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Old 27-04-2015, 10:09   #1
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FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Hey folks I'm ready to transact on my floating retirement home. I need to find a competent and reasonably priced attorney to preside over the transaction on my behalf.

I'm a Canadian citizen living in Florida and plan to flag in Canada.

Any thoughts or direct experience would be appreciated.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 27-04-2015, 10:39   #2
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Why an attorney and not a Broker? A broker from a reputable brokerage company should be able to handle the whole transaction. I'm thinking a lawyer would be really complicate and slow the process down (possibly derailing it).

Just read the contract carefully. The broker will provide an escrow company for you to use.
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Old 27-04-2015, 10:51   #3
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Ahh one other thing I forget.. The sooner you start the process to flag in Canada the better. I just finished flagging my boat in Canada and it took over 3 months (budget cuts). It will be even slower if you are purchasing a Cat or a large mono-hull as they require a tonnage survey (cats over 12M).

My whole purchase process was handled by the brokerage and escrow company, except the flagging in Canada.
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Old 27-04-2015, 11:18   #4
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Thanks, this is a private sale hence my desire to use an experienced attorney who can handle the entire transaction.

Are you still living in Canada? I use my sister's address as my Canadian for all things pertaining up there but have not lived there for 31 years.

As only those of foreign citizenship will note it is much easier to clear customs with both the passport and flag matching. Especially when single handing.

Anyone else?
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Old 27-04-2015, 11:36   #5
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

I have used Jim Perry on two occasions www.yachtlawyer.com. He will do what is needed only and will not complicate the process.
I have traveled to many countries with a different passport than flag and it was never a problem.


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Old 27-04-2015, 12:46   #6
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

I think non citizens can't own a U.S. Flagged vessel. If the boat is USCG documented then it will have to be de registered first and you will receive a letter stating that. Once that's done I think the letter has to be included with the new application.
If the boat is just Florida registered then no problem.


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Old 27-04-2015, 15:01   #7
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrycooper56 View Post
I think non citizens can't own a U.S. Flagged vessel. If the boat is USCG documented then it will have to be de registered first and you will receive a letter stating that. Once that's done I think the letter has to be included with the new application.
If the boat is just Florida registered then no problem.


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Very correct Gerry, even U.S. Corporations must be headed up or majority owned by a U.S. Citizen to document a vessel.

There are lots of gray areas which I prefer not to explore ....
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Old 27-04-2015, 15:32   #8
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

There are many ways around those US requirements, some more complicated than others (state of Delaware, USVI, ect). I looked into most of them and although a few options are pretty easy to do, I decided on Canadian registration.

Just know that it takes a long time and is very frustrating as you can't talk to anyone directly without leaving a message. The people that answer the phone are a call center and have no idea how to help. You must leave a message and wait 24-48 hours to get a call back from someone that knows. They also use a general mailbox for any e-mail communication and tons of stuff gets missed. I had to send some documents in 4 times before the right person got them.

Gerry is also correct about the "de-registration" certificate. The Canadian government will require that document before they will finish the registration.

Also don't discount the tonnage survey if you are buying a boat bigger than 12M. Its a pain in the butt even doing the simplified method. You can only use the simplified method if the boat is over 12M but under 15M. If the boat is over 15M then you need to hire a surveyor that will do a tonnage survey and its pretty costly ($1400 USD).
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Old 27-04-2015, 17:09   #9
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Well she's a LOA 41.79' / 12.74 LWL:34.75' / 10.59m so time will tell.
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Old 27-04-2015, 17:25   #10
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

You can use the simplified method.. Start studying this form..

Search Results

Here is the main form you will need to fill out.

Search Results

There are a couple of other forms you need but I don't have links at the moment.
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Old 27-04-2015, 19:05   #11
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Thanks, I had already downloaded the registration form. The simified tonnage is a plus.

Still looking for a reasonable FL attorney recommendation outside of the one so far.
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Old 28-04-2015, 11:53   #12
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

I am a Canadian,
Lived in Florida and the Bahamas 10 years.
I purchased my 41 privately.
It was Fl registered.
Paid low ( in contrast to Fed./Prov ), Fl sales tax on an agreed sum and registered her to my name and address where I docked the boat.

You sail a Fl registered boat and fly a Canadian flag as
explained to me by the most difficult but very informative US customs
and immigration officers that are in the Port of Palm Beach.
" the vessel takes on the citizenship of the owner/captain." ( sic )

I never had a problem.
But you need to give notice of departure 24 or 48 hours early.
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Old 28-04-2015, 12:39   #13
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga F25 View Post
I am a Canadian,
Lived in Florida and the Bahamas 10 years.
I purchased my 41 privately.
It was Fl registered.
Paid low ( in contrast to Fed./Prov ), Fl sales tax on an agreed sum and registered her to my name and address where I docked the boat.

You sail a Fl registered boat and fly a Canadian flag as
explained to me by the most difficult but very informative US customs
and immigration officers that are in the Port of Palm Beach.
" the vessel takes on the citizenship of the owner/captain." ( sic )

I never had a problem.
But you need to give notice of departure 24 or 48 hours early.
Thanks, at present she is documented which means either transfer directly to FL registration and pay the sales tax or go directly to the CDN registration. I suspect I will have to go temporarily with a FL registration and then once I'm ready to expat I will be ready for the flag change.

One issue still at hand is that flying the Maple Leaf allows me to travel to Cuba, something not quite ready for an US flagged ship.

I already have eAPIS and CANPAC documentation for my aircraft so I think the next step going slow will be easy enough.

I appreciate the information so far.... please keep it coming.
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Old 28-04-2015, 13:06   #14
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrycooper56 View Post
I think non citizens can't own a U.S. Flagged vessel. If the boat is USCG documented then it will have to be de registered first and you will receive a letter stating that. Once that's done I think the letter has to be included with the new application.
If the boat is just Florida registered then no problem.


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Half of the private yachts (both sail and motor from 55 to 150 feet) in Kalamaki Athens Greece are registered in Delaware and they fly the USA flag.
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Old 28-04-2015, 13:29   #15
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Re: FL Maritime Attorney Recommendations?

The yachts in Greece that are registered in Delaware may or may not be Documented. If they are Federally Documented, they must be owned by a US citizen.

The USCG NVDC is currently about a three week process time for a deletion.
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