the yacht in the USA is not a problem at all. You know that all yachts prices are negiotable - twice. First when making offers on the boat you bargain down to an acceptable point for both parties. (Or you can pay retail => asked price). Then after a survey
by a reputable surveyor
you chose and paid for - you bargain again based on the defects found in the survey. When you add up all the used boats bought and sold over the years, the nominal spread between asking and actual selling is about 33%. In individual cases it can vary from 0% to 90% but the "bell curve" peaks at about 1/3rd off asking.
- - Concurrent with purchase you need to arrange documentation from your home country. Since so many boats are bought and sold on the world market there should be provisions in most countries for final or provisional documentation. After purchase you need to have a boatyard correct the problems noted by the surveyor
and then get insurance
- - Normally in the USA, you can keep the yacht in a boat yard being worked on to make it seaworthy
, for an almost indefinite time. You cannot live on the boat as it is essentially "in bond" until the work is finished. After that you sail off back home. Or if you get your home country registration documents, go ahead and get a cruising permit and tour the USA in the boat until you are comfortable with it. Also use that time to correct problems that will only surface as the boat is being used.
- - If you wish to use the boat within USA waters for an extended period of time you can pay the State taxes and get a State registration. Then you can use the boat within USA waters for as long as your wish (however, your personal Visa restrictions can limit the length of time you can stay in the country).
- - Questions to ask - State procedures for putting the boat "in bond" until the necessary work is completed. Or procedures for paying the tax and registering the boat in a State. Along with this it might be wise to check with the Australian Tax officials to see if any taxes paid in the USA on the purchase of the boat are deductible from whatever taxes would be owed when you bring the boat into Australia.
- - I personally know several Australians who purchased boats in Florida
and sailed them back to Australia via the Caribbean
"loop" east down the islands to Grenada
and Trinidad then west to Panama
and finally across the Pacific, so the procedures must not be onerous or impossible - folks are doing it all the time. They normally take a year or two to do the whole trip.
- - Looking at the government
of Australia vessel registration website it seems rather straight forward, and similar to the USCG system. Send in the paperwork and money/fees and you get back a certificate of registration (which we in the USA call Documentation).