Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-07-2012, 15:33   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
UK Citizen Purchasing Sailboat in California

Having seen a bluewater cruising coat for sale in California I am considering purchasing the vessel to sail through West Indies via Panama and perhaps onto the UK. The vessel is US registered.

However, I have just read on Sailnet that in Florida the state laws make this all rather awkward. Might it be easier in California?

Furthermore, how would you best advise on completing the transaction when buying directly from the owner rather than through a broker?

Thanks.
__________________

__________________
Yachtboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2012, 16:41   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,961
Re: UK Citizen purchasing sailboat in California

Related note: A non-US entity (individual or company) cannot own a US (federally) registered vessel.

A couple of ways around this. One, at least in the past, a foreign entity could form a company in Delaware and register the boat in Delaware under the company name (check on current status of this "loop hole"). Two, register in the UK or other foreign location.
__________________

__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2012, 17:16   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,368
Re: UK Citizen purchasing sailboat in California

Do you intend to keep it US registered? If not I would get a Boat Documentation service to do the paperwork for you, putting ownership in your name in your country. They might be able to act as escrow agent also.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2012, 17:25   #4
Registered User
 
sailing_jack's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario
Boat: Ta Chiao CT 35 Jack, CS27 Christina, Ranger 23 Strider, I14 Aggie
Posts: 79
I am a Canadian citizen and just bought a registered boat from California. No problem, have the seller de register it. Then with bill of sale in hand register it in your country.
__________________
sailing_jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2012, 18:12   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,312
Images: 75
Re: UK Citizen purchasing sailboat in California

reregistering the vessel is quick and easy for a uk resident/citizen.
once you have the deregistration certificate from the us registry you can apply online for a ssr(small ships registration) from the uk registration authority,takes 2 weeks and costs 50.

however if you want to coast hop the us you will need a full b1 b2 visa,and a us cruising permit this can prove to be very difficult as others have found out.
a visa waiver is only issued if using commercial carriers and in possetion of an onward ticket and sufficient funds,you will be refused entry into the usa if you tell them you are leaving by yacht,or fined up to $10000 if arriving by yacht without a full visa.
this visa can take months to get if you cannot fulfill certain creiteria or may be refused indefinitely.
__________________
my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
atoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2012, 18:47   #6
Registered User
 
Nemo55's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Punta Banda, Ensenada. and Canada
Boat: 28Ft Piver Encore, Tri-Maran, Anchored in San Diego.
Posts: 728
Send a message via Skype™ to Nemo55
Re: UK Citizen purchasing sailboat in California

Please take the advice offered to you seriously, as i am just like you, and have purchased a boat in California, tried to get there via the visa waiver program and didnt notice the requirement for the B1 & B2 Visas,and now i am in a real fix.
My boat is costing me every month for moorage and i cant get to her until my visas are issued, and even then there is no guarantee the Border Guards will allow me thru because of the dual nature of my journey.
(seems they have the last word and can supersede the embassies visas)
So first things first, Get the previous owner/broker to have the boat DE-registered, and then pay for the proof of DE-registration,,,then along with a bill of sale, re-register in the country of your choice.
Dot your "I"'s and Cross your "T"'s and good hunting to ya!!
__________________
"The Truth Shall set you Free....But First it will Piss You Off"

http://nemo1955.blogspot.ca/
Nemo55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2012, 19:01   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,368
Re: UK Citizen purchasing sailboat in California

hire a us skipper to captain your boat for a short trip south...?
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2012, 20:23   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,383
Re: UK Citizen purchasing sailboat in California

Hi Yachtboy,

First maybe you need to be clear on US registrations. There are two different types of "registration" for a boat in the US.

1. A boat registered with the US government through the US Coast Guard is correctly called a "documented" vessel. And US law does not allow a foreign citizen to document a boat. There are discussions about setting up a US corporation that is owned by a non US citizen to own and document the boat but that can be complex, expensive and I will not try to advise on the details of doing this.

2. A boat can be registered in a state, California, Florida, etc. I do not know of any states that forbid registration by an non citizen and in fact most states do not care if you even live in the state. In fact many states will require an owner to register the boat in that state no matter where the owner lives, if the boat stays in that state more than 90 days.

One further note, a US citizen may have a USCG documented boat and also be required by a state to register as well. This is mainly a tax and revenue issue by the state and in no way changes the USCG documentation. But a boat that is state registered does not have to be USCG documented, even if owned by a US citizen.

There is no requirement for a boat to be USCG documented so if you plan to buy a vessel that is already documented by the US owner the documentation can be canceled and you can own the vessel with no problem. However, unless you can then show some form of registration overseas the state where the boat is docked will probably require registration in that state. The process is usually simple and relatively inexpensive. In FL maybe $100-$300 depending on the value of the boat. The states just want your money and make the process very easy.

Not sure why you were told that it is difficult to buy a boat in FL as a non citizen. I used to be a yacht broker in FL and I know of no impediments to sales to UK citizens. You will have to be aware of regulations that might require you to pay a 6% sales tax if the boat stays in FL too long but that process is clearly defined and easy to comply with.

Of course none of this addresses issues with visas, registration of the boat in the UK or other country, etc. In that area I can't help at all.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2012, 11:14   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,368
Re: UK Citizen Purchasing Sailboat in California

I registered a boat in FL although I didnt live there. They did require me to have an actual mailing address in FL though. Not a PO Box.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2012, 11:16   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,368
Re: UK Citizen purchasing sailboat in California

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
hire a us skipper to captain your boat for a short trip south...?
I was actualy serious about this. Any reason a US resident couldnt captain the boat to Ensenada? US skippers captain foreign owned boats from Fl to the Caribe all the time....
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2012, 11:27   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
Re: UK Citizen Purchasing Sailboat in California

Dear Gents,

This is only my second posting as a new member of this forum. Thanks to all for your kind and comprehensive replies which are most helpful.
__________________
Yachtboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2012, 11:35   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 13
Re: UK Citizen Purchasing Sailboat in California

Gentlemen,

This is my second posting on this excellent forum and I am astonished by the breadth and depth of the comprehensive replies I have recived on both occasions. Thanks to all for your most welcome contributions.
__________________
Yachtboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2012, 11:39   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Switzerland
Boat: So many boats to choose from. Would prefer something that is not an AWB, and that is beachable...
Posts: 1,242
Re: UK Citizen Purchasing Sailboat in California

What if you do the following:
- Fly to the US on a return ticket. You thus enter the country without much trouble.
- Buy a boat. Have it deregistered. Send the papers back to Europe and have someone register the boat under a European flag and return you the papers. In the mean time have some work done on the boat or just enjoy sailing it.
- Then just hoist the new flag and sail it back to Europe. Properly clear customs/immigration at the last US port.
__________________
K_V_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2012, 11:58   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,383
Re: UK Citizen Purchasing Sailboat in California

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I registered a boat in FL although I didnt live there. They did require me to have an actual mailing address in FL though. Not a PO Box.
Interesting. When I purchased my most recent boat I moored and registered in RI but called FL to discuss requirements in case I brought the boat to FL. They told me if the boat stayed in FL more than 90 days no matter what my state of residence I would have to pay a FL registration. They were happy to mail the paperwork to RI to get the money.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2012, 12:14   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Boat: Nassau 42 SV Ceol Mor
Posts: 789
Re: UK Citizen Purchasing Sailboat in California

I am married to a UK citizen. It does get tricky when it comes to reregistering. If you flag it under the UK flag, you will be liable for VAT. A UK citizen can not own a CG documented, US flagged vessel- you will have to import it. This is why I get to remind my husband that technically, it is MY boat.

There are various ways as mentioned previously to circumvent the issues. Since they can be fairly complex, I think it would be in your interest to contact a documentation service in the US and see what your options are. A good broker should be able to suggest a reliable documentation service.
__________________

__________________
S/V Ceol Mor
42 Nassau Undergoing refit in Kemah, Tx
Our little blog has moved: www.theceolmors.blogspot.com
Mimsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
california, purchasing, sailboat

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:37.


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.