Thinking of wintering in Charleston SC - thoughts?

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7tiger7

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I've lived in Boston 17 years... WAAAAAY too long. I hate it here with a passion. Hate everything about it - the people, the weather, the culture, the roads, the taxes, the cost of living, everything.
So I recently purchased a 43' Marine Trader, and was thinking - since I work remotely anyway (I'm in consulting), I could spend next winter somewhere - like, Charleston SC.
Maybe take the trawler there in early Autumn, spend a month on the boat, then rent an apartment for the winter...

Anyone have thoughts on Charleston SC? How is it living there? People? Costs? Culture? Fun?
(I'm 35, and my GF would come with me, we are both European, like international culture, speak several languages, open minded, and make friends easily).
 
Keep going south! Charleston is certainly warmer than Boston (and friendlier) but sounds like you are not limited by work or geography...go more south where it is actually warm all winter long. Keep going until you are comfortable in flilp flops and no shirt!
 
I would think about going further, like Miami... but I'm worried about insuring the boat in FL waters.
My boss actually lives and works out of Dominican Republic (but we tell clients he is NYC, which he flies to weekly).
My coworker lives in Costa Rica...
 
Why not NC? Sure, it's not "warm" in the winter, but the boating is way better in the sounds and rivers.
 
Some people are not looking for Endless Summers they just want to escape the deep freeze. The bonus of an early Spring is a plus.

I think Charleston S.C. would fit the bill.

If it is only you and the GF why would you get an apartment and not stay aboard?

Just Curious,** JohnP
 
Be very careful to check out the South Carolina tax laws on boats. They can nail you if you are there longer than a certain period of time.

I have spent considerable time in Charleston and one of the most interesting phenomenan is the tide and current situation. One can untie one's vessel and immediately lose control. I saw more boat wrecks at the Charlston City Dock and Ashley Marina than I could count.

Downtown Charleston is a great place to eat and drink or just walk around reading the historical markers.
 
Charleston is a great place with good air access.* Doc is right.* Watch the local property tax situation.* Tidal currents are bad.* Those not familiar with them have caused some great damage in the marinas.* It would be a good place to winter.

I second FF's suggestion of SW FL.* Our boat is there now.* Any where from Ft Myers to Sarasota wuuld be good.

Hurricane season is June 1 to Nov 1.* As long as your boat is not in FL at that time, you should have little problem insuring it.*
 
We'd rent an apartment for a few reasons.
1 - we've never lived aboard, not sure if we'd like it
2 - we have 2 cats and a dog
3 - we (she) have a ton of clothes :)

My parents live in Tampa, and I'm actually thinking of using their address as my "home" address, registering my cars there, etc. I want to move my assets out of Mass, it's nuts here... sales tax, excise tax, yearly registration, inspection fee, one of the highest gas taxes, tolls everywhere, and insurance is literally DOUBLE here than 20 miles over the border in New Hampshire (thank you state-regulated insurance...). Not to mention a $1,000 penalty to pay the state if you don't have health insurance each year.
We've also had 8 tax increases here in the last 4 years - from a Governor who was elected by promising to NOT raise ANY taxes... then was re-elected on the same promise, after raising taxes (and those are the tax raises that he was able to pass... there were about 10 others that were shot down). We have also had referendums twice in the last 4 years to raise or lower taxes... and Mass citizens voted to RAISE taxes. Sigh...

-- Edited by 7tiger7 on Friday 11th of March 2011 08:59:38 AM
 
7tiger7 wrote:

We'd rent an apartment for a few reasons.
1 - we've never lived aboard, not sure if we'd like it
2 - we have 2 cats and a dog
3 - we (she) have a ton of clothes :)

My parents live in Tampa, and I'm actually thinking of using their address as my "home" address, registering my cars there, etc. I want to move my assets out of Mass, it's nuts here... sales tax, excise tax, yearly registration, inspection fee, one of the highest gas taxes, tolls everywhere, and insurance costs literally DOUBLE here than 20 miles over the border in New Hampshire (thank you state-regulated insurance...).
We've also had 8 tax increases here in the last 4 years - from a Governor who was elected by promising to NOT raise ANY taxes... then was re-elected on the same promise, after raising taxes (and those are the tax raises that he was able to pass... there were about 10 others that were shot down). We have also had referendums twice in the last 4 years to raise or lower taxes... and Mass citizens voted to RAISE taxes. Sigh...
Vote with your feet----I mean your keel.* You will find many of your retired government employees have taken your tax money to live the good life in low tax Florida.* Get hold of yourself, Moonstruck.* This should be in OTDE!
ashamed.gif


*


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Friday 11th of March 2011 08:57:52 AM
 
7tiger7 wrote:

We'd rent an apartment for a few reasons.
1 - we've never lived aboard, not sure if we'd like it
Never know unless you try it.
2 - we have 2 cats and a dog
We also have 2 cats and a dog and there is no easy answer here.
3 - we (she) have a ton of clothes :)
Go to the Keys-- bikinis don't take much space.



My parents live in Tampa, and I'm actually thinking of using their address as my "home" address, registering my cars there, etc. I want to move my assets out of Mass, it's nuts here... sales tax, excise tax, yearly registration, inspection fee, one of the highest gas taxes, tolls everywhere, and insurance is literally DOUBLE here than 20 miles over the border in New Hampshire (thank you state-regulated insurance...). Not to mention a $1,000 penalty to pay the state if you don't have health insurance each year.
We've also had 8 tax increases here in the last 4 years - from a Governor who was elected by promising to NOT raise ANY taxes... then was re-elected on the same promise, after raising taxes (and those are the tax raises that he was able to pass... there were about 10 others that were shot down). We have also had referendums twice in the last 4 years to raise or lower taxes... and Mass citizens voted to RAISE taxes. Sigh...
*
Start a coporation in Delaware and keep moving.* As soon as you plant roots you start paying for the privilege.

All in Fun.*** JohnP

*


-- Edited by JohnP on Friday 11th of March 2011 09:29:41 AM
 
We have lots of folks here in FL for the winter with their boats. Many boaters still like to hang between North and Central Florida to get a bit of cold (for us) weather so they don't forget what it is like. there are plenty of marinas with good facilities. We of course, keep our boat here all year and have no issues with insurance, although we have to buy a 'rider' when we go to the Bahamas because I don't want to pay for 'foreign water coverage' all year round. You could start out staying on the boat for a while to see if it works for you before renting an apt. too.
 
7tiger7 wrote:

I've lived in Boston 17 years... WAAAAAY too long. I hate it here with a passion. Hate everything about it - the people, the weather, the culture, the roads, the taxes, the cost of living, everything.
So I recently purchased a 43' Marine Trader, and was thinking - since I work remotely anyway (I'm in consulting), I could spend next winter somewhere - like, Charleston SC.
Maybe take the trawler there in early Autumn, spend a month on the boat, then rent an apartment for the winter...

Anyone have thoughts on Charleston SC? How is it living there? People? Costs? Culture? Fun?
(I'm 35, and my GF would come with me, we are both European, like international culture, speak several languages, open minded, and make friends easily).

Seem like I answered this question recently.

I've lived in the Charleston area for six years but I'm originally from MD.* I will share my opinions.* Keep in mind I was not born and raised here.

Like all cities, there are good parts and bad parts.* You won't know which is which until you get here.* Lots of people are not as "open minded" as you and your GF.* Some are still fighting the civil war.* Many openly resent "Yankees".* Others are more subtle.

There is another "culture" in the bad parts of the area.* I'm sure Boston has the same problems.

Costs? Less than Boston for most areas.* At least for housing.* There are actually websites that compare the cost of living for different cities.

Culture?* It's around.* I imagine there's less in the way of "culture" than in Boston.

Fun?* Fun is what you make it.* What's fun for one person may not be fun for another.

Others touched on boating issues.* If your boat is kept in SC for more than 180 days, you will owe personal property tax on it.* Tides and currents are pretty severe.* I have to plan my departure and return based on tidal currents.* A face dock is not a problem, but I have a slip off a narrow fairway.

A suggestion is to subscribe by mail to the Charleston newspaper for a few months to get a feel for the area.

*
 
Slippage in Charleston is going to be way more expensive than other areas.** Maybe way less than Boston but much more in areas considered Charleston proper instead of outlying areas.

Yes, you will meet folks who are natives and yes they are still fighting the war, and they will openly refer to some folks as "yankees."*

Ignore that term and they will become your friends if you treat them with the respect they deserve.* Learn the Southern ways of doing things and you'll be OK.* You don't need to eat grits, just understand the way things are done.


Oh yeah, understand one more thing:
The Ashley and Cooper river meet to form the Atlantic Ocean.* Knowing this fact will clue you into how the natives think.


-- Edited by Egregious on Friday 11th of March 2011 09:10:54 PM
 
We southerners refer to what some folks call the Civil War as the recent unplesantness.* Never put sugar on your grits, and don't tell the natives how you did it up north and you'll be OK.* In fact you may find the slower pace down right pleasing.* There is a certain*graciousness to Charleston.
 

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I am considering something very similar. We are from New York looking to bring our boat south for Winter get aways. We are considering Virginia Beach to the Outer Banks. The reason we aren't considering further south is bc we plan on "escaping" once a month and driving. Travel time is a major consideration and driving with 9 and 6 year old boys can get a bit hairy.

This is a great website to gather info and compare cities:

http://www.bestplaces.net/city/defa...t_NY&ccity=Charleston_SC&p=3663319&op=4513330

Just plug in 2 choice cities and get all the current info you could want.

Good luck! :)
 
Well, I usually refer to the civil war as the war of northern aggression, and I love grits - with just butter and salt, and I hate how we do things up North - hence my moving south :)
Oh and I don't have a Boston accent, either!

How much is the tax on the boat if I keep it there over 180 days? Can't be more than here in MA...
 
7tiger7 wrote:

and I love grits - with just butter and salt,
Umm, is there any other way?
smile.gif


You gonna fit right in son.
 
Oh and I refer to EVERYONE as "Sir" or "Ma'am". I've actually had many people here ask me if I was in the military.
 
Egregious wrote:

*
7tiger7 wrote:

and I love grits - with just butter and salt,
Umm, is there any other way?
smile.gif


You gonna fit right in son.
*



Sure... Biscuit gravy goes great on grits with chopped sausage! Maybe some shreaded cheese.
 
Any place you visit or live,you'll find good and bad. For the most part, people will treat you the way you expect to be treated. I am a Bostonian living in the south and have been treated very well. But then again, I was treated very well in Boston. I treat people with respect and expect to be treated with respect.
Maybe you are not as "open minded" as you think? Charleston is an awesome place to be based. Plenty of things to do and close to the cruising grounds of Fl and North Carolina.
Good marine services available and a restaraunt mecca. Enjoy
 
Jack,
where are you based out of now? There seem to be a dearth of clothing there, based on your avatar pic
smile.gif

Maybe I should move THERE....
 
7tiger7 wrote:

Well, I usually refer to the civil war as the war of northern aggression, and I love grits - with just butter and salt, and I hate how we do things up North - hence my moving south :)
Oh and I don't have a Boston accent, either!

How much is the tax on the boat if I keep it there over 180 days? Can't be more than here in MA...
Last time I checked, the SC boat tax is set by the municipality or county at the local real property tax rate.* This can be significant.* The only state that we will leave our boat in for a period over 6 mos. is FL.

NY Gin, Virginia has passed a law allowing local municipalities to collect a tax on boats.* I understand the city of Hampton is trying to attract marine business, so their tax is miniscule.* Worth checking out.* It is also a good, sheltered place to stay with lots of stuff around.

*


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Saturday 12th of March 2011 01:03:02 PM
 
Some are still fighting the civil war

There never was a "Civil War" as the South was only looking to escape the taxation and import export rulles placed in it for the Yankee manufacturers.

Escape is not "take over" so be definition it was never a civil war and only after the south lost did it become about slavery..

In FL there are minimum boat taxes , and if the boat is over 30 years old , its about $10. or so.
 
Tiger, I am originally from New England, have spent time with my boat in Boston. NOW live in Fl,east coast,Port Canaveral. There are many outstanding places between North Carolina and Key West. Untimely, it is*what you want. If it were me, I would look at a lot of places, and the market is perfect for boaters. There are empty slips and deals to be had everywhere. Here in central,east coast Fl. the marina's are haveing a price war,who can go the lowest. Shop around. By the way,I love Charleston, one of my favorite places for visiting. Having said that, i would go a little farther south and try Savannah. Can't get enough of this area, great shopping, eating, sightseeing etc.

John
 
Moonstruck wrote:
Last time I checked, the SC boat tax is set by the municipality or county at the local real property tax rate.* This can be significant.*

The personal property tax rate on boats is 10.5% of appraised valeue, 6% of appraised value for boats that qualify for a "second home".* THe typical trawler would meet this qualification but you can only have one "second home".

The key to this is, the value of the above calculation is multiplied by the local county' "millage rate".* An example of a millage rate is .2196* but that varies by county and can be changed by the county without changing the tax rate.

In the example above, you would pay about one fifth of 4% of your boat's appraised value.* Each year.

If you live in SC, the tax is paid to the county you live in.* If you live outside of SC, the tax is paid to the county the boat is kept in.* The owner of a well known mega yacht paid nearly $300K in taxes last year.

There is a local citizen who has made it his personal quest to see that all yachts are taxed properly.* He rides around collecting information and turns it in to the tax assessor.
*


-- Edited by rwidman on Monday 14th of March 2011 06:00:00 AM
 
I don't like these Tax stories one bit---Sounds awful to me and my boat is not even worth much.

Of course they probably don't have the high realestate taxes we have in the Northeast and have to get there money somewhere.

Sounds like a dirt house in the South and a boat in the NorthEast for the Summer would work for me.

JohnP


-- Edited by JohnP on Monday 14th of March 2011 09:43:20 AM
 
JohnP wrote:

I don't like these Tax stories one bit---Sounds awful to me and my boat is not even worth much.

Of course they probably don't have the high realestate taxes in the Northeast and have to get there money somewhere.

Sounds like a dirt house in the South and a boat in the NorthEast for the Summer would work for me.

JohnP
JohnP, if I calculated right, leaving our boat another 60 days in Beaufort County, SC, would result in a tax of between $4 and 5,000.* We headed back to FL.* As I said, the only place we leave our boat for an extended period of time is FL.* FL has its problems with insurance.* Pay your moneyand take your chances.

*
 
"FL has its problems with insurance. Pay your money and take your chances."

Simply find a Hurricane Hole and forgetabout FL hurricane insurance.

Yes ,its a pain to go and put the boat that far inland , but its either time or currency.

In my area docks can be had for dead boat ,with battery charger line ,for about $200 a month.

IF you want some phone numbers I will send them PM.

IF your boat height is under 46 ft and you draw less than 8FT its a snap from Stuart.

If your boat is 55 high and needs 10 ft , you need to get here from Ft Myers.
 
FF wrote:

Some are still fighting the civil war

There never was a "Civil War" as the South was only looking to escape the taxation and import export rulles placed in it for the Yankee manufacturers.

Escape is not "take over" so be definition it was never a civil war and only after the south lost did it become about slavery..

In FL there are minimum boat taxes , and if the boat is over 30 years old , its about $10. or so.
I think it should be called the War of Secession.* No one in he South wanted to take over the North.* They just wanted to be rid of it.* I don't think that Phil Harris ever sang "Thats What I lLike About the North".

*


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Monday 14th of March 2011 09:01:03 AM

-- Edited by Moonstruck on Monday 14th of March 2011 09:03:43 AM
 
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