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Old 03-02-2010, 10:11   #1
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Buying A Sailing Yacht in the USA

Hi there everyone! I am John from the Uk. Can anyone give me some advice on buying a yacht from the USA?
The sort of things I would like to know are;
If I bought a yacht there and intended to sail it across the Pacific to Australaia how would I stand?
Are there laws in Australia and New Zealand about cruising there in a yacht from elsewhere?(like europe V.A.T & RCD)
Insurance? what would that cost?
Would appreciate any advice/help!
Thanks John
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Old 05-02-2010, 15:03   #2
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Ok.. here goes... may not be accurate on some things but I'm sure someone will jump in and correct me if I've gone
I am presuming that you will still have a UK address when you've bought the boat(if not use a trustworthy friends)... in which case register it SSR online, using a UK port near you as Home Port. Get a copy scanned and e-mailed to you by your friend as soon as he gets it , for use till the 'real thing' gets to you by mail. Now, to the best of my knowledge,(its what I do) that should make things a bit easier as you and your boat are from the 'Mother Country' to all intents and purposes...
I think the main thing to do now is contact the Australian and NZ Consulates in London by e-mail.. tell them you intend to cruise the Pacific in your 'British' registered vessel and could they please let you know what Visa requirements you may need... time limits etc.. they don't need to know where you bought the boat..irrelevant
You can always do 6mths in Oz then 6mths in NZ n so forth...
But I would check with them as things have changed a lot with anti terrorism/immigration regs in the last few years... I doubt you'll get hit by taxes unless you overstay or decide to settle...
Insurance is another matter... I doubt a UK company will take you on as I've found they've started 'compartmentalising areas... also your boat will need a good survey report and minimal crew limits... solo no chance... You may find a US company but that's for the US cousins to fill you in on...
Another thing I know for a fact is... if the boat is US built and registered, even if you change its registry/flag it can re-enter with no penalty's, you on the other hand still only have the 90 days to get in and out.... useful if for some reason you have to leave it there and fly back... or change plans... sail into US Pacific Islands etc..
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Old 05-02-2010, 15:21   #3
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Hi, John
Not sure if it would be different with a UK-registered vessel, but for our USA-registered sailboat, Australia granted us a 12-month "cruising permit", with the ability to renew twice, giving a total of 36 months. This allows the boat to be in Australian waters for 3 years, before duty and GST is required. I *believe* New Zealand granted us, and the boat, a "9-month in, 9-month out" type of permit. However, I also believe UK residents might receive preferred treatment in NZ.
Back to Oz, the boat can stay for up to 3 years tax-free (unless you sell it), but you may not be able to. Check into the visas available to you.
Good luck
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