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Old 29-08-2012, 15:10   #1
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Buying a boat in Florida... What to expect?

So "if" I find a boat in Florida, what all will I need to expect to close the deal?

(1) a clear title... sounds easy; is it?

(2) hopefully a survey; how old can one be and still be of value to a buyer?

(3) how much tax is involved AND... were I to bring it to texas does that start all over again? or am I taxed at/in Texas tax sales/boat/vehicle tax? And if so, how much is that?

(4) what else? I would need to sail it home to Kemah Tx. so what's got to pass inspection to splash it? I know that sounds crazy but how else to get it to a marina where it can under go a refit/cleanup etc.? (I've got some help...)

thanks and regards for any opinions from a koo koo wouldbe sailor...

m

ps, this is a 40 ft. sloop rigged boat.
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Old 29-08-2012, 15:18   #2
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I would get my own survey done.

Having purchased a boat to register in TX, you get a form to document to FL that you paid TX taxes at the normal sales tax rate, at least for our 18 footer. Our dealer walked us through it, but it should be pretty simple on your own if you are purchasing from an individual. We just had to show our paperwork, the forms and lists are all available online via the wildlife department.http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat..._registration/
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Old 29-08-2012, 15:36   #3
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Re: buying a boat in Florida... what to expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rynegold View Post
So "if" I find a boat in Florida, what all will I need to expect to close the deal?

(1) a clear title... sounds easy; is it?

(2) hopefully a survey; how old can one be and still be of value to a buyer? If it's a major fixer anyway... then maybe a couple year old survey would be fine. But I would get my own.

(3) how much tax is involved AND... were I to bring it to texas does that start all over again? or am I taxed at/in Texas tax sales/boat/vehicle tax? And if so, how much is that?
You pay tax in the location you take it to. You need to get it out within usualy 90 days. You may be able to have work done on the hard without paying for a longer time...
(4) what else? I would need to sail it home to Kemah Tx. so what's got to pass inspection to splash it? I know that sounds crazy but how else to get it to a marina where it can under go a refit/cleanup etc.? (I've got some help...) Nothing officially has to pass inspection to splash it. Just what you might be concerned with!

thanks and regards for any opinions from a koo koo wouldbe sailor...

m

ps, this is a 40 ft. sloop rigged boat.
Good Luck!
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Old 29-08-2012, 15:59   #4
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Re: Buying a boat in Florida... What to expect?

Here are some answers from a former yacht broker who bought a boat in Florida and then sailed it out of state:

1. If the seller has listed the boat with a broker, fine go with that. If not and he is trying to sell it himself, contact BoatUS for help. They have contracts you can use and can escrow the funds appropriately and may be able to clear liens. You can also use a documentation service like Atlantic Boat Documentation for some of these services like the title abstract.

2. Sign a contract before any money changes hands. Florida yacht brokers use their own squirely contracts, so get a copy of the YBAA (Yacht Brokers Association of America) contract (you can beg a copy on this site) and make sure that the Florida contract has all of the same provisions. The important one is the ability to walk away after the survey and seatrial for any reason. I mean any reason.

3. Title: If it is USCG documented and at 40' it probably is, get an abstract of title online from the CG site or get your documentation agency to do it for you. That will tell you who the owner is and if it has a lien. Otherwise look at the Florida state title. It will say if there is a lien against it, just like a car.

4. For any boat worth more than you could easily afford to lose, do not believe in any old (even a few months old) survey. That surveyor has no responsibility to you unlike a surveyor you hire.

5. Both Florida and Texas charge sales tax on boats. Florida gives you 90 days to remove the boat from their waters without paying the tax. Do that and then when you get to Texas see about payiing the tax. Years ago, Texas didn't look so hard to tax documented boats purchased from out of state. With today's budget crunch I suspect that has changed. Sales tax will run 5-6% of the purchase price.

If for some reason you have to pay Florida's sales tax (say you wanted to sail it there for 4 months in the winter) then Texas will credit you for that tax when you move it there and you have to pay the difference, maybe none.

There is no state or federal inspection required to splash a boat and sail it around the world, nor any license that you the skipper has to carry. But your insurance company will want to see the survey and will require you to fix any serious issues before it leaves the port where you bought it. And they may have restrctions about your own competence. Anyone thinking about sailing across the GOM should go well beyond what a surveyor might require. But discuss it with your surveyor. He will give you a list of stuff to do to make that voyage safely in addition to what he tells the insurance company.

If you don't have at least some blue water experience and the capability to deal with problems and fix stuff yourself along the way, consider hiring a captain to help you.

David
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