yachtbroker in another tax thread, and I think I have read it elsewhere, that if you leave leave your boat where you bought it and registered it (SC) for 6 months then one is free to go to whatever state he wishes without owing tax difference. The boat is CG documented if that matters.

But I could be wrong...
You are wrong. Bay Pelican is correct. If you're going to keep the boat in Texas, you will have to pay taxes on it to Texas minus whatever you have already paid to SC or any other state. If you keep the boat in SC for more than 180 days, you may be charged personal property tax on it as well.

Buying a boat in SC is not a legitimate tax dodge. Neither is documenting the boat.

If you want good tax advice, don't ask boaters, ask a CPA or tax attorney.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:10 AM   #28
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my CPA thought I had to pay NJ income tax on my military pension...was he upset when he had to go back and redo some of his other clients returns...for many years..

make sure you get advice from someone who has knowledge of the subject ....no matter what title they hold.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:25 AM   #29
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For peace of mind and heart get a towing policy! Boat U S or Seatow , your choice. Any tow you need will more than pay the premium
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:45 AM   #30
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For peace of mind and heart get a towing policy! Boat U S or Seatow , your choice. Any tow you need will more than pay the premium
Absolutely...they can also provide info that can be invaluable.

If you are having questions about the trip or your new boat...plan stops at places that have assistance towing captains stationed, while many can be inexperienced or BSers, you may get some that will be a wealth of local knowledge and have vast amounts of boating experience. Often they have time to kill and will help for free and appreciate a cold beer at the end of a duty cycle.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:46 AM   #31
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For peace of mind and heart get a towing policy! Boat U S or Seatow , your choice. Any tow you need will more than pay the premium
I certainly agree and was going to post that same advice.

Personally, I would not set out on a thousand mile cruise in a new to me boat without a couple of short cruises first. You want to get familiar with the boat and correct any problems you might have, but on another level, you might discover that you overlooked something like pots and pans for cooking, no sheets and blankets, no dinnerware or knives and forks, etc., no toilet paper. Toothbrushes and toothpaste? Little things for sure but hard to resolve in the middle of nowhere.

Do you have charts and/or a chart plotter covering the area you plan to cruise? Do you have cruising guides listing marinas and fuel stops? Or Internet access so you can use on-line services to find this info?
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:47 AM   #32
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This thread seems to have become a tax thread, but back to the OP's question...

Is it too ambitious to take a boat you just bought on a long trip?

No it is not.

Consider this...

Almost every boat in any harbor in Alaska was brought home just after purchase.

I personally have made two 1500NM plus trips in boats I had just purchased.

AND

As part of that was the longest open water journey necessary in North America to get between ports.

Your trip would be a cake walk to any Alaskan Mariner.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:21 AM   #33
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I think people who normally operate out of a home base with support don't grasp the concept of cruising long distances or long term. I find some of the opinions from experienced long distance cruisers here curious.

At the end of every day, just because it's not "home", it is your new base of operations.

If something is broke, you fix it or patch it till it can be more suitably repaired. But there is no "better" place to be at the end of every day..maybe a port with better facilities...but maybe not.

I start my trip south every year with lot's of things to do and unknowns about my boat. But as I work my way to warmer weather...if something does go wrong, better it's in a warmer place than NJ in January and many of the stops along the way have much better service and parts than where my home marina is.

So I look at my 2500 mile trip every winter as just a bunch of day trips...so can one who has just bought a new boat to them...as long as they are cautious and stay in reasonable proximity to help ...it's really no big deal.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:33 AM   #34
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Definitely get unlimited towing. If you bring the boat to TX you will have to register it and pay the tax, minus any you paid elsewhere. If it's documented you don't have to display the TX numbers but you will have to display the tax sticker. Prior to about '99 a documented boat in TX was not required to be TX registered but somebody decided they were missing out on a bunch of taxes so the law was changed around that time.

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Old 01-16-2014, 10:39 AM   #35
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....what's the worst that could happen?
Just asking that question is begging for the unexpected.

You've got a lifetime of cruising in the new boat ahead of you. Go slow. Don't let anyone push you. You're not being wimpy by using care and judgement. That's just being smart. You've got nothing to prove.

I still don't have a good picture of your experience or that of your crew's. But I'll guess that you have a wife going along. Push hard, long days in unfamiliar places with unknown equipment and the hiccups that will occur and while you're posting on forums, she'll be researching brokers. Ask her what she wants. Let her contrast the options of running a thousand miles to Key West versus going slow and careful down to Savannah to spend a week or two.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:13 AM   #36
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So I look at my 2500 mile trip every winter as just a bunch of day trips...so can one who has just bought a new boat to them...as long as they are cautious and stay in reasonable proximity to help ...it's really no big deal.
Sounds like good practical advice.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:29 PM   #37
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Our first trip leaving 4 days after the purchase of our Monk 36 (except the sea trial and a jump to the fuel dock) was from just south of Annapolis down the ICW to Fl, across Okeechobee then along the ICW to Tampa Bay, crossed the corner of the Gulf overnight to Apalachicola then along the GICW to New Orleans and our home port of Houma about 60 miles west of N.O. We left Annapolis Thanksgiving day. left the boat in Charleston SC and drove home for Christmas resumed the trip on Dec 30, and arrived in Houma on March 8. We had cruised the Gulf Coast in our Camano 31 several time before. It was pretty cold the first part of the trip but once we hit Florida it warmed up and we took our time visiting friends we had made on previous trips. There was a lot of learning to do but I don't recall any mechanical problems. We did and still buy towing insurance but have never had to use it so far, touch wood! We enjoyed the trip greatly.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #38
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I think that as long as you have done your due diligence and she has passed your survey there is no reason not to follow your dream, ie plan "A" and do the trip. That's what the boat is for after all isn't it? To paraphrase Capt. Ron, if it's gonna happen, its gonna happen out there. If taxes are gonna be an issue then you probably shouldn't even be boat shopping, so if you pay what is required, you won't ever have to look behind you. Some of the best boating times ever have been first trips on unknown boats and the bad ones make for great stories. It's not an adventure if you know the outcome. So it's time to wake up from the dream. You now own the boat and the time is now. You worked hard for it go out and enjoy it.

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Old 01-16-2014, 12:42 PM   #39
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As usual, Im letting myself get too obsessed with money side of things trying to save a buck or $10000. If there is some no-brainer way to save on the tax I'll do it, but if not I'll just bite the bullet and pay the tax.
Good for you. I'm always amazed by the people who will spend hundreds of thousands to buy a boat, and then compromise their enjoyment of it because they want to avoid a few thousand in taxes. First, use the boat and enjoy it! Then, if it doesn't compromise your ability to enjoy the boat, arrange things to avoid taxes.

That said, I think what you need to know is...
1. If you buy a boat elsewhere, bring it to Florida, and keep it here for more than 90 days, then you owe Florida use tax.
2. The use tax will be 6%, up to a maximum of $18k, minus any tax you may have already paid on the purchase to another state (but taxes paid to other countries do not count).
3. if you have owned and used (the "and used" part is important) your boat in another state for more than 6 months, and are not legally a resident of Florida, then the above does not apply, and you do not owe Florida any sales/use tax.

But, as others here have suggested, tax advice that you get on an internet forum is worth about what you pay for it... Nothing! So go to the source. Here is a link to the Florida Dept. of Revenues own website, and their document that details the rules concerning sales/use tax on boats: http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/current/gt800005.pdf
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:57 PM   #40
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I think everyone covered the tax issue now, my only suggession seeing boats being delivered after purchase, they all had issues, some even needed to be hauled, so after purchase I would find a nice home base for a week and really run the boat, adding in some overnights on the hook, once all the issues are ironed out start heading south, it's not rocket science, just need to do your homework.
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