Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-10-2009, 12:08   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
Boat: 31' Corsair/Farrier trimaran, Lauwersmeer Cruiser in Europe canals. 19' Lightning
Posts: 234
Martinique Purchase - Documentation and Voltage Issues

A boat for sale by a Martinique charter co has caught my eye. Its on Yachtworld so it must be listed with a broker. I haven't made the leap with that or any broker yet as I would like to know a little about the title & documentation issues involved.

I intend to bring it back to Puget Sound and put it in Charter using it for a couple weeks a year but eventually blocking out more and more time, (up to a couple months) for my own use. Also I may convert to full time personal use down the road. I've read a few threads on US Coast Guard Documentation and setting up an LLC in Delaware. I'll follow those for that question. Are there any unique issues with Martinique? I assume the owner is French or the Martinique charter company itself. Here are my queries for you.

1. Are there unique issues with purchasing in Martinique? VAT? Speaking French? title transfer? Can you recommend an english speaking surveyor there? Another thread recommended ASAP Company in Florida for those purchasing in BVI.

2. What is involved in putting in 110V USA shore power aboard, can I just throw in some sort of transformer to step 220V down to 110V? What is a ball park cost? I wouldn't mind having both voltages aboard.

3. Looks like USCG documentation is the way to go as I will be cruising in Canada and maybe Mexico and beyond. Is this the best and cheapest way to go? My intent is to deliver it directly back to Seattle on its own bottom.

4. If I set up an LLC in Delaware will I be able to avoid Washington State taxes?

Extra credit: Should I get a buyers broker or just approach the listing broker?

All my previous boat purchases have been local, handshake private party deals so I thank you for your help.

Eric
__________________

__________________
ejlindahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2009, 10:49   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 341
Send a message via Skype™ to gosstyla
Unless it is US built I don't believe the boat can be US Documented if it is used commerically in US waters.
__________________

__________________
gosstyla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2009, 10:55   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,369
Are there any import taxes for a foreign vessel? Also..... it's a LOOONG way back!
__________________
Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2009, 23:50   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
Boat: 31' Corsair/Farrier trimaran, Lauwersmeer Cruiser in Europe canals. 19' Lightning
Posts: 234
"Unless it is US built I don't believe the boat can be US Documented if it is used commerically in US waters." This is interesting if true. As you might guess I am just starting this buy a boat from a distance thing and i'm sure alot of my questions could be answered by the right person or finding the right thread. Can any one point me in that direction. I suppose eventually I'll have to get a broker and they will be more or less helpful, at least up until the sale is final.

I know its a long way back, minimum 2 or 3 months. Maybe I'll just have to wait til retirement and start my adventure where ever the boat is.

I still would appreciate any one helping with answers to the original post.

Thank you
__________________
ejlindahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2009, 04:47   #5
Registered User
 
fishwife's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South coast of England, moving around a bit.
Boat: Long range motor cruiser
Posts: 750
If the boat is 230v 50Hz, then there are a lot of issues about changing the facilities over to US 110/220v 60Hz. The costs would probably be prohibitive. It is possible to get a universal power converter installation but they cost 'lots' and they are very heavy and bulky.

See http://www.shorpower.com/

Paige
__________________
fishwife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-10-2009, 09:30   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,369
Generally the boat is supposed to be US built to put in commercial service. Go to the USCG documentation site and look at the application forms. However, foreign built boats do get put into commercial service, so there must be a way. Seems I remember if it is US propulsion or something like that it qualifies... I've seem a lot of Taiwanese boats in charter..... Maybe you just dont document the boat.... just register it in state...?
__________________
Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2009, 21:47   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
US built only went out years ago - The boat just must be owned by a US citizen and meet US standards of safety and construction. The major European sailboat manufacturers have been selling their boats in the USA for decades and many are in USA charter service.
- - The big problem with a boat built for European usage is with the European AC power electrical standards - it will not pass a USA insurance survey for the AC electrical system. Europeans use a 2-wire system whereas the USA uses a 3-wire AC electrical system. Your choice is to totally remove the European AC system from the boat and have a DC only boat or have the boat rewired to US standards for AC electrical system. I have done these modifications for US owners buying such a boat and sometimes it is simple and other times it is just too complicated. In the complicated ones, we remove/disable all the AC wiring downstream of the main power panel and re-wire the boat from the shore power connector to the Main Power panel and the battery chargers with an additional single bank of AC outlets next to the power panel. "Quick and dirty" fix and legal.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2009, 21:35   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
Boat: 31' Corsair/Farrier trimaran, Lauwersmeer Cruiser in Europe canals. 19' Lightning
Posts: 234
Thank you Osirissail. It seems like your solution assumes that most boat systems are run off the 12 volt batteries and that the 220v 50 hz simply charges the batteries, and maybe runs the fridge and AC. Therefore to convert to 110v 60 hz you would disconnect the AC and fridge or rewire/repower them, put in a new 110v battery charger, run 3 wire cable & outlets as you say and you are done. Is this a correct assumption?

This fix seems simple, especially if access/chases are easy. Am I on the right track? I wired my house. Seems like I could do this after researching any applicable marine or insurance requirements. Or maybe just have a marine electrician check my plan and finished work.

Anyone, please comment if I am on the right path. Thank you

Eric
__________________
ejlindahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-10-2009, 06:28   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
- - Well the DC system is another matter . . . European boats sold "worldwide" are normally 12VDC for two reasons, USA DC systems are based on 12VDC so they conform to the automobile systems and the alternators, radios, lights, etc. which are all based on 12VDC. And the availability of 12VDC equipment is huge and as a result more reasonably priced.
- - The old European boats and "European only" boats have as standard 24VDC which is easier on the wiring - you can use a smaller sized cable and the 24VDC appliances work easier as the "umph" of voltage is higher. But alternators, lighting, radios, etc. have a smaller worldwide market and are correspondingly more expensive and if you are not located in that market area you have to import everything.
- - The big danger is the smaller wiring size - that needs to carefully checked if you intend to convert from 24V down to 12VDC. You can use small 24V to 12V converters for local loads such as radios. But heavy amperage equipment like SSB or large motors cannot economically use a voltage converter.
- - AC system conversions present several problems. The biggest I mentioned before is the European 2-wire use of 220VAC along with different AC receptacle pattern. If the boat is fairly new, you might find the 3rd wire is installed but not in use. Manufacturers hate have to make 2 kinds of the same boats. Since the boat is already built, access to behind-the-wall wiring conduits or wire "runs" can make the conversion of the whole boat impractical if you want to do it legally (i.e., you are going to insure the boat for use in USA waters). I have worked on several "up-scale" European boats and they have metal tubing as conduits for wiring. That made "snaking" new wires a bit easier than USA style boats that have wire-tied electrical cabling every few feet. If the wiring is "wire-tied" with the plastic tie-wraps then you are looking major problems getting access to the wire-ways. Those boats are in the too-complicated category.
- - The 50 Hz versus 60 Hz (cycles) is a major consideration. Naturally all the AC equipment must be removed (if it is not dual voltage/freq) and 110-120VAC 60 Hz equipment installed. You can examine the label on each piece of equipment to see what the allowable voltage/frequency is for that particular item. AC Lighting receptacles are different so must also be replaced. You cannot use USA 220-240VAC equipment on European 220VAC power as the "phasing" is different and vice-versa. But most USA boats do not have 220VAC equipment. This means you need a new USA standards Battery Charger (if you convert from 24VDC to 12VDC and the existing charger is not a multi-voltage/freq unit) and if you have an inverter the output needs to be 110-120VAC 60 Hz. New kitchen(galley) appliances, (microwaves, in particular will self destruct in 5 seconds or less if operated on the wrong Hz (cycle)). Any AC equipment with a "motor" like air conditioning, refrigeration, AC fans, clocks, etc. will operate at a different motor speed and most likely self-destruct unless the label says they can be used on dual voltage/freq. So check all the labels/placards carefully before replacing anything - you may find that the unit will work on either voltage/freq or has a volt/freq selector switch.
- - I mentioned the quick and dirty conversion by removing all downstream AC circuits where it would be difficult to route the "3rd" wire. Also a very often overlooked item is that the USA electrical standards require a GFCI on all bathroom (head) AC electrical outlets. This is easily accomplished by installing a GFCI outlet/receptacle purchased from a USA store that sells electrical equipment.
- - If the boat is uniquely great for your intended charter activity then the conversions can be made even though their are labor intensive. You can do most of the work yourself or if you have a good friend who is an electrician, they can assist. The only thing a "land-based electrician" doesn't know is that "Marine (boat) wiring" requires the use of "Marine grade wire." You cannot use household electrical wire. Marine grade wiring has many more "strands" inside and is more flexible. This is necessary as everything inside a boat flexes as the boat crashes and bashes its way through the oceans and bays. The best marine wiring has "tin-coated" strands. The cheap marine wire is just un-coated copper. Also all wire ends must be have "ring terminals" installed. These are the little metal fittings with a hole in the end so that a machine screw can pass through the hole to attach the wire to the equipment or terminal board/bar. For that same "flexing rule" - ring terminals keep the wire from wiggling out of its attachment point (terminal bar or equipment). An electrician can purchase the marine wire from distributors or wholesalers at very significant savings over retail marine store prices.
- - For more detailed questions - if you intend to do the conversion yourelf - please just PM me.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 08:54   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
Boat: 31' Corsair/Farrier trimaran, Lauwersmeer Cruiser in Europe canals. 19' Lightning
Posts: 234
Thank you again, O. S. I will think about this for a while. I am pretty sure that the boat is indeed wired at 12v for DC. And that the only 220v 50hz "appliance" that I want in my boat is the battery charger, which should be fairly easy to change out for a 110v one. For me, I don't see the need for 110v outlets in the head or thruout the boat. My potential charter company may see otherwise though. Eric
__________________

__________________
ejlindahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
documentation, Martinique

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crew Wanted: Brittany to Martinique Rouilled star Crew Archives 6 18-09-2010 12:13
Is Martinique Safe ? mille Atlantic & the Caribbean 4 29-03-2010 19:39
Crew Wanted: Martinique to Ft. Lauderdale jimhotdog Crew Archives 0 25-03-2010 10:55
Martinique Strike jim_thomsen Atlantic & the Caribbean 54 20-03-2009 13:43
Martinique jonathand51@yah Atlantic & the Caribbean 2 09-02-2009 14:44



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:19.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.