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Old 16-10-2018, 18:10   #1
I14
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Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

Hi, I am after a glass trawler style displacement boat. They are relatively rare in NZ, the cheapest good ones are Sterling 34's at around (US$ as all subsequent figures) $90K and they and other Grand Banks style go up from there quickly to $150K and beyond. I can't afford more than $60K all up landed in NZ. Shipping is $30K, duty is 6% of landed cost, GST (tax) is 15% of FOB value. There are plenty of now elderly examples of these boats in the US for sale with quite a lot around the $20K mark. I realise at that price they are fairly rough but I have the skills to gradually improve any structural work and cosmetics over time, as long as the survey confirms the particular one is basically sound. My $20K example using the costs above is about $60K landed here so seems workable. What do people think? If anyone from NZ or Oz has done this exercise before did they buy sight unseen and rely on a good surveyor?
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Old 16-10-2018, 19:53   #2
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

By my calculation you're buying a boat for maximum of US$19.5k and spending US$40.5k to get her legally brought to and imported to NZ. I wonder whether you'd be better to buy for US$45k, and bring her across on her own bottom negating the US$30k transport and extra US$6.3k duty+GST on the transport costs?

I don't know if you'd get a oceanish-capable trawler for that money (more likely than for $19.5k!), but I'd hardly classify the NZ coastline as "coastal" - I'd be wanting blue-water capable unless I was only doing east coast riverine.

Also, ask the same on the trawlerforum site for a closer fit to the website perhaps.
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Old 16-10-2018, 20:20   #3
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

Thanks Bluenomads. The logic sounds tempting, I have done a number of offshore cruises though under sail, including the Atlantic but I would be rather nervous in an untried boat? I will post on the trawlerforum too.
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Old 17-10-2018, 05:58   #4
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

I14, you might look at the LoopyKiwi blog, maybe contact him to discuss. He bought a boat here in the U.S. (but not a trawler), used it for part of our Great Loop, then exported it from here to NZ... so he may be able to offer informed comment on the process, costs, etc.

I don't think I've ever seen any listings for any ocean-capable trawler offered here in the U.S. at $19.5K... so making that passage doesn't seem feasible to me.

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Old 17-10-2018, 11:11   #5
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

Fact is a $20,000 trawler will need a ton of work & will not be a blue water boat. Add your transportation costs on top of that & I don't think it makes economic sense. In fact, even without the transportation costs it doesn't make sense.
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Old 17-10-2018, 12:43   #6
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

Quote:
Originally Posted by I14 View Post
GST (tax) is 15% of FOB value.
GST is 15% of landed cost being the sum of FOB plus freight plus duty.
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Old 17-10-2018, 13:00   #7
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

I am waiting for my boat to arrive into Auckland on a ship in about a month's time. The customs agent I have has calculated duty as 5% on what I paid for the boat, but GST on the sum of cost, insurance, freight and duty, not the FOB value per your original post.
I also incurred costs of a couple of thousand getting the boat hull (re-)cleaned and the interior heat treated and then delivered alongside the ship as I had to leave before the (delayed) loading took place. Depending on what insect pests are present around where you ship from, you may or may not need some form of eradication but I believe you will need to prove the hull has been cleaned in the last 30 days. Such costs would quickly compromise the financial viability of your plan.
But it might be fun and satisfying despite that!
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Old 17-10-2018, 13:20   #8
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

I forgot to mention the costs you will incur in getting the boat surveyed (hopefully the first one passes the survey to your satisfaction) (a lift is several hundred dollars), and I have heard many references to buyers paying a buying commission in the States...
A boat imported to NZ can't be hooked up to a marina's power supply until an electrician has signed off on compliance with NZ electrical code, the (cooking) gas system will need certifying for insurance purposes..it all goes on; I am preparing to get all this done on my boat when it arrives, but I don't know how much such things are going to cost me.
As to delivery on its own bottom, even if an ocean-capable and ocean-ready boat could be bought for $50 thousand, my earlier research found that NZ customs will impute the costs you occurred in delivering the boat to NZ into their valuation calculations. Its a long long way, you'll need crew and lots of fuel, there will be break-downs... Challenging!
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Old 17-10-2018, 14:00   #9
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

Many thanks all for these considered replies, looks like it's a no-go. A pity as there's a dearth of fibreglass trawlers in NZ and the prices for those that are here are high. Too old to shift to the States now! It makes more economic sense to buy a more expensive one so the freight costs are not such a high proportion but the other hidden costs as Keith points out all add up so no wonder they are dear. Will hook up with the LoopyKiwi blog thanks.
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Old 17-10-2018, 14:45   #10
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

I know a bloke who did that. PM me if you'd like his contact details
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Old 17-10-2018, 19:31   #11
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

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Originally Posted by keithw88 View Post
I forgot to mention the costs you will incur in getting the boat surveyed (hopefully the first one passes the survey to your satisfaction) (a lift is several hundred dollars), and I have heard many references to buyers paying a buying commission in the States...
A boat imported to NZ can't be hooked up to a marina's power supply until an electrician has signed off on compliance with NZ electrical code, the (cooking) gas system will need certifying for insurance purposes..it all goes on; I am preparing to get all this done on my boat when it arrives, but I don't know how much such things are going to cost me.
As to delivery on its own bottom, even if an ocean-capable and ocean-ready boat could be bought for $50 thousand, my earlier research found that NZ customs will impute the costs you occurred in delivering the boat to NZ into their valuation calculations. Its a long long way, you'll need crew and lots of fuel, there will be break-downs... Challenging!

As a New Zealander, let me cover a few points on this matter for you


If you have owned and used the boat for a minimum of 366 days before taking it to New Zealand, it becomes one of your chatels and will not be subject to either import duty or GST, but there is a caveat on selling the vessel within a specified period.
It is a moot point whether time spent refurbishing the vessel prior to shipping would count as using it, so get a ruling through an NZ Customs agent on that matter.


Power and electrics, USA 110v AC, New Zealand 230V AC


One thought to keep in mind, is when you have actually got the boat to NZ, it will probably be so unique that it is an orphan, so any repairs or maintenance could be quite expensive down the track


New Zealand manufactures excellent yachts, and have an outstanding international reputation (Team Oracle America Cup Boats an example - my son worked on them)
Have a good look at what is available on the local market, why a FG trawler hull, if there was a good market for them in NZ they would be building them there
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Old 18-10-2018, 03:42   #12
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

Hi KiwiKen, thanks for the extra tips. There's plenty of boats imported to NZ ex the US of course though mostly fizz boats, the yard next to my marina in Bayswater is full of them. The significant engineering bits like motors, gearboxes, steering etc are all, or their components are, imported so I'm not totally deterred by the novelty. Obviously the AC voltage stuff is the exception as you say. I am a polymer chemist by profession and my company made polyester resins so I had a lot to do with the female moulded hulls of the 80's and onwards, the earlier examples of which are in my price bracket now. The vast majority of the glass launches have been planing hulls with relatively large engines as market here (tiny by US standards) demanded predominantly that sort of boat. I am a bit of an outlier as being a yachtie (I had a Stewart 34 for many years) I'm not interested in speed and like the sea kindly motion of a displacement hull. My last big boat was a 35 foot Askew glass over ply displacement hull that we loved and owned for 12 years but I was forever chasing rot and I'm happier working on glass boats which generally survive the marine environment much better. Some have been built in NZ, the Sterling 34's, Salthouse Coastals, Alan Warwick 36's but almost all are NZ$130K and up unfortunately.
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Old 18-10-2018, 15:17   #13
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

In addition to sourcing your prospective new boat from the US, have you thought about Europe.
The British Company "Colvic" produced a range of FG Trawler hulled boats, and even a sailing one named the "Watson", and they all had excellent sea keeping qualities.
Colvic made strong well laid up hulls, including the Oyster range for Richard Matthews, and had a good reputation,

Looking at Europe could pay off.


I don't know about trawler hulled vessels in Oz, but it may be worth a quick look, their have been a couple of Oz built Warwick 38s sold in the last couple of years here (Compass 38) same as the Kiwi Pacific 38, and they sold for round AUD60K
There is a fairly good market in Australia for yachts, look at this ad https://www.boatsales.com.au/boats/d...=0&pss=Premium


You can do pretty well for round AUD 60-70K, and you could sail it home (the exchange rate is not too bad at present, while to USD it's savage.
Buying an Aussie fibreglass hull, the one thing to watch out for is glass pox, high temps & humidity during layup can make it a problem, It is not such a major problem in UK hulls as the Brit Health and Safety at Work requirements stipulate FG layup and moulding is done in air conditioned premises



You Owned a Stewart 34,

I remember when they first came out, good looking yachts in their day, and they used to have quite a good class association in Auckland and offered keen racing


Good luck in your quest
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Old 19-10-2018, 02:05   #14
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

Did a quick search on Colvics, sturdy looking boat but not much under GBP50K. Will do some more browsing later. Got a quote from Oceanbridge to ship a boat from Oz, USD30K, same as ex the US! They do have some nice trawlers like the Blue Seas 36 but the freight kills it. The Tasman's not to be trifled with, I came across the winter of 2017 in a Farr 49 raceboat and we got caught in a gale mid-Tasman. Ended up being put off at Lord Howe island with broken ribs and the boat went back to Brisbane.Winter's not the time to do it. I sail an OK dinghy against the Salthouse boys so will see if I can get some leads on a Coastal. If I can find a partner we could buy something reasonable ex the NZ market but these days there's nowhere to advertise for 'wanted to buy'! Makes sense to share, boat gets more use.
The Stewart was/is a great boat, strong class association as you say and a good sail carrier so gave a lot of security when cruising.
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Old 19-10-2018, 02:06   #15
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Re: Buying a trawler style boat in the US and exporting to NZ

BTW KiwiKen do oyu use the nom-de-plume on Facebook?
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