jp, whether you are subject to tax when you buy the boat, will depend on were you are keeping it, how you are registering and titling it, and whether you are taking it out of that jurisdiction (and out of the US) promptly. If you get it out of state, out of the US, within 90 days of purchase
, it probably will not be subject to any US taxes
. But, you may still need to pay import
duty or other fees
when you get back to Oz--or wherever it is going.
And fwiw I think Florida charges you sales tax at 90 days, but doesn't require state registration
until 180 (?183) days.
We put up with this stuff because, by and large, we find it less onerous than paying a whopping huge VAT up front, or some other form of tax. Boats don't change owners very often, and boaters usually don't buy a lot of expensive boats very often.