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Old 28-12-2009, 16:43   #1
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Where to Leave a Boat, on the Hard, in the SE USA for 9 Months?

My boat (Bruce Roberts' Norfolk 45') is currently in Europe. I am starting to play with the idea of bringing back to this side of the Atlantic.

I usually live aboard at anchor from May to August and get the boat craned on the hard for the remainder of the year.

What would be the options?

My first concern is with the hurricanes. On the one hand I would prefer to leave the boat somewhere not too exposed. On the other hand, there are plenty of sailboats that winter in Florida I presume...

My second is with the going rates and availability of parking space.

Third is taxation. The boat's port of call is in Canada (and I am Canadian). How long can a Canadian boat remain in US waters before is would be subjected to taxation/registration/other administrative niceties?

Thanks in advance for ideas or suggestions
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Old 28-12-2009, 17:10   #2
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Third is taxation. The boat's port of call is in Canada (and I am Canadian). How long can a Canadian boat remain in US waters before is would be subjected to taxation/registration/other administrative niceties?
As long as you don't ever bring the boat into Canada there will be none of the above. But the second you cross the border, it's all payable, now. Assuming that when you bought it you did not pay Cdn taxes on the purchase, if you did pay cdn tax when you bought it then there's no issue at all.
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Old 28-12-2009, 21:18   #3
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Most US states will require you to register the boat if it remains over a minimum time, 90 days is pretty common. However, that fee is relatively minor, typically $100-$500 range depending on the state. The only tax issue I am aware of is sales tax if you purchase the boat in a state and remain in that state past a certain deadline, again usually 90 days. Since you purchased the boat overseas not an issue.

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Old 29-12-2009, 04:50   #4
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There are basically two ways to think about putting a boat in Florida for the storm season. The first is to accept that the boat will be in an area of the state that is relatively threatened, in which case you would want to find storage ashore that's easy to get to by boat but located inland (since a storm's strength is reduced as it begins to travel over land). If you use this approach, you might consider Indiantown Marina & Boat Yard which has many cruising boats stored ashore each storm season.

Indiantown Marina Information - Boat Storage, Showers, Camping, Lake Okeechobee, Florida

The second approach is to put the boat in a place that's simply less threatened by storms. The place in Florida where this is most true - historically - is in the NE portion of the state, in or near Jacksonville. The state's indented coastline here plus the Gulf Stream - a heat engine that further fuels tropical storms - increasing its distance from Florida by the point it gets this far N are two of the reasons why this experiences fewer tropical storms. If you bring your boat up the St. Johns River, you also bring it further inland (tho' not nearly so much as at Indiantown). One popular place to put boats ashore in this area is Green Cove Springs Marina & Boatyard as mentioned here:

Noonsite: Jacksonville

I think some of the prior comments on taxes not being an issue for you is incorrect for the state of Florida. By far the best thing to do when having questions about what the state's 'use tax' and annual registration requirements are for foreign-registered vessels spending more than 90 days in the state of Florida is to call and talk with the Tax Collector for the county in which you plan to leave the boat. Each tax collector also has a website and some of them are excellent and provide a lot of relevant info. Jacksonville has a combined city/county govt. structure and is in Duval County. Indiantown is in Martin County.

Call (skype) one of these tax collectors for tax-related info. I think you'll find you are responsible to annually register your vessel for use of FL's waterways (I'm not referring to State registration that establishes legal title for the vessel, but rather registration for vessels nationally documented or registered), as this is a source of funds for managing Florida's waters. However, once in this system you may well be tagged by the state to pay a 'use tax' that's similar to sales tax. Like I say...call one of the County Tax Collectors for the full story. My home port is in Pinellas County and I've found that tax collector to always provide full, objective information - so consider that a referral based on 20 years of past experience with that office.

Diane Nelson, CFC, Pinellas County Tax Collector - Vehicle and Vessel Registration

Good luck. You're picking a pretty hot, humid time to be in Florida.

Jack
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Old 29-12-2009, 05:55   #5
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I have owned boats in Florida for 6 yrs and I been through 4 hurricanes and got nailed for a 6% sales/user tax on a boat bought out of state. Florida is too much trouble for not enough nice sailing.

If you are going to put it on the hard for hurricane season Trinidad would be my choice anywhere between Grenada and the Chesapeake you have to worry about hurricanes. You can sail the Grenadines and lower Caribbean when on the boat.
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Old 29-12-2009, 06:40   #6
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I understand you can bring a non tax paid Canadian vessel into Canada without paying tax if it is for repairs or refitting. No recreational use.

Storage in Green Cove Springs is a bit iffy. Only three boats are allowed on the long pier as it has been closed/condemned due to disrepair. This is a very strong concrete pier. Some say that there is an underlying dispute between the boatyard and the land owner. This has made some boaters move as they do not want to have their boats stuck in a field if the boatyard ceases operation. Other yards might be Tiger Point in Fernandina Beach, Westland in Titusville and a small yard in St. Marys GA., whose name escapes me right now.
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Old 29-12-2009, 06:49   #7
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One other point about going rates. In Florida it's from $9 to $12 a month plus haulout and move to storage yard charges. It's not cheap. It is about half that price if you go up to Virginia, in the Chesapeake. Deltaville is a favourite spot for summer storage.
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Old 29-12-2009, 07:04   #8
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One of the storage yards up the Okechobee waterway such as Indiantown or Glades would be protected from storm surge if not the wind and are less expensive than most yards on the coast nearby.

It's not clear to me if time on the hard counts toward the 90 day Florida time limit. I've certainly seen many boats not registered in Florida stored on the hard well beyond that.

Indiantown: http://www.indiantownmarina.com/
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Old 29-12-2009, 07:41   #9
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If you take the complete coastline from Mexico to N.Y., and split it into 15 mile stretches. The %'s say Mayport area is the safest area along this route. This is an insurance statistic I read several years ago.

At the other end in Green Cove is Reynold's Park, and this pier is completely functional, refurbished, and it is not full. There are 2 storage areas in this section of Reynold's also.........i2f
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Old 29-12-2009, 08:13   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euro Cruiser View Post
I think some of the prior comments on taxes not being an issue for you is incorrect for the state of Florida. By far the best thing to do when having questions about what the state's 'use tax' and annual registration requirements are for foreign-registered vessels spending more than 90 days in the state of Florida is to call and talk with the Tax Collector for the county in which you plan to leave the boat. Each tax collector also has a website and some of them are excellent and provide a lot of relevant info. Jacksonville has a combined city/county govt. structure and is in Duval County. Indiantown is in Martin County.

Call (skype) one of these tax collectors for tax-related info. I think you'll find you are responsible to annually register your vessel for use of FL's waterways (I'm not referring to State registration that establishes legal title for the vessel, but rather registration for vessels nationally documented or registered), as this is a source of funds for managing Florida's waters. However, once in this system you may well be tagged by the state to pay a 'use tax' that's similar to sales tax. Like I say...call one of the County Tax Collectors for the full story. My home port is in Pinellas County and I've found that tax collector to always provide full, objective information - so consider that a referral based on 20 years of past experience with that office.

Diane Nelson, CFC, Pinellas County Tax Collector - Vehicle and Vessel Registration

Good luck. You're picking a pretty hot, humid time to be in Florida.

Jack

There are two separate issues in Florida that can result in taxes or fees to a boat owner, vessel title and vessel registration. If the vessel is federally documented or has a valid title or documentation from another state or country then the vessel will not be Florida state titled.

No matter where the vessel is titled or documented, if it stays in the state of Florida for more than 90 days the vessel is required to pay Florida vessel registration. This does not effect the title or documentation of the vessel or even the registration of the vessel in another state.

The fees may vary with the county but the requirements and exemptions are established state wide.

I verified all this information directly from state of Florida web sites and personally confirmed the details and my understanding of these with phone calls to the relevant agencies.

1. Registration requirements and fees.

Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

"Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use his vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector. However, he may retain the out-of-state registration number if he plans to return to his home state within a reasonable period of time."

2. Sales and Use taxes

http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2009/gt800005.pdf

"Sales Tax - All boats sold and/or delivered in this state are subject to Florida’s 6 percent sales and use tax, unless exempt."

"Use Tax - Use tax is a component of Florida’s sales and use tax law. Use tax and surtax apply to taxable goods and services that you bring into Florida untaxed or taxed at a rate less than Florida’s 6 percent rate. We allow a credit for lawfully imposed taxes paid to another state, a U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia. We do not allow credit for taxes paid to another country.
Discretionary sales surtax is also due on the first $5,000 of these purchases. Example: If you purchase a boat in a state that has a sales tax rate of 4 percent, you will have to pay an additional 2 percent when you bring the boat into Florida."

3. Exemptions from sales and use tax

"Foreign Flagged Vessels
Boats flying a foreign flag are exempt from Florida use tax if they have a current license to
cruise issued by the U.S. Customs Service. Licenses to cruise are available only to boats
flagged in countries that have a treaty with the United States. The boat will remain exempt as
long as you do not violate the provisions of the license to cruise."


"Use tax and surtax are not due on boats brought to Florida if you meet all of the following
conditions:
• You own the boat 6 months or longer, and
• You have shown no intent to use the boat in Florida at or before the time of purchase,
and
• The boat has been in use 6 months or longer within the taxing jurisdiction of another
state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia. Time spent in foreign waters does not
count as part of the 6-month period."
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Old 16-01-2010, 04:21   #11
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Extension Decal to 180 days- Florida


If a non resident buys a boat in Florida you can get an extension. $425

Boats Sold to Nonresidents
You may purchase a boat tax-exempt if the sale is through a registered boat dealer or yacht broker to a nonresident who will remove the boat from Florida.
You must meet the following requirements:
The purchaser must sign an affidavit stating that he or she has read the law and rules regarding the specific exemption claimed and agrees to remove the boat from Florida.

��
A boat of less than 5 net tons of admeasurement must leave Florida within 10 days of purchase or immediately be placed in the care, custody, and control of a registered repair facility for repairs, additions, or alterations. The boat must leave Florida within 20 days after completion of the repairs.

��
If the boat is 5 net tons of admeasurement or larger, the purchaser may obtain a set of Florida Department of Revenue boat decals, which authorize the boat to remain in Florida waters up to 90 days after the purchase. This period may be extended to 180 days with the purchase of a 90-day extension decal. The decals must be obtained from the selling dealer or broker.

Within 5 days of the date of sale, the dealer must provide us with a copy of the invoice,
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