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Old 09-19-2018, 11:05 PM   #41
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I too live in Charlotte. Earlier this year we purchased in FLORIDA a Kadey Krogen trawler and I went through your current exercise.
Our boatís CG home port is CHARLOTTE- a location the boat could never get to by water. It resides most of the year in CHARLESTON

PM if you wish to discuss our experience
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:43 AM   #42
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My policy somehow the first year got a note in it that my winter mooring area was Savannah, even though for the last 5 they have sent me also named insured endorsements for Ft Pierce, Fl. They never have asked or changed the note in the policy.

Not sure if it matters....plus my home dock they consider isi n NJ and I am only there 5 months and the policy has no requirements to fit that description.

As a cruiser, they state navigation limits and expect you to be in the restrictions....but other than that???
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:44 AM   #43
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SC casual excise tax is 5% but capped at $500. You will also pay registration & title on the dinghy at a similar rate.

SC charges personal Property tax on boats and monitors marinas at the 1st of each year for this usually.
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:57 AM   #44
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PM if you wish to discuss our experience
Please try to keep discussions in the forum where everyone can benefit.
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:52 PM   #45
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Change the Certificate of Documentation (DHS, USCG, CG- 1270 (REV. 06-04) to show HONOLULU HI as the hailing port. Use any mailing address you like, even foreign, but you must be a US citizen to own or control a US flag vessel.

Saw a large power yacht at the Seattle boat show once with its name and "Honolulu HI" on the transom. The boat was kept in Canada and the owner had residences in Canada and Hawaii. I learned frim the broker that I actually knew the owner, seem we had raced together about 40 years ago.

Hawaii has no personal property tax on boats or anything else.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:07 PM   #46
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What does the hailing port have to do with tax liability? Our hailing port is Californian, but we are not liable for any California taxes. We could have been subject to state use/sales tax in the state where the boat was located, but the boat was already in an LLC, so we bought that instead. We are also subject to state registration requirements if we stay too long in any one jurisdiction but we chose to register in the state we will be spending the most time as an antique boat, over 30 years old, for under $100 a year.

Again, none of this has anything to do with the hailing port on the documentation.......
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:50 PM   #47
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Consider - Taxes & Insurance

The decision should be in part how much you wish to pay in sales tax (if you have some options) and also how much the insurance will cost depending on the "home port".
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Old 09-24-2018, 02:54 PM   #48
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Moving boat from FL to NC

I just did this with a documented boat. Boat in FL and it resides in NC.

Here are some items i learned.

- There is no sales tax in NC if that is considered the port in the documentation transfer.

- I used Vann Maritime services to take care of transferring the documentation. Highly Recommend. there are lots of moving parts to this process. contact Peggy Vann peggyv@catt.com

- To avoid FL Sales Tax, remove the boat in 30 days OR you can pay $20ish for a 90 Day certificate to get the boat out of FL. With this approach, your broker has to get the certificate from FL and the selling broker has to put it onto your boat. Then you don't pay FL tax. Save receipts for Fuel and/or dockage outside of FL to prove it is out. You then need to send these back to FL Dept of Rev to avoid the tax

- As far as boat registration, I did it in NC. The law here states that if your boat is in NC water more than 90 days, it must be registered. As a documented vessel, you don't need to show the Reg numbers but you do need to display the decal.

- I know people who keep their boats in NC 89 days and then travel to SC, or elsewhere each quarter, to avoid registering anywhere. The reason is to avoid the nominal registration fee but also the Property Taxes.
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:11 PM   #49
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Documented means registered with the coast guard. It may also need to have a state registration depending on the state requirements.

On the West Coast Cal, Oregon and Wash, require vessels being registered even if they are documented, just a different location for the state sticker. And the dingy has to also, usally the dink is too small to meet the documented standards.

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Florida is the same. You are required to register your boat with the state even if it's documented. You do not have to get. a Florida title. Documentation with the Coast Guard serves that purpose. Also pay attention to the county you register in. Sales tax varies a little in sone counties...usually around 6.5% Statewide but some are a half point or a full point different. If the vessel is over 30 years old, you can register as an antuque. Registration fees are around $10 a year for an antique.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:07 PM   #50
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Be smart and do your homework or it could needlessly cost you thousands of dollars. Use Goolge to search state (boat registration initial and annual and sales tax) and county (property tax).

Boat registration fees have a significant range (initial registration in VA not more than $2000 versus initial registration in Maryland not to exceeded $15,000. Annual fees once the boat isinitially registered can be modest. VA is no more than $45 annually.

Be aware that each state established a minimum annual period and if exceed requires the boat to be registered in its state. These are nominally 60 to 90 days, so depending when and where you move you boat you could be required to pay multiple state registration fees. Remember these fees are based on where you'd boat is docked and not where you live.

The big concern after initial registration is county annual personal property tax. Many countries along major rivers and waterway have waived personal property tax for boater. For example Prince Wiiliam County in VA charges no personal property tax, go north across the Occoquon River into Fairfax County and property tax on your boat kept there could be thousands per year.

The fact is if you have a documented vessel the US Coast Guard holds your title and state registration is not required unless you exceed the state minimum stay requirements.

Again check out your options carefully, or you could spend a lot of money you didn't need to..
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:31 PM   #51
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LLC ownership does not exempt you from state taxes or federal import duty, if applicable, on your vessel. And, when you buy an LLC that owns a US flag vessel you need to revise your documentation with updated information.

You seem to live in Florida. If the boat lives there too, Florida state registration is required, as is payment of the tax thereof, regardless of hailing port, USCG documentation or LLC ownership. If Florida authorities find this out they will come after you.

I am always surprised at some of the boat owners and buyers on this forum who think state tax authorities are too dumb to figure out their shenanigans to beat the taxes.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:43 PM   #52
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LLC ownership does not exempt you from state taxes or federal import duty, if applicable, on your vessel. And, when you buy an LLC that owns a US flag vessel you need to revise your documentation with updated information.

You seem to live in Florida. If the boat lives there too, Florida state registration is required, as is payment of the tax thereof, regardless of hailing port, USCG documentation or LLC ownership. If Florida authorities find this out they will come after you.

I am always surprised at some of the boat owners and buyers on this forum who think state tax authorities are too dumb to figure out their shenanigans to beat the taxes.

WA State DOL officials regularly walk docks checking for current registration stickers. They usually do this in the late summer as the new registrations are due in June. The state wants to get their taxes that have been approved and don't take kindly to folks who violate the laws.


I work full time. If I didn't have a job, I suppose I could spend all my time moving the boat to avoid paying taxes...
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:16 PM   #53
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Virginia is the same, documented does require local property tax, but no state, however some cities are as low as zero or 1%
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:57 PM   #54
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As to home port, you can make it pretty much wherever you want to. When we kept our boat in California we home ported it in Tucson where we lived at the time. That way as we moved the boat around we didnít feel the need to change the home port.
While living in San Diego, I was amused at the Zonians who placed an inland city with no discernible water on their transoms. Thinking they were likely not fully attuned to the nautical environment (I know, I am a prejudiced old salt! with more time between my rack and the deck than most have time underway), I avoided them and watched them like a hawk. But, hey, now I have mellowed, and if you want to look silly go ahead - oh, oops, that's not very mellow, is it. I'm sorry, and bless the pygmies....

Now let's talk USCG documentation. Yes, I know all the gibber jabber about the so-called advantages of chain of ownership, sailing foreign, etc, but the real reason I liked the USCG doc with its FREE annual renewal until two years ago was because I did not have to slap those ugly state registration numbers on my beautiful Grand Banks 42 woodie. Still have to put a FL reg tag in the forward port salon window, but that was OK.

When I bought this very different boat, it was not documented, and I was perfectly OK with that. I don't bother with a home port on a 30-footer, and I can change the name should I want without sending forms and money to the USCG. With a red hull and gold reg lettering, it actually looks ok, and locals take me for a FSU football fan (LMAO) - imagine the foolishness of a boat painted to match your fandumb! (pun intended)

You can either send in a form to the USCG dropping documentation or just ignore if, and they will take you off the list after a year or two, but either way, I see no real advantage for you to keep it.

Now pulling the hatch covers over and setting general quarters to withstand return fire from Arizona and other inland dry places. Come on, I was joking, sorta.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:58 PM   #55
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The fact is if you have a documented vessel the US Coast Guard holds your title and state registration is not required unless you exceed the state minimum stay requirements.

.
Not true at all. Most states require registration and the minimum stay in most only applies if they are registered in another state. Bring a boat that is not registered in any state into Florida and they'll see no sticker and immediately expect you to have it registered in FL.

The 60 and 90 day exemptions are very specific and very clear that they only apply if the boat is registered elsewhere.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:17 PM   #56
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Thanks for clarification. The boat does not reside in FL.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:18 PM   #57
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Thanks for clarification. The boat does not reside in FL.
Same rule in most states.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:25 PM   #58
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I sold my documented, Florida-registered trawler to a Texan who promptly got underway for Galveston. We both signed the USCG doc transfer form and had it notarized, and I signed the FL registration just like you do the pink slip for a car. He had his insurance lined up. All this, including survey took 56 hours start to finish. Then poof, it was gone and he dealt with Texas and I had nothing more to do with Florida until a week later when I bought this hole in the wawa. Find a for-sale-by-owner boat for simplicity.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:03 PM   #59
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I agree, not slapping ugly numbers on the bow is a major point for me
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:53 AM   #60
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Steve, I'm dealing with a similar situation though I bought my boat in a different state and was thinking of visiting Florida. You're smart to ask ahead of time, especially if you have the flexibility to choose between those three states.
I've been reading FL laws and of those three you should check but I think FL now has a 6% boat sales tax with a cap at $18,000, not to mention a potential county or local tax. Its possible SC or GA could be a better deal, it's best to search their respective departments of revenue. The point is if you have the option to pay the sales tax in another state, it could mean a difference of thousands of dollars.
You don't have to pay FL tax if you indicate to FL you intend to leave the state, but for the initial purchase, I think you have to leave FL within 30 days.
I did the USCG documentation but later I wanted to cruise through FL waters and I read that in order to be allowed to "visit" FL for up to 90 days, FL expects you to have a state registration from another state.
the 90-day period is mentioned under exemptions at this FL HSMV site.

One more factor for you is insurance. Several marine insurance companies are interested whether you will be below a certain latitude during hurricane season. Often this latitude is around Brunswick but it varies. This could be another way to save $ depending on where you decide to keep it.
Purchased our boat in FL last Dec. You are right about FL sales tax ...6% capped at $18,000. Broker got us. 90 day permit which could be renewed for a another 90 days. Move the boat to SC our home state and paid $500 for sales tax. SC property taxes can be a heavy hit.
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