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Old 09-09-2012, 22:41   #1
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Help, Headed to Fla to Look for a Boat

Howdy,
I'm headed to Fla this week. I'll be there for 10 days and plan to visit several marinas and look at some boats.
I'm looking for a coastal cruser or so I believe. I'm a novice...bought a 26 macgregor five years ago to see if we liked sailing....well...hooked.
Now with retirement looking real and coming shortly...we (S.O. and two cats) are going to do some bigger water sailing...and get the devil out of Iowa winters.
We've got some ASA schooling and a couple weeks in charter...so...pretty green.
I'm looking for something like a Morgan 41. Reasonably priced in todays market...built like a tank...holds a lot of needless crap that I will undoubtly collect rapidly.
Plan to buy this fall and hang in S. Fla this winter to get the hang of the boat, fix what's broke and gather my nerve.
I'm pretty handy with a wrench...farmer in past life...and I enjoy working on things from time to time...but would rather spend time meeting new people and see new places.
S. Fla ??? Caribean for a year ...then Bz and Rio Dulce way.
If you know of a boat that is comfortable on the hook and safe on the water...and priced so cheap you would sell your boat and buy it if you didn't love yours...shoot me a note.
This is a huge undertaking so all suggestions are appreciated.
E
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Old 10-09-2012, 00:19   #2
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:56   #3
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to look for a boat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Eddie.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:40   #4
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to look for a boat

Good luck, if I hear of anything around my marina, will let you know. Don't get discouraged - it's great out there!
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:12   #5
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to look for a boat

I talked to a guy this week that is retired and waiting for his SO to retire this year. He had a sailboat before he bought his Morgan 41 Out Island four years ago, even though he seems quite capable he is obviously intimidated by his boat. Says he has only taken it out of the slip about six times because it is a handful for him and his SO even though he brought it to NC from FL single handed, but he still plans to cruise it next year and spends all of his time and available extra money on the boat. It looks "sturdy." His center cockpit is piled full of junk including a huge antiquated cathode tube radar that works but is difficult to interpret so I guess he still doesn't have enough space. I'm glad that I have a boat that weighs 1/3 as much, sails well, and has simpler systems. If I won the lottery I still wouldn't want a larger boat and it seems to have plenty of room for a couple and two cats.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:26   #6
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to look for a boat

One thing about buying in FL and then hanging around is they will want their sales tax which is pretty high. Even if you register or document the boat in another state, if you don't take the boat out of FL and stay gone for a considerable time, they want the tax. Your broker can give you details.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:43   #7
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to look for a boat

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One thing about buying in FL and then hanging around is they will want their sales tax which is pretty high.
I would agree that Florida's sales tax is high when compared to the few states that charge no sales tax at all. Compared to the others that DO charge a sales tax, though, Florida's seems to be about average. And if you are buying a boat over about $250k or so, the $18k cap on Florida's sales tax can make it downright cheap.

Still, the point is well taken that there are states that charge no sales tax on boat sales, and states that charge considerably less than Florida. Delaware and Rhode Island, for example, charge nothing. Alabama charges only 2% and North Carolina only 3%. Find a boat in one of these states and you could save quite a bit of money.

On the other hand, Florida has several times as many sailboats available as any of these other states. For example, I did a quick search of Yachtworld.com for monohull sailboats between 35 and 45 feet and found that FL has 508 listed whereas RI (the next most) only has 148. So the chances of finding what you want at a good price is considerably higher in FL.

Beyond that, Rhode Island and North Carolina (the only other states, besides Florida, with a significant number of boats listed) both charge a personal property tax, which Florida does not. Consider that cost and you may well be ahead to just pay the sales tax in FL.

The bottom line is that when you start considering the tax consequences of a boat purchase, there are a LOT of variables to be accounted for. It is a whole lot more complicated than just, this state charges that percentage and that state charges this percentage.
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Old 10-09-2012, 13:08   #8
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to look for a boat

Quote: "Beyond that, Rhode Island and North Carolina (the only other states, besides Florida, with a significant number of boats listed) both charge a personal property tax, which Florida does not. Consider that cost and you may well be ahead to just pay the sales tax in FL.

The bottom line is that when you start considering the tax consequences of a boat purchase, there are a LOT of variables to be accounted for. It is a whole lot more complicated than just, this state charges that percentage and that state charges this percentage."[/QUOTE]

NC doesn't charge a tax on a used boat bought from an individual. Property taxes vary from county to county. You could also get the boat Documented and not register it in any state which would be the best plan, the Coast Guard website notes requirements for this- the most important one is size but mine was documented at 34 feet.
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Old 10-09-2012, 16:04   #9
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to Look for a Boat

We can keep a lookout but could you provide more details like ....what year range models you would consider and maybe what kind of budget you are working with.

Going from 26' to 41 ' will take some adjustment. Have you sailed or chartered that size?
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:45   #10
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to look for a boat

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You could also get the boat Documented and not register it in any state which would be the best plan...
Well, registration fees and sales taxes are two completely different issues. Most states (at least, all those that I'm aware of) require you to pay a registration fee, even if the boat is documented, if you keep it in their state over some set period of time. As an example, keep your boat in Florida for more than 90 days and the law requires you to register it regardless of whether it is documented or not (with very few, and specific, exceptions). Of course the registration fee is only a couple of hundred dollars, so not all that significant.

Again, tax issues get pretty complicated pretty quickly. If you want to structure your purchase, and where you keep your boat, in order to minimize taxes then you need to spend a good bit of time researching the various issues. There are the sales or use taxes when you first buy it. Depending on where you keep it there may also be registration fees (usually, but not always, minimal) and/or personal property taxes (often quite a lot) that you have to pay year after year.

BoatUS has good information about these tax issues, but hardly what I would call a comprehensive comparison. In fact, I don't know of any one place that has complete information about all of the taxes and fees, with any sort of comparison chart, for all of the states. As such, the only thing you can do is to go through and research all of the options that you are considering, and come to your own conclusions.
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Old 14-09-2012, 15:18   #11
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to Look for a Boat

WOW...I need a four year degree in just boat buying. Thank you for the advice. I've found a couple of Morgans to look at...strung out from one end of Fla to the other naturally. Possibly Denten FLa.
I plan to run down to the Keys to look at marinas. Any advice there?
It's very exciting thinking about this big move. It's a long way from Iowa dirt...very dry dirt at that. Good thing I'm a wind farmer and not a dirt farmer.
The issue of boat taxes and registration raise some more questions concerning the boat as a second home or as a business expense for my solar energy habit.
But to stay on subject...I need a good liveaboard boat first.
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Old 14-09-2012, 17:42   #12
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Stop making it so complicated find a boat, does she float? Buy the freaken boat. Pay the tax sail the boat. SMILE
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Old 14-09-2012, 18:06   #13
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to Look for a Boat

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Stop making it so complicated find a boat, does she float? Buy the freaken boat. Pay the tax sail the boat. SMILE
yep. Florida is cheaper than my state by quite a bit. Also, you could dry store it and not pay. Then leave within 90 days of launch.

"I plan to run down to the Keys to look at marinas. Any advice there?"
The Keys are a long way down... I think you'll find more boats from Ft Pierce to Miami. or maybe as far north as Merritt Island. Dont get stuck on the Morgan OI 41 too much,lots of good boats, that's just one of them and nothing real special.

Not sure your budget, but here's a couple I saw with a quick look:
Kelly Peterson 44
http://www.sailboatlistings.com/cgi-bin/saildata/db.cgi?db=default&uid=default&view_records=1&ID=30 157&mh=1

43' Wauquiez Amphitrite
http://www.sailboatlistings.com/cgi-...&ID=22070&mh=1

I dont know either of these but both are usually very well constructed boats. I dont get why the Wauquiez is at $70k... that's a bargain... must be an issue with it...?
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Old 14-09-2012, 18:19   #14
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to Look for a Boat

The Morgan OI41 is a great liveaboard boat. Arguably more room than any 41' sailboat in the world. They are pretty well built and should serve you well in most any reasonable conditions. Very shallow draft for the size so you can fit in places most other 41 footers won't. Seldom have a problem finding a place to drop the anchor even in a crowded harbor.

The down side, they are not the best performer upwind. The shallow draft just doesn't give enough resistance or lift to point close to the wind.

One of the largest production runs of any boat made so lots to choose from.

Another similar boat to consider is the CSY44. If you want built like a tank they qualify and even more room than the Morgan.

Pearsons are also very nice. The 424 is somewhat different from the most designs in this size range in that it has an aft cockpit and and aft cabin. The 422 is the center cockpit version, my preference but only 39 built so sometimes hard to find. The Pearson will perform better than the Morgan but slightly deeper draft.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 14-09-2012, 19:27   #15
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Re: Help, Headed to Fla to look for a boat

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One thing about buying in FL and then hanging around is they will want their sales tax which is pretty high. Even if you register or document the boat in another state, if you don't take the boat out of FL and stay gone for a considerable time, they want the tax. Your broker can give you details.
Stay away from broker boats duh
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