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Old 24-11-2009, 06:15   #1
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Foreign Purchaser in USA

Hi I'm South African and am considering purchasing a yacht in Florida.
What issues have I re tax if I re-register yacht in SA and sail within 2 months? In SA 2nd hand yachts have no tax added. Also read a thread which states SA cats have no tax added when sold in the US, some free trade clause. Would this apply? What insurance if any would I require if soon to sail away? Response to contact e-mails from yachtworld/Midcoast yacht brokers and individual brokers very poor, often non-exsistent, is this because query is seen to be from outside US. Need the name/e-mail of a reliable broker who will reply and help re search and purchase.
Hoping for questions to be answered,
Clyde
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Old 24-11-2009, 07:48   #2
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Insurance may be required by the marina or the bank if you owe money on it...otherwise it won’t be required.
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Old 24-11-2009, 08:17   #3
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You could pay for the boat and leave within a few weeks with no tax consequences. Many people do. For insurance talk to Susan boat 'Tabbycat" who monitors the forum just search boat insurance on the forum and you will find her

If you need a surveyor talk to Henry Mustin Marine Surveys, Miami, Florida, USA
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Old 27-11-2009, 08:51   #4
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G'day, Springbok

Florida is a good place from which to search - especially this time of year, when the boats will usually be in commission unless stored, unlike those on the Cheasapeake and in New England. My guess: You receive poor response from brokers because a) they must get your kind of query all the time (from tire kickers and dreamers far more than realistic, cash in hand buyers), and because a given agency's/brokerage's number of brokers has probably dropped over the last year (terrible sales numbers) so fewer hands to carry the workload, such as it is.

What you are considering has been done a great deal over the last few years due to a depressed U.S. dollar, large inventory (and breadth of selection) of yachts for sale, and the 'easy escape' to the Caribbean and points E or W from Florida. We've met Europeans, Aussies and Kiwis who've all purchased a USA boat because price and selection back home were bettered by what was offered in the USA.

Florida recently changed its 'no tax' grace period for yachts being purchased; I believe it is now 90 days that you can have your boat on the hook or in a berth without tax liability. After that, tax liability is waived if it goes into a boatyard (tho' there are guidelines related to this). Registration outside the USA is the right answer for someone thinking of sailing back home.

The 'no tax on cats' business sounds like a generalization. Any boat sold in the States is going to incur a sales tax liability on the seller...but if you are a visitor here on a short-term visa and exit the country after the sale AND if you sell privately, I can't imagine how that liability will apply to you after the fact. If you list the yacht and sell it through a broker, they are obligated by state law to collect sales tax unless an exemption applies (see above).

If purchasing a boat in Florida, there is no state of federal requirement that you insure it...altho' it is becoming more common for municipalities and private companies operating marinas to require at least 3rd party liability insurance. Since this is unevenly practiced, you could work around that issue. If you plan to insure for the period you begin to 'seriously sail' the new boat offshore, you had best arrange that through an insurance broker. I'd shop both in Europe (at the least, Pantaenius - ::: Pantaenius Yacht Insurance - Pantaenius Yachtversicherung :::) and the USA (plus SA if that seems competitive).

Jack
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Old 27-11-2009, 09:42   #5
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Buying in USA

Thankyou Whoosh for your detailed reply I am a serious buyer, having owned 2 yachts befor and cruised SA to Caribbean,then 7 years in Caribbean.Ready to do it again in twilight years and am looking at older less pricey yachts. These I have seen and made enquiries but NO replies?? Also looking Caribbean ie St Maarten, BVI, Grenada etc Have to make decisions from afar before flying in.major expense and then being disappointed as photos not latest, equipment suddenly does not work etc Looking for a miracle honest seller/broker?
Regards,
Clyde
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Old 27-11-2009, 10:22   #6
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Clyde, I'm sorry I can't offer you any first-hand recs on brokers. Many are simply hopeless, despite what one would think is a massive influence (aka: the economy here) to grab onto any inquiry.

Let me suggest a couple of other ideas:
-- a number of cruising boats, during the Caribbean/USA cyclone season, go up the Okeechobee Waterway to Indiantown Marina and haul out/store ashore there. Over time, this is one spot where cruising boats end up going to be sold as the storage ashore is inexpensive and the location (for S Florida) relatively safe. So you might contact someone there to see what's "on the shelf". It's also not terribly far from S Florida (West Palm to Miami and the Keys, which is likely to be your primary 'shopping mall' whiole buzzing around in a rental car).
-- for you (someone who's flying from afar and wants to cover the max territory where there's viable hulls to shop for the minimum in time, since time = lodging/food bills), I wouldn't recommend the Caribbean unless you find a gaggle of what you are looking for all in one area (e.g. Tortola, St. Thomas, etc.)
-- drop by for a visit at the SSCA Discussion board - SSCA Discussion Board • Index page - and see if you can't get some good broker recs, as well as scan the Marine Flea Market for boats for sale. The SSCA is about long-term liveaboard cruising so the audience may be able to help you zero in on some appropriate brokers. (BTW I get the impression you are shopping for a Cat tho' you don't say that. I posted about a Tayana 37 in the Flea Market not long ago simply because it seemed like a tremendous bargain. I don't know the owner but it was hauled & then berthed where I'm located right now. It's certainly a good design/build for cruising so, if that size & type monohull appeals, you might look for that thread in the Flea Market).

Jack
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Old 27-11-2009, 10:51   #7
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Buying in USA

Thanks again Whoosh for the input. No I cannot afford a cat and their motion does not agree witth me or my better-half. Am looking at O'Day 37 centre cockpit, CSY Watkins 36 centre cockpit etc. Does not have to be centre cockpit but better for " family " visitors! These are older but and lower priced and could become a reasonable liveaboard cruiser.
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Clyde
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Old 27-11-2009, 10:52   #8
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The Brokers here are good and most important honest. Tell them Martin sent you. www.turnermarine.com This is in Mobile Al.
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Old 27-11-2009, 13:55   #9
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Clyde, given the other examples of boats you are looking at, you definitely should look into the Tayana 37 I mentioned. Sadly, it's a bit of a drive from a base in S Florida (perhaps 6 hours) but far closer than the Alabama brokers mentioned.

Jack
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Old 27-11-2009, 14:20   #10
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Springbok there is a CSY center cockpit here now for sale, among others!! Asking price will be higher than the real price wanted on the boats. I offered just over half of the asking price on the boat I purchased and got it. Was a surprise even for a fixer upper. Euro lets face it Florida is anything but cheap!! I challange you to find a slip in Florida at a marina with laundry, showers, boat yard that allows you to work on your own boat with a courtesy car, water, electric, and free internet included in my 36" slip, oh yeah -- next door to West Marine store. I pay liveaboard price of $338.00! Now foreget I said that. LOL.
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Old 28-11-2009, 04:47   #11
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Martinini, we're living aboard now in a very nice, small marina (that includes an excellent DIY boatyard) that meets all your criteria (except it's a short walk to a large commercial DIY laundromat). The berth comes with unlimited electric and is $400/mo. for a 42' LOA boat. Large, healthy strip mall (with WM store, superb Publix grocery, Panera with wifi) is 2 blocks away and the marina office offers free wifi, too. Perhaps your idea of 'cheap' is different than mine. Most of Florida (tho' not the West Palm to Miami area) is relatively inexpensive when compared to other parts of the country...but that's not nearly so important to Clyde's needs as a) being the largest single collection of boats for sale and b) offering weather that's agreeable over the next 6 months. And Florida is also the most common 'depository' for cruising boats that are being returned from the Caribbean (and elsewhere) and put up for sale.

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Old 28-11-2009, 11:35   #12
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Cool-------whats the name, might want to stop by on my way to Pawleys Island SC.
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