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Old 13-08-2015, 01:08   #1
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Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

So ... I'm taking the plunge. Have just about sold everything I own and am about to go full-time cruising.

The house is gone, the Hunter 'dock queen' is gone, still got the car but that's close to gone. Living in a rented RV till I find (and outfit) the cruiser of my choice and take off for good.

So, since I have no permanent address, and won't have one for the foreseeable future, how do I proceed when it comes time to buy the new cruiser? What address do I give for the paperwork? What state do I register her in ... since I don't officially live permanently in any one of them??

I'm not an American citizen so have no family here (am Permanent Resident with a Green Card).

I'm sure many before me must have found themselves in a similar position. How does one deal with the bureaucratic BS in this situation? I just want to get the hell on outta here and break free !!!
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Old 13-08-2015, 01:38   #2
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

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Originally Posted by DominoX View Post
So, since I have no permanent address, and won't have one for the foreseeable future, how do I proceed when it comes time to buy the new cruiser? What address do I give for the paperwork? What state do I register her in ... since I don't officially live permanently in any one of them??
Hoo boy I can tell you stories about this. The US Post office will NOT privide a PO box without a physical address. I ended up going to a "mailbox business" in order to get a PO kind of box.

It is an odd situation, especially since thousands of seniors do exactly this in RVs. The US does not like "vagrants". If you don't have a physical address, you are pretty much considered one.
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Old 13-08-2015, 01:46   #3
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

Thanks JW. So which state would I register her in?
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Old 13-08-2015, 02:01   #4
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

We bought our boat in the US but immediately registered her as British. This meant we never had to worry about US rules. This didn't present any problem when we cleared out either. To register a boat as British you do need an address to use, that's about it. If you're footloose perhaps you could think of picking up one of the many bargains to be had abroad?

We too struggle with the address on a boat situation since most of our friends also live on boats. Thankfully a parent has been happy to help but they're not nearby so it can still be a problem. Friends in the US helped out while we were there but perhaps a local sailing club?
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:07   #5
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

What about a trailer park or a marina ?
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:20   #6
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?
Youve missed out what seems a key, yet very important, item...'research'. Read books, talk to like minded folks, read this forum. This forum is better at answering more specific questions than the general ones.


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Old 13-08-2015, 09:41   #7
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

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Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?
Youve missed out what seems a key, yet very important, item...'research'. Read books, talk to like minded folks, read this forum. This forum is better at answering more specific questions than the general ones.


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Steve, you may have misunderstood my post. My question IS very specific. All I'm asking is HOW do I handle the formalities/paperwork of registration without a permanent address ... not WHAT boat should I buy, what's it like cruising full-time, should I even do this, what does it cost, etc.

I've owned 3 sailboats in my time and have enough experience to know what I'm getting into and what I'm doing (that's not to say I can't learn something new from others).

I have 2 ocean passages behind me. This is not new to me. But not having a fixed address is ...
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:43   #8
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

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What about a trailer park or a marina ?
It's worth a try I guess. Not sure how they would feel about 'lending' their address to "vagrants" (as JW so aptly put it above )
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:50   #9
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

The "earthlings" in the US (which includes almost all non marine businesses) will obstruct your every move until you resolve this issue. We actually still own property on the East Coast, but try explaining you live on a boat and have no official address at which you receive mail. I finally broke down and rented a private mailbox with a street address and got a drivers license and registered to vote in a West Coast state because it was too difficult for them to grasp. One family was on the dock and a woman said to her son "Don't stare honey, these people are homeless". That's the mindset you're dealing with.
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:53   #10
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

My understanding is these people give you a physical address, and can help you to establish Fl residency if you chose to. But I do not as of yet use them myself as I'm still working.
Mail Forwarding Services at St Brendan's Isle
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:56   #11
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

Have you looked into or considered commercial mail forwarding services. We've never used one, but apparently many cruisers in your situation (e.g., no mailing address) have made use of this type of service. For a fee you have use of their address to receive mail, which can then be forwarded to you at your next port of call. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:57   #12
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

Carolyn over at The Boat Galley went into this in detail a few weeks back. The Boat Galley — getting the most out of your boat kitchen . . . and more!
Not sure how it would apply to non-citizens
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:59   #13
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

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My understanding is these people give you a physical address, and can help you to establish Fl residency if you chose to. But I do not as of yet use them myself as I'm still working.
Mail Forwarding Services at St Brendan's Isle
Oooh ... this is a GEM. This is EXACTLY the sort of thing I'm looking for.

Good man ... Thanks a64pilot
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Old 13-08-2015, 10:00   #14
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

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The "earthlings" in the US (which includes almost all non marine businesses) will obstruct your every move until you resolve this issue. We actually still own property on the East Coast, but try explaining you live on a boat and have no official address at which you receive mail. I finally broke down and rented a private mailbox with a street address and got a drivers license and registered to vote in a West Coast state because it was too difficult for them to grasp. One family was on the dock and a woman said to her son "Don't stare honey, these people are homeless". That's the mindset you're dealing with.
Forgive them ... for they know not what they do !!!
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Old 13-08-2015, 10:27   #15
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Re: Sold everything ... buying cruiser ... how to register?

Yep, I can verify that here in the good old US, if you don't have a verifiable street address, you are going to run into all kind of problems. I worked for Verizon Wireless in Florida years ago, we verified the address on your driver's license before opening a cell phone account. Policemen (usually use their station address as the home address on their driver's license) and RV'rs/boaters (campgrounds/mail forwarding places) gave the credit people fits and most of the time they didn't get accounts unless they could provide proof of a fixed address.

Government and big business in the US does not like folks who don't play the mainstream game.
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